Savoy Theatre in 1890s

   

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The Savoy Theatre

During the 1880s, there had been a steady sequence of new Gilbert and Sullivan operas to fill the Savoy Theatre. But after the acrimonious "Carpet Quarrel", it would be some time before Gilbert and Sullivan felt able to work together again. When The Gondoliers closed on June 20, 1891, there was no new work by Gilbert and Sullivan to replace it.

Sullivan continued to compose for the Savoy, working with other librettists, but Carte was also obliged to stage works by other librettists and composers to occupy his theatre.

This page provides a listing of the productions mounted at the theatre during the period 1890 to 1903. After 1903 the nature of the productions at the Savoy changed and there was no longer any effort to continue the Gilbert and Sullivan tradition. For information on the one-act curtain raisers that were played along with these longer works see our Curtain Raisers page.


THE OPERAS



The Nautch Girl

or,
The Rajah of Chutneypore

Written by George Dance.
Lyrics by George Dance and Frank Desprez.
Music by Edward Solomon.
June 30, 1891 - January 16, 1892 (200 performances).


The Vicar of Bray

An Original English Comic Opera in Two Acts.

Written by Sydney Grundy.
Music by Edward Solomon.
January 28 - June 18, 1892 (143 performances).
First produced at the Globe Theatre July 22, 1882.


Haddon Hall

An Original Light English Opera in Three Acts.

Written by Sydney Grundy.
Music by Arthur Sullivan.
September 24, 1892 - April 15, 1893 (204 performances).


Jane Annie

or,
The Good Conduct Prize.

A New and Original English Comic Opera in Two Acts.

Written by J. M. Barrie and Arthur Conan Doyle.
Music by Ernest Ford .
May 13 - July 1, 1893 (50 performances).


Utopia Limited

or,
The Flowers of Progress

Written by W. S. Gilbert
Music by Arthur Sullivan
October 7th, 1893 - June 9th, 1894 (245 performances)


Mirette

Opera Comique in Three Acts.

Founded on the French of Michel Carré.
English lyrics by Frederic E. Weatherley.
English dialogue by Harry Greenbank.
New version with new lyrics by Adrian Ross.
Music by André Messager [and Hope Temple (= Dotie Davis)].
July 3 - August 11, 1894 (41 performances);
Revised version October 6 - December 6, 1894 (61 performances).


The Chieftain

An Original Comic Opera in Two Acts.

Written by F. C. Burnand.
Music by Arthur Sullivan.
December 12, 1894 - March 16, 1895 (97 performances).
This opera is a reworking of Sullivan and Burnand's The Contrabandista (1867).


From April 16 to June 15, 1895, the theatre was occupied by the Carl Rosa Opera Company.


The Mikado

Revival

November 6, 1895 - March 4, 1896 (127 performances)


The Grand Duke

or,
The Statutory Dual

Written by W. S. Gilbert.
Music by Arthur Sullivan.
March 7 - July 10, 1896 (123 performances).


The Mikado

Revival

July 11, 1896 - February 17, 1897 (226 performances)


His Majesty

or,
The Court of Vingolia

An Original English Comic Opera in Two Acts.

Dialogue by F. C. Burnand.
Lyrics by R. C. Lehmann.
Additional lyrics by Adrian Ross.
Music by Alexander C. Mackenzie.
February 20 - April 24, 1897 (61 performances).


The Yeomen of the Guard

First London Revival

May 5 1897 - November 20, 1897 (186 performances)


The Grand Duchess

A Comic Opera in Three Acts.

Founded on the French of Henri Meilhac and Ludovic Halévy.
Lyrics by Adrian Ross.
Dialogue by Charles H. E. Brookfield.
Music by Jacques Offenbach.
December 4, 1897 - March 12, 1898 (99 performances).
First produced at the Variétés, Paris, April 12, 1867.

This is an original translation of Offenbach's popular (and risque) operetta. The Grand Duchess is attracted to Fritz, a handsome private in her army, and promptly raises him in the ranks to general and baron. This annoys Prince Paul, who has arrived to marry her; General Boum, the commandant of her army; and Baron Puck, her guardian. The three of them plot to get Fritz out of the way. Eventually they arrange to show that Paul had beaten Fritz in a duel of honour.


The Gondoliers

First London Revival

March 22 - May 21, 1898 (62 performances)


The Beauty Stone

An Original Romantic Musical Drama in Three Acts.

Written by Arthur Wing Pinero and J. Comyns Carr.
Music by Arthur Sullivan.
May 28 - July 16, 1898 (50 performances).


The Gondoliers

Revival

July 18 - September 17, 1898 (63 performances)


The Sorcerer
and
Trial by Jury

Revival

September 22 - December 31, 1898 (102 performances)


The Lucky Star

A Comic Opera in Three Acts.

Based on L'Étoile, written by Eugène Leterrier and Albert Vanloo (additional material by Paul Verlaine) and music by Alexis-Emmanuel Chabrier, and
The Merry Monarch
, an American translation by Cheever Goodwin with music by Woolson Morse.
English lyrics by Adrian Ross and Aubrey Hopwood.
English dialogue by Charles H. E. Brookfield.
Revised and assembled by H. L. (= Helen Lenoir [Helen D'Oyly Carte]).
Music by Ivan Caryll.
January 7 - May 31, 1899 (143 performances).


HMS Pinafore
and
Trial by Jury

Revival

6 June 1899 through 25 November 1899 (174 performances)


The Rose of Persia

or,
The Story-Teller and the Slave

A New Comic Opera in Two Acts.

Written by Basil Hood.
Music by Arthur Sullivan.
November 29, 1899 - June 28, 1900 (220 performances).


The Pirates of Penzance

Revival

June 30 - November 3, 1900 (127 performances)


Patience

First London Revival

November 7, 1900 - April 20, 1901 (150 performances)


The Emerald Isle

or,
The Caves of Carrig-Cleena

A New and Original Comic Opera in Two Acts.

Written by Basil Hood.
Composed by Arthur Sullivan and Edward German.
27 April 1901 through 9 November 1901 (205 performances).


Ib and Little Christina

Written by Basil Hood
Music by Franco Leoni
Based on the Hans Christian Anderson fairy tale of the same name.

and

The Willow Pattern

Written by Basil Hood
Music by Cecil Cook

A quite clever elaboration of the familiar story of the willow pattern, but with the addition of some extra characters, notably a rogue Ping-Pong who helps to trick the father into allowing his daughter to marry her lover.

These two short operas played together from 14 November 1901 until 29 November 1901, a total of 16 performances.


Iolanthe

First London Revival

December 7, 1901 - March 29, 1902 (113 performances)


Merrie England

A New and Original Comic Opera in Two Acts.

Written by Basil Hood.
Composed by Edward German.
April 2 - July 30 1902 (120 performances — William Greet, Manager).

Edward German's patriotic pageant deals with love and rivalries at the court of Queen Elizabeth I, a monarch jealous of Sir Walter Raleigh's affection for Bessie Throckmorton, revealed to her by the Earl of Essex. It perpetuates the fiction that the England of Good Queen Bess was actually merry and includes the well known song for the Queen O peaceful England and the stirring The Yeomen of England.


A Princess of Kensington

A New and Original Comic Opera in Two Acts.

Written by Basil Hood.
Composed by Edward German.
January 22 - May 16 1903 (115 performances ).

Teased eternally by the sprite Puck (Walter Passmore), Fairy Prince Azuriel (Ernest Torrence) has nursed jealousy for a thousand years over the love once shared by the fairy Kenna (Constance Drever) and the long-dead mortal Prince Albion. Finally – forgetting about such things as mortal men's mortality – he decides that he will force Albion to wed someone else. Puck and Kenna choose William Jelf of the S S Albion (Henry Lytton) and Joy Jellicoe (Louie Pounds) to perform the charade. Since he is engaged to zealous Nell Reddish (Rosina Brandram) and she to Lieutenant Brook Green (Robert Evett) there are many complications before the testy fairy is calmed and the mortals can get back to normality.


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