Gilbert and Sullivan Archive

Sir Arthur Sullivan Centenary Toast

A toast to Sir Arthur Sullivan presented by Ian Martin, the General Manager of the D'Oyly Carte Company, on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of Sir Arthur Sullivan's death on November 22, 1900. Provided to the G&S Archive by Larry Simons.

MP3 Audio File (331K, 2 min. 45 seconds)
Sir Arthur Sullivan

The Toast

Thank you very much, Ladies and Gentlemen, I'm very glad you enjoyed the show. My name's Ian Martin, I'm the General Manager of the D'Oyly Carte, and I just want to crave your indulgence for a few moments more before we let you go home. Today's a very special day for us, today November 22nd, it marks a very important anniversary that we didn't want to let pass without properly recognizing it. It was 100 years ago today that Sir Arthur Sullivan, whose music we've all enjoyed tonight, died. We, as a Company, have had the great privilege of performing his music for the last 125 years.

It is often said that tonight's opera, "The Mikado", has been performed every single night, somewhere in the world, since it first premiered, on this stage, back in 1885. Today the Company is enjoying a new-found popularity, and this current season represents two very important mile-stones for us. Firstly, there are presently two performing D'Oyly Carte Opera Companies---this is the first time this has happened since the 1920's. We have this Company, at home on stage at the Savoy, presenting "The Mikado", and we have another Company, presenting "H.M.S. Pinafore", on a nation-wide tour which is currently at the Richmond Theatre in West London. Secondly, this is the first time that one Gilbert & Sullivan opera has taken the stage at the Savoy for such a long season since the first run of the operas back in the 1870's and 1880's. The vast majority of the operas which Sir Arthur wrote with Gilbert were performed on this stage first of all, at the Savoy Theatre. We're all very privileged to be continuing what is the greatest theatrical tradition in London, and probably one of the greatest musical heritages that we have in the United Kingdom. Tonight we'd like to offer our thanks to Sir Arthur Sullivan---our thanks for his music, which still inspires and entertains, 100 years on, and our thanks for his genius.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I hope you will join with us as we offer a toast to Sir Arthur Sullivan, and as we dedicate the remaining seven weeks of our season here at the Savoy, which will end on January 13th, to the memory of Sir Arthur. With thanks for the last 100 years of your music, and our commitment to the next 100 years, we thank you---Sir Arthur Sullivan.

Page created 4 February 2001