Gilbert and Sullivan Archive

The Prodigal Son

An Oratorio

The Words Selected Entirely from
The Holy Scriptures

The Music Composed by
Arthur S. Sullivan

First performed at the Worcester Music Festival on Wednesday 8th September, 1869
Worcester Cathedral
Worcester Cathedral

Preface, by Sir Arthur Sullivan

Historical Note by Paul Howarth

Reviews of the first performance from The Times, 9th September 1869 and 11th September 1869.

Review of a performance at the Gloucester Muiscal Festival, 1889.

Libretto, submitted to the G&S Archive by Ian Bond

Source of Scores:
  • The Vocal Score can be downloaded as a set of zipped pdf files.
  • IMSLP: Vocal Score [Boosey & Co., 1869] may be downloaded as a PDF file. There is also a copy of Schirmer's edition.
  • Full orchestral/conducting score of The Prodigal Son and complete orchestral material is published by The Amber Ring.
  • Vocal scores and libretti of The Prodigal Son may also be rented from St. David's Players of Cullompton, Exeter, England. Send queries to Ian Bond at

MIDI Files

We have a complete set of MIDI Files, submitted to the G&S Archive by Paul Howarth
No. 2.CHORUS: There is joy
No. 3.TENOR SOLO: A certain man had two sons
No. 4.BASS RECIT. & ARIA: My son, attend to my words
No. 5.SOPRANO RECIT.:And the younger son
No. 6.TENOR SOLO & CHORUS: Let us eat and drink
No. 7.CONTRALTO RECIT. & CHORUS: Woe unto them
No. 8.CONTRALTO SONG: Love not the world
No. 9.SOPRANO RECIT: And when he had spent all
No. 10.SOPRANO ARIA: O that thou hadst hearkened
No. 11.TENOR ARIA: How many hired servants
No. 12.CHORUS: There is joy
No. 13. SOPRANO RECIT.: And he arose... TENOR & BASS DUET: Father, I have sinned
No. 14.BASS RECIT. & ARIA: Bring forth the best robe
No. 15.CHORUS: O that men would praise the Lord
No. 16. TENOR RECIT.: No chastening for the present...ARIA: Come, ye children
No. 18CHORUS: Thou, O Lord, art our Father

Page updated 15 September 2003