Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Gilbert and Sullivan

February 2017 Monthly Meeting

The Social & Political Satire 
of Gilbert and Sullivan
Bernard Lockett 

Bernard Lockett gave an excellent talk on the works of Gilbert and Sullivan at our February monthly meeting.  He started by explaining that W S Gilbert was the writer and Arthur Sullivan the composer and they came together in 1871 and over the course of 25 years they wrote and produced 14 shows (more than Rodgers and Hammerstein and Andrew Lloyd Webber!).

W S Gilbert started his career as a barrister but really didn’t care for the law and he started recording his observations of Victorian society; he used satire to convey his concerns with the establishment, including the police and parliament and the treatment of the poor. 

Sullivan studied music in Leipzig and was knighted for his services to music.  He died at the age of 52 and was buried in St Pauls.

Their music was very popular in its day and brought together all the social classes. 

When Sullivan died, Gilbert returned to the law and was subsequently knighted for his work as a lawyer.  This angered him and so he never used his title and when he died in 1907, he was buried in his local town of Stanmore.

Their productions continue to be popular and are performed all over the world.