William Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan

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William Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan

"Three Little Maids From School" video From Gilbert and Sullivan's Operetta "Mikado."

Gilbert and SullivanBy: Nathan Smith 6MU

Sir William Schwenk GilbertBorn: November 18 1836, LondonDied: May 29 1911, Harrow, LondonLibrettist or author who wrote the words for many famous operettas and dramatic musicals.

Sir Arthur SullivanBorn: May 13 1842, LondonDied: November 20 1900, LondonComposer and conductor of ballads, operettas, and many piano, choral, and orchestral works.

Gilbert traveled a lot with his family as a boy then attended the Great Ealing School folowed by Kings College, both in London. His first job was drawing and writing for the comic magazine "Fun." Next, he started writing plays. Some of his popular playwrights were "Uncle Baby"(1863), "Dalcamara" and "Hush a Baby"(1866), "LaVivandiere"(1867), "The Pretty Druidess" and "No Cards"(1869).

Sullivan grew up in a musical home with a dad who was a bandmaster. By age eight, Sullivan could play every instrument in the band. He got a first Mandelssohn Scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music in London. He went on to study at the Leipzig Conservatory where he met Liszt and Grieg. His early works were popular, but he was made famous by his orchestra music for the play The Tempest in 1861.

Two Great Minds Come Together

In 1871 Gilbert and Sullivan were introduced and decided to work together. Their first partnership of words and music was with "Thespis" in 1871, but it was a failure. They tried a second time with "Trial by Jury" in 1875 . It was a huge success and became the first of many operettas known as the "Savoy Operettas." An Operetta is a comic opera that combines song, dialogue, and dance. Gilbert and Sullivan created 14 succesful comic operettas between 1871 and 1896. The written plots by Gilbert and the amazing songs by Sullivan were a dynamic combination. Some of their most popular operas were "The Sorcerer"(1877), "HMS Pinafore"(1878), "The Pirates of Penzance"(1879), "Patience"(1881), "Iolanthe"(1882), "Princess Ida"(1884), "The Mikado"(1885),"Ruddigore"(1887), "The Yeomen of the Guard"(1888), and "The Gondeliers"(1889). At the turn of the century, in the 1900s, many of these operettas started to be performed in the United States. Eventually,Gilbert and Sullivan became known throughout the world for all of their fabulous works. Their works are still enjoyed today.

"I am the Very Model" video from Gilbert and Sullivan'sOperetta "Pirates of Penzance"

"Sir Arthur Sullivan (British Composer)." Encyclopedia Britannica Online. Encyclopedia Britannica, n.d. Web. 10 Dec. 2013.

"Sir W.S. Gilbert (British Playwright)." Encyclopedia Britannica Online. Encyclopedia Britannica, n.d. Web. 10 Dec.2013.

Sir Arthur SullivanBorn: May 13, 1842, LondonDied: November 22 1900, LondonComposer and conductor of many famous operettas and musical works.

"I Am the Very Model of a Modern Major-General." YouTube. YouTube, 11 Nov. 2007. Web. 10 Dec. 2013.

""Three Little Maids From School Are We"" YouTube. YouTube, 15 June 2007. Web. 10 Dec. 2013.




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