Gilbert & Sullivan

On the Bookshelf


Gilbert and Sullivan: A Dual Biography by Michael Ainger

Call Number: ML410.S95 A77 2002
ISBN: 9780195349009
Publication Date: 2002
‘A Gilbert is of no use without a Sullivan.’With these words, W.S. Gilbert summed up his reasons for persisting in his collaboration with Arthur Sullivan despite the combative nature of their relationship. In fact, Michael Ainger suggests in Gilbert and Sullivan the success of the pair’s work is a direct result of their personality clash, as each partner challenged the other to produce his best work. After exhaustive research into the D’Oyly Carte collection of documents, Ainger offers the most detailed account to date of Gilbert and Sullivan’s starkly different backgrounds and long working partnership. Having survived an impoverished and insecure childhood, Gilbert flourished as a financially successful theater professional, married happily and established himself as a property owner. His sense of proprietorship extended beyond real estate, and he fought tenaciously to protect the integrity of his musical works. Sullivan, the product of a supportive family who nourished his talent, was much less satisfied with stability than his collaborator. His creative self-doubts and self-demands led to nervous and physical breakdowns, but it also propelled the team to break the successful mode of their earliest work to produce more ambitious pieces of theater, including The Mikado and The Yeoman of the Guards. Offering previously-unpublished draft libretti and personal letters, this thorough double-biography will be an essential addition to the library of any Gilbert and Sullivan fan.


Modified Rapture: Comedy in W.S Gilbert’s Savoy Operas by Alan Fischler

Call Number: PR4714 .F57 1991
Publication Date: 1991
ISBN: 0813913349
The professional success achieved by W. S. Gilbert was unique in nineteenth-century English theater: he was the first dramatist ever to be knighted for his stage works, which yielded him a fortune that his less prosperous playwriting predecessors could scarcely have imagined. The Savoy operas-so called after the theater at which most of them were originally produced-were comedies. But comedy, in its traditional form, was hardly congenial to the prevailing social prejudices of the Victorian age: it features the triumph of rebelliousness over laws and rules, ridicules the keepers of the established order, and celebrates the victory of the erotic instinct over repression. Spectacles of this kind were especially uncomfortable for the newly arrived middle class, intent on making itself conspicuous for its dedication to respectability and duty. In fact, before Gilbert’s Savoy productions, many of the bourgeoisie refused altogether to patronize the English stage, where the dominant form was comedy in its various guises. Beginning with H. M. S. Pinafore, Fischler demonstrates how Gilbert made it his business to cater to the sensibilities of the middle class through the structure he imposed on his plots, the approach he took to characterization, and the treatment he accorded erotic love, the quintessential theme of comedy. The book’s conclusions not only illuminate Gilbert’s own comic practice but point the way toward a new understanding of the transactions between comedy in general and the spirit of the Victorian age.

Gilbert and Sullivan: Gender, Genre, and Parody by Carolyn Williams

Call Number: ML410.S95 W45 2011
ISBN: 9780231519663
Publication Date: 2011
Long before the satirical comedy of The Daily Show and The Colbert Report, the comic operas of W. S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan were the hottest send-ups of the day’s political and cultural obsessions. Gilbert and Sullivan’s productions always rose to the level of social commentary, despite being impertinent, absurd, or inane. Some viewers may take them straight, but what looks like sexism or stereotype was actually a clever strategy of critique. Parody was a powerful weapon in the culture wars of late-nineteenth-century England, and with defiantly in-your-face sophistication, Gilbert and Sullivan proved that popular culture can be intellectually as well as politically challenging.


The complete plays of Gilbert and Sullivan
The Complete Plays of Gilbert and Sullivan

Call Number: ML49.S9 A1 1984
Publication Date: 1984
ISBN: 32777006530310


Gilbert and Sullivan: Interviews and Recollections by Harold Orel

Call Number: ML410.S95 G55 1994
Publication Date: 1994
ISBN: 0877454426

Plays by W.S Gilbert edited and introduction by George Rowell

Call Number: PR4713 .A4 1982
Publication Date: 1982
ISBN: 0521235898
This edition includes four plays and one libretto, covering more than twenty years of the dramatist’s career: The Palace of Truth (1870), Sweethearts (1874), Princess Toto (1876), Engaged (1877) and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern (1891). The collection demonstrates that Gilbert was an original dramatist in his own right. The sophisticated irony of his plays challenged the conventions of the Victorian burlesque and sentimental comedy by demanding, and receiving, an intelligent response from the audience. George Rowell’s useful and thorough introduction, which presents the theatrical background to Gilbert’s development, also shows the dramatist’s influence on Pinero, Wilde and Shaw. Gilbert’s style combines a technique rarely realistic and stretching to fantasy with a tone apparently cynical and in fact deeply pessimistic. This odd pairing of fantasy and fatalism was recognized by his own and later generations as ‘Gilbertian’ and the term has been widely applied even outside the theatre.
Contradiction Contradicted by Andrew Crowther

Call Number: PR4714 .C76 2000
Publication Date: 2000
ISBN: 0838638392
This book is a critical study of the dramatic works of W. S. Gilbert — not only the famous libretti for other composers, but also his comedies and farces, his serious dramas, and his blank-verse plays. Aspects of his craft such as plot construction, lyric writing, and “stage management” (directing) are discussed. The bulk of the book explores the ideas and attitudes that are expressed in the plays, with particular attention to his concern with irony and inversion.


Arthur Sullivan: A Victorian Musician by Arthur Jacobs

Call Number: ML410.S95 J28 1992b
Publication Date: 1992
ISBN: 0193154439
A full biography of a composer whose work extended far beyond the operettas for which he is known today.


Gilbert and Sullivan: Their Lives and Times by Leslie Baily

Call Number: ML410.S95 B3
Publication Date: 1973
ISBN: 0670339903


Sir Arthur Sullivan by Percy M Young

Call Number: ML410.S95 Y7 1972
Publication Date: 1972


Plays and Poems of W.S Gilbert

Call Number: PR4713 .A1 1932
Publication Date: 1932
Plays & poems of W.S. Gilbert, with a preface by Deems Taylor; including the complete text of the fourteen Gilbert and Sullivan operas, three other Gilbert plays and all of the Bab ballads. With illustrations by the author.


Gilbert and Sullivan and Their Operas by Francois Cellier & Cunningham Bridgeman

Call Number: ML410.S95 C4 1970
Publication Date: 1970
Gilbert and Sullivan and their operas; with recollections and anecdotes of D’Oyly Carte & other famous Savoyards, by Francois Cellier & Cunningham Bridgeman.
Stephen Sondheim and the Reinvention of the American Musical by Robert L. McClaughlin

Call Number: ML410.S6872 M36 2016
Publication Date: 2016
ISBN: 9781496808554
Stephen Sondheim and the Reinvention of the American Musical places Sondheim’s work in two contexts: the exhaustion of the musical play and the postmodernism that, by the 1960s, deeply influenced all the American arts. Sondheim’s musicals are central to the transition from the Rodgers and Hammerstein–style musical that had dominated Broadway stages for twenty years to a new postmodern musical. This new style reclaimed many of the self-aware, performative techniques of the 1930s musical comedy to develop its themes of the breakdown of narrative knowledge and the fragmentation of identity. In his most recent work, Sondheim, who was famously mentored by Oscar Hammerstein II, stretches toward a twenty-first-century musical that seeks to break out of the self-referring web of language. Stephen Sondheim and the Reinvention of the American Musical offers close readings of all of Sondheim’s musicals and finds in them critiques of the operation of power, questioning of conventional systems of knowledge, and explorations of contemporary identity.


how quaint the ways of paradox! by Philip H. Dillard

Cal Number: ML134.S97 D5 1991
Publication Date: 1991
ISNB: 0810824450
Sir W.S. Gilbert (1836-1911) and Sir Arthur Sullivan (1842-1900) are best remembered today for the fourteen Savoy comic operas on which they collaborated between 1871 and 1896. But Gilbert also dominated the British dramatic stage for more than 30 years, and Sullivan was recognized at an early age as the composer of serious works. This book identifies 968 articles, monographs, and dissertations by and about Gilbert and Sullivan. Works of history and analysis cover their lives, their separate and joint professional careers, and the Victorian world in which they lived and worked. Dillard also identifies and describes the products of their genius_poems, plays, librettos, and musical scores. He has examined over 90% of the entries to ensure the existence of the items cited and the accuracy of information about them.


Acting the Song: Performance Skills for the Musical Theatre by Tracey Moore

Call Number: MT956 .M67 2016
Publication Date: 2016
ISBN: 9781621535225 1621535223
Acting the Song offers a contemporary, integrated approach to singing in musicals that results in better-trained, smarter performers everyone wants to work with. In this new, thoroughly updated edition of the paperback, directors and teachers of musical theater will find guidance in developing and leading musical theater elements, classroom workshops, and the world of professional auditions and performances. Singing and acting terminology, Use of microphones, recording devices, and other technology, Vocal and physical warm-ups, movements, and gestures, Creating a character, Finding subtext, interpreting music and lyrics, and song structure, Collaborating with other actors, Keeping a performance fresh and new, Using social media and online audition sites.


W.S Gilbert by Max Keith Sutton

Call Number: PR4714 .S8
Publication Date:1975
ISBN: 0805712178


Gilbert and Sullivan compiled by Frank Ledlie Moore

Call Number: MT100.S9747 M7 1975
Publication Date: 1975
ISBN: 080520475X
Handbook of Gilbert and Sullivan, compiled by Frank Ledlie Moore and introduction by Dorothy Raedler.


Gilbert & Sullivan: The Creative Conflict by David Eden

Call Number: ML410.S95 E3 1986
Publication Date: 1986
ISBN: 0838632823
In a new and challenging approach to the collaborators and their operas, this book demonstrates that Gilbert’s libretti have a significant autobiographical content that Freudian theories can elucidate. It also analyzes Sullivan’s musical personality, pointing to the differences and difficulties of this creative partnership.


W.S Gilbert: A Century of Scholarship and Commentary
Call Number: PR4714 .J6
Publication Date: 1970
ISBN: 0814704646
Edited and with an introduction by John Bush Jones. Foreword by Bridget D’Oyly Carte.


W.S Gilbert: A Classic Victorian and his Theatre by Jane W. Stedman

Call Number: PR4714 .S74 1996
Publication Date: 1996
ISBN: 0198161743
W. S. Gilbert was one of the giants of nineteenth-century Victorian theatre. He was already the leading young dramatist of his day when he began his celebrated collaboration with Arthur Sullivan, a partnership that produced the great Savoy Operas–still the most popular light operas in the world–and established him at the pinacle of his craft. Now, in W. S. Gilbert: A Classic Victorian and His Theatre, Jane W. Stedman provides an insightful biography of this major theatrical figure. To write this biography, Stedman has returned to the original sources, has talked or corresponded with survivors of Gilbert’s generation who knew him, researched deeply into Victorian publications such as Punch, Athenaeum, and Theatre, and has had access to hitherto unpublished materials. The result is not only the most accurate biography of Gilbert ever written, but also the most finely textured, revealing a Gilbert of more complexity and interest than has emerged before.


Sir Arthur Sullivan: A Resource Book by Philip H. Dillard

Call Number: ML134.S97 D53 1996
Publication Date: 1996
ISBN: 0810831570
This resource book will delight fans, researchers, and students and is the definitive reference work to the composer who matched his scintillating, melodious music to Gilbert’s clever words. Illustrated by the author, Sir Arthur Sullivan provides a biography of Sullivan, brief sketches of his associates and contemporaries, and venues where his plays were performed. It includes a chart that lists fifty-four performers who appeared in his operas as well as lists of songs written by Sullivan and descriptions of Sullivan’s operas with information on the librettist, premiere dates, cast lists, and notes on the performance history. An exhaustive listing of resources that describe music scores, audio and video recordings in all formats, motion pictures, archives and collections, and relevant Internet sites is included as are a bibliography on Sullivan and his music and a full complement of indexes.


Anything Goes: A History of American Musical Theatre by Ethan Mordden

Call Number:ML1711 .M732 2013
Publication Date: 2013
ISBN: 9780199892839
Anything Goes stages a grand revue of the musical from the 1700s through to the present day, narrated in Mordden’s famously witty, scholarly, and conversational style. He places us in a bare rehearsal room as the cast of Oklahoma! changes history by psychoanalyzing the plot in the greatest of the musical’s many Dream Ballets. And he gives us tickets for orchestra seats on opening night-raising the curtain on the pleasures of Victor Herbert’s The Red Mill and the thrill of Porgy and Bess. Mordden examines the music, of course, but also more neglected elements. Dance was once considered as crucial as song; he follows it from the nineteenth century’s zany hoofing to tap “combinations” of the 1920s, from the injection of ballet and modern dance in the 1930s and ’40s to the innovations of Bob Fosse. He also explores the changing structure of musical comedy and operetta, and the evolution of the role of the star. Fred Stone, the avuncular Scarecrow in the Wizard of Oz, seldom varied his acting from part to part; but the versatile Ethel Merman turned the headlining role inside out in Gypsy, playing a character who was selfish, fierce, and destructive.


Her Turn on Stage: The Role of Women in Musical Theatre by Grace Barnes

Call Number: ML82 .B33 2015
Publication Date: 2015
ISBN: 0786498617
Audiences for musical theater are predominantly women, yet shows are frequently created and produced by men. Onstage, female characters are depicted as victims or sex objects and lack the complexity of their male counterparts. Offstage, women are under-represented among writers, directors, composers and choreographers. While other areas of the arts rally behind gender equality, musical theater demonstrates a disregard for women and an authentic female voice. If musical theater reflects prevailing societal attitudes, what does the modern musical tell us about the place of women in contemporary America, the UK and Australia? Are women deliberately kept out of musical theater by men jealously guarding their territory or is the absence of women a result of the modernization of the genre? Based on interviews with successful female performers, writers, directors, choreographers and executives, this book offers a unique female viewpoint on musical theater today.


The Groucho Phile by Groucho Marx

Call Number: PN2287.M53 A34
Publication Date: 1976
ISBN: 067252239X
The life and times of Groucho Marx. With an introduction by Hector Arce.


H.M.S Pinafore, and other plays by W.S Gilbert

Call Number: PR4713 .A1 1925
Publication Date: 1925
H.M.S. Pinafore, and other plays by W. S. Gilbert; with an introduction by Gilbert Gabriel


The Bab Ballads by W.S Gilbert

Call Number: PR4713 .B3 1970
Publication Date: 1970
ISBN: 0674058003
W. S. Gilbert, renowned author of the Savoy Operas, was also the creator of the Bab Ballads–“possibly the best comic verse–and surely the best illustrated–in the English language,” according to James Ellis. Gilbert published these poems, together with his own, grotesque drawings signed “Bab,” a childhood nickname, in Fun and other magazines in the late nineteenth century. In 1898, the older and by then distinguished Gilbert substituted pallid and inoffensive drawings for the originals, which he had come to believe “erred gravely in the direction of unnecessary extravagance.” Since then the ballads have been collected and published in various editions, most of which have featured the revised drawings and only a selection of the poems. This is the only book to offer the complete collection of ballads with all original illustrations, a tribute to the comic genius of a writer known as “the most original dramatist of his generation.” This collection will delight readers with its irreverence and wit.



Studying Musical Theatre Theory and Practice by Millie Taylor and Dominic Symonds

Call Number: ML2054 .T393 2014
Publication Date: 2014
ISBN: 9781137270955
The ideal accompaniment to any study of musical theatre, this lively textbook provides a comprehensive overview of the history, theory and practice of this popular theatre form. Bringing critical theory and musical theatre together, Millie Taylor and Dominic Symonds explore the musical stage from a broad range of theoretical perspectives, including narrative theory, orientalism, gender theory and globalization.


A Problem Like Maria: Gender and Sexuality in the American Musical by Stacy Wolf

Call Number: ML2054 .W65 2002
Publication Date: 2002
ISBN: 0472097725
Subverting assumptions that American musical theater is steeped in nostalgia, cheap sentiment, misogyny, and homophobia, this book shows how musicals of the 1950s and early 1960s celebrated strong women characters who defied the era’s gender expectations. A Problem Like Maria reexamines the roles, careers, and performances of four of musical theater’s greatest stars-Mary Martin, Ethel Merman, Julie Andrews, and Barbra Streisand-through a lesbian feminist lens. Focusing on both star persona and performance, Stacy Wolf argues that each of her subjects deftly crafted characters (both on and offstage) whose defiance of the norms of mid-twentiethcentury femininity had immediate appeal to spectators on the ideological and sexual margins, yet could still play in Peoria. Chapter by chapter, the book analyzes the stars’ best-known and best-loved roles, including Martin as Nellie in South Pacific, Merman as Momma Rose in GypsyAndrews as Eliza in My Fair Lady and Guinevere in Camelot, and Streisand as Fanny Brice in Funny Girl. The final chapter scrutinizes the Broadway and film versions of The Sound of Music, illuminating its place in the hearts of lesbian spectators and the “delicious queerness” of Andrews’s troublesome nun. As the first feminist and lesbian study of the American Broadway musical, A Problem Like Maria is a groundbreaking contribution to feminist studies, queer studies, and American studies and a delight for fans of musical theater.


The Secret Life of the American Musical: How Broadway Shows are Built by Jack Biertel
Call Number: ML1711 .V37 2016
Publication Date: 2016
ISBN: 0374256926
“Americans love musicals. Americans invented musicals. Americans perfected musicals. But what, exactly, is a musical? In [this book], Jack Viertel takes them apart, puts them back together, sings their praises, marvels at their unflagging inventiveness, and occasionally despairs over their more embarrassing shortcomings. In the process, he invites us to fall in love all over again by showing us how musicals happen, what makes them work, how they captivate audiences, and how one landmark show leads to the next.



The American Musical and the Formation of National Identity by Raymond Knapp

Call Number: ML1711 .K6 2005
Publication Date: 2005
ISBN: 0691118647
 The American musical has achieved and maintained relevance to more people in America than any other performance-based art. This thoughtful history of the genre, intended for readers of all stripes, offers probing discussions of how American musicals, especially through their musical numbers, advance themes related to American national identity.
The Gilbert & Sullivan Companion by Leslie Ayre
Call Number: ML410.S95 A9
Publication Date: 1972
ISBN: 0396066348
Biography and works of Gilbert & Sullivan

Music Direction from the Stage by Joseph Church
Call Number: MT955 .C59 2015
Publication Date: 2015
ISBN: 9780199993406
Theater music directors must draw on a remarkably broad range of musical skills. Not only do they conduct during rehearsals and performances, but they must also be adept arrangers, choral directors, vocal coaches, and accompanists. Like a record producer, the successful music director must have the flexibility to adjust as needed to a multifaceted job description, one which changes with each production and often with each performer.
In Music Direction for the Stage, veteran music director and instructor Joseph Church demystifies the job in a book that offers aspiring and practicing music directors the practical tips and instruction they need in order to mount a successful musical production. Church, one of Broadway’s foremost music directors, emerges from the orchestra pit to tell how the music is put into a musical show. He gives particular attention to the music itself, explaining how a music director can best plan the task of learning, analyzing, and teaching each new piece. Based on his years of professional experience, he offers a practical discussion of a music director’s methods of analyzing, learning, and practicing a score, thoroughly illustrated by examples from the repertoire. The book also describes how a music director can effectively approach dramatic and choreographic rehearsals, including key tips on cueing music to dialogue and staging, determining incidental music and underscoring, making musical adjustments and revisions in rehearsal, and adjusting style and tempo to performers’ needs. A key theme of the book is effective collaboration with other professionals, from the production team to the creative team to the performers themselves, all grounded in Church’s real-world experience with professional, amateur, and even student performances. He concludes with a look at music direction as a career, offering invaluable advice on how the enterprising music director can find work and gain standing in the field.

Lost Chords and Christian Soldiers by Ian Bradley
Call Number: ML410.S95 B733 2013
Publication Date: 2013
ISBN: 9780334044215
 Arthur Sullivan is best known as W. S. Gilbert’s collaborator in the Savoy Operas, However, Sullivan was far from being simply a composer of light operettas. At the height of his fame and popularity in late Victorian Britain, Sullivan was regarded as the nation’s leading composer of sacred oratorios on a par with Mendelssohn and Brahms. Yet despite his contemporary popularity and enduring legacy, little attention has been given to Sullivan’s sacred work. The last twenty years have seen a considerable revival of interest in and critical appreciation for this aspect of Sullivan’s work. Lost Chords and Christian Soldiers provides the first detailed, comprehensive, critical study and review of Sullivan’s church and sacred music. As well as exploring issues of repertoire and ecclesiology involved in these and other formative influences and experiences, consideration will be given to how far Sullivan’s own personal beliefs and faith influenced his settings of sacred texts and the extent to which his own spiritual and theological leaning are expressed in his choice of material and style of setting. Sullivan’s motivation in setting religious texts will be probed and comparison will be made with the motivation, output and approach of his closest contemporaries in this field, most notably Stainer.


The Encyclopedia of Musical Theatre, Volumes 1 & 2 by Kurt Ganzl
Call Number: ML102.M88 G3 1994
Publication Date: 1994
ISBN: 0028714458