William Gilbert & Arthur Sullivan: a profile


Gilbert wrote over 75 plays and libretti and countless short stories, poems and lyrics ranging from the very serious to the rather silly.

Gilbert: Born 1836 / Died 1911

Sullivan: Born 1842 / Died 1900

He had short careers as both a government clerk and a lawyer but during the 1860s really began to focus on his writing In the 1870s he began his long and profitably collaboration with Arthur Sullivan.

Sullivan was born in Lambeth in 1842 and at the age of 14 was accepted in to the Royal Academy of Music. He went on to study in Leipzig and later travelled Europe and even discovered a lost score of Schuberts.


Although Sullivan had dreams of becoming what he considered to be a ‘serious’ composer, and has had many of these works published and performed, he is best known for his collaboration with Gilbert and together they wrote numerous operettas including Pirates of Penzance, HMS Pinafore, The Mikado and The Yeomen of the Guard.

Gilber & Sullivan and Opera on Location

??? (April 2016) | Blunham, Bakewell and Sheffield – see more

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