15th January 2014
Gilbert and Sullivan were the most popular musical collaboration during the nineteenth century. The composer, Sir Arthur Seymour Sullivan (1842-1900) and the dramatist and librettist, Sir William Schwenck Gilbert (1836 –1911) produced fourteen comic Operas together which were immensely successful. The works are sometimes called the Savoy Operas as Richard D’Oyley Carte (who brought Gilbert and Sullivan together) built the Savoy Theatre to showcase their work.
Gilbert and Sullivan were the toast of society and were part of a large group of artists who socialised together, including members of the William Morris and PreRaphaelite circle. There is a portrait of WS Gilbert dated 1886 by frank Holl in the National Portait Gallery in London which is exhibited next to JE Millais’ 1888 portrait of Arthur Sullivan.