Who are Gilbert and Sullivan?

Originally brought together by Sir Richard D’Oyle Carte in the late 1860’s, Gilbert and Sullivan’s first work, Thespis, was produced in 1871. They wrote 14 operettas over the course of their partnership. Sir Arthur Sullivan had always wanted to compose grand opera, and his most famous work, Ivanhoe, survives to this day. But he is perhaps best remembered for his most famous anthem Onward, Christian Soldiers, still sung to this day. While relatively traditional in their presentations of the Gilbert and Sullivan canon, Montreal West has, like other companies, modified lyrics and occasionally text to reflect current political times. As Gilbert and Sullivan were essentially political satirists, their works are easily adapted to any modern issue.

Arthur Sullivan

Sullivan was born in London on 13 May 1842. His father was a military bandmaster, and by the time Arthur had reached the age of 8, he was proficient with all the instruments in the band. In school he began to compose anthems and songs. In 1856, he received the first Mendelssohn …

View page »

W. S. Gilbert

W.S. Gilbert was born in London on 18 November 1836. His father William was a naval surgeon who later wrote novels and short stories, some of which included illustrations by his son. In 1861, the younger Gilbert began to write illustrated stories, poems and articles of his own to supplement his income. …

View page »