Talk:Princess Ida

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Whom thou hast chained?[edit]

That does not look right to me. I think it should be "Whom thou has chained." Are you sure? --Ssilvers 16:07, 8 August 2006 (UTC)

It's what it says in the VS (well, "chain'd", but that's because I have the god-awful crap fest of the 1970's re-setting with its ridiculously stupid font choice.) and is the correct old-fashioned declecion of "have" (I have, thou hast, he hath). Adam Cuerden 17:39, 8 August 2006 (UTC)
I checked a range of scores and librettos, and "hast" it is. Marc Shepherd 02:13, 9 August 2006 (UTC)

Vocal range of Hildebrand[edit]

I changed this to Bass-baritone, and it was changed back to baritone. Anyone who has ever sung Hildebrand can tell you that it sits very low, like Pirate King and Don A. Yes, Hildebrand has to shout a high F, but the tessitura of the role is definitely bassy. But suit yourself. --Ssilvers 13:23, 9 August 2006 (UTC)

Copy editing[edit]

I would not categorize copy editing and adding sections which already existed as major edits. Perhaps there were in my edits changes to the nuance of the text, which were not my intention; I feel the text isn't altogether clear in places, and is slightly verbose in others. Here are my proposed edits to the copy along with my reasons.

  • I feel the statement regarding 8/14 could easily be elided to the previous sentence to improve its flow.

Princess Ida, or Castle Adamant, is a comic opera with music by Arthur Sullivan and libretto by W. S. Gilbert. It was their eighth operatic collaboration of fourteen.

    • Wikipedia prefers short sentences (see WP:MOS). I really think it's clearer in two sentences. -- Ssilvers (talk) 01:36, 28 July 2008 (UTC)
  • The following statements could be combined into one sentence without sacrificing the linear narrative of which begot which.

Princess Ida is based on a narrative poem by Alfred Tennyson called The Princess, and Gilbert had written a farcical parody of the poem in 1870. He lifted much of the dialogue of Princess Ida directly from his 1870 farce.

    • Gilbert's 1870 farce is relatively unimportant. I don't want to bury the Tennyson or confuse it with Gilbert's The Princess, as I thought your edit did. Also, the comic opera, Princess Ida is actually closer in tone to the Tennyson than the 1870 piece was. It's really rather complicated, and I think the fact that it was a two-step process needs to be emphasized. Perhaps it is not written as clearly now as it should be, but I think your edit confused it more. --Ssilvers (talk) 01:36, 28 July 2008 (UTC)
  • In the revision I edited, is was not clear in what context Princess Ida was considered unsuccessful: Compared to the rest of the oeuvre, the original production, all of the runs of the D'Oyly Carte, the quality of the music, etc. etc.?

By Savoy Opera standards, Princess Ida was not considered a success (a particularly hot summer in London did not help ticket sales), and it was not revived in London until 1919. Nevertheless, the piece is performed regularly today by both professional and amateur companies, although not as frequently as the most popular of the Savoy operas. This was the eighth operatic collaboration of fourteen between Gilbert and Sullivan.

Thanks. --Blehfu (talk) 21:46, 27 July 2008 (UTC)

    • I think it is clear that we are discussing the original production and the G&S canon generally. But in any case, the statement is true no matter how you slice it. The original production was less successful than all of the G&S shows from Pinafore (1878) to The Gondoliers (1889), it was revived less often, and to this day it is performed less often than the others, except for Utopia, Limited and The Grand Duke (the last two from the 1890s).

All suggestions are, of course, welcome, and I made several of your changes. All the best, -- Ssilvers (talk) 01:36, 28 July 2008 (UTC)

Thank you for replying. In replying to your points:

  • I cannot find any mention towards the preference of shorter sentences in WP:MOS. It runs against my grain as far as my own personal writing style is concerned, but if you can point out exactly where this is stated, I'll oblige.
  • Thank you for clearing up the egg and the chickens that sprung from them. I did not know the narrative was complicated.
  • The last paragraph of the article, as it stands, feels grafted on. Perhaps I am splitting hairs, but in any case I don't think adding the words "original production" will cause any harm. --Blehfu (talk) 02:53, 28 July 2008 (UTC)

Sorry, not the MOS. The closest guideline is WP:TRITE ("Be Concise"). But I can tell you that when articles are edited by the Good Article or Featured Article process, longer sentences are inevitably broken down. Best regards, -- Ssilvers (talk) 03:17, 28 July 2008 (UTC)

Thank you for bearing with my gaffes, as they occur. I'm going through a bout of wikipedia editing, and simultaneously preparing the score of Ida for an upcoming production, so I thought I'd combine the two. I won't claim much scholarly knowledge, which is part part of the reason for my being here--- --Blehfu (talk) 03:33, 28 July 2008 (UTC)

If you like G&S, you might be interested in joining the G&S project here on Wikipedia. We are gradually improving the coverage and quality of articles on G&S. See WP:G&S. Currently, we are working on Arthur Sullivan and H.M.S. Pinafore. We'll get to Ida eventually, and then we'll give it a thorough upgrade. Meanwhile, your edits are very helpful! All the best, -- Ssilvers (talk) 13:42, 28 July 2008 (UTC)

Re Section "Productions Now. (Please update)"[edit]

I have completely removed this inappropriate section. Wikipedia articles are not blogs or crystal balls. Note also that instructions like "please update" and the other instructional comments are completely inappropriate in an article. When a production takes place, and if it is notable, it can be added to the performance history. Voceditenore (talk) 14:14, 20 October 2008 (UTC)


The plot and musical numbers sections need to be moved up and to stand as section 1 & section 2, replacing the details of the personal lives of Gilbert which should be moved down as far less on-point to the topic. As it is, the lead is buried. One comes to this article to learn about Princess Ida, and would go to a different article if one wanted to learn all about Gilbert or Sullivan. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:20, 22 June 2013 (UTC)


Hello! This is a note to let the editors of this article know that five illustrations from this article will be appearing as picture of the day on March 30, 2014. You can view and edit the POTD blurbs at Template:POTD/2014-03-30 (check for the subpages). If this article needs any attention or maintenance, it would be preferable if that could be done before its appearance on the Main Page. Thanks! — Crisco 1492 (talk) 09:12, 11 March 2014 (UTC)

Picture of the day
Princess Ida

Princess Ida is a comic opera with music by Arthur Sullivan and a libretto by W. S. Gilbert. First performed at the Savoy Theatre on 5 January 1884, the piece involves Prince Hilarion and his two friends sneaking into a women's college, disguised as women, to woo Princess Ida, to whom he was wed in infancy. Ida, a feminist, has rejected all mankind, and when Hilarion's identity is accidentally revealed, a battle of the sexes ensues.

This illustration is from the 1909 printing of Savoy Operas, a illustrated compilation of four of the Gilbert and Sullivan works. This illustration presents the stage direction "Enter Princess, reading."

See another illustration

Illustration: William Russell Flint; restoration: Adam Cuerden
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