Portal:Gilbert and Sullivan/Selected quote

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Quote list[edit]

Portal:Gilbert and Sullivan/Selected quote/1

Stephen Sondheim
The fact is popular art dates. It grows quaint. How many people feel strongly about Gilbert and Sullivan today compared to those who felt strongly in 1890?
Stephen Sondheim, (1989)

Portal:Gilbert and Sullivan/Selected quote/2

W.S. Gilbert
While Darwinian Man, though well-behaved, At best is only a monkey shaved!

Portal:Gilbert and Sullivan/Selected quote/3

Arthur Sullivan
..musical composition, like everything else, is the outcome of hard work. ... If I had waited for inspiration I am afraid I should have done nothing.

Portal:Gilbert and Sullivan/Selected quote/4

George Grossmith
Of course, I haven’t any voice to speak of, but I have a great register, and Sullivan used to amuse himself by making me sing bass in one number of an opera and tenor in another. In 'Ruddygore', Sir Arthur had engaged a man to play the servant, my menial, so to speak, who had an enormous bass voice, and who had to go down to the lower E flat. Singularly enough, he could go down to G, and then he dropped out entirely, and I did the [low E-flat] below. Generally the audience roared with laughter, and it absolutely brought down the house.

Portal:Gilbert and Sullivan/Selected quote/5

Jessie Bond
Surely, I felt, it would interest a public that still loves the Gilbert and Sullivan Operas, and even outside that public the human story of a girl's ambitions and aspirations, of her struggle with adverse circumstances and the gradual attainment of her desires, must have value if told simply and sincerely.... I am one of the last of my generation. I have outlived prejudices and animosities, and can look back on my own life as on an interesting story. That I have tried to make it. An absolutely true story of struggle and gradual attainment may perhaps encourage some weary young aspirant, and to do that would alone make it well worth while.

Portal:Gilbert and Sullivan/Selected quote/6

Barrington as Pooh Bah in The Mikado, 1895
The final tie of the Association Football Cup was being played at the Crystal Palace, and I determined to sing them a verse giving the score at half-time.... I had written... an alternative two lines to suit whichever team had scored, but when the curtain rose for my turn the news had not come. While I was singing the song I saw the stage manager in the wings waving a telegram. ...I went to the wings, got the envelope, opened it before the audience, and sang them the information that Aston Villa was a goal ahead. I do not think I have ever had a greater success with a verse.

Portal:Gilbert and Sullivan/Selected quote/7

George Bernard Shaw
Those who are old enough to compare the Savoy performances with those of the dark ages, taking into account the pictorial treatment of the fabrics and colours on the stage, the cultivation and intelligence of the choristers, the quality of the orchestra, and the degree of artistic good breeding, so to speak, expected from the principals, best know how great an advance has been made by Mr. D'Oyly Carte.

Portal:Gilbert and Sullivan/Selected quote/8

Henry Lytton
[Richard D'Oyly] Carte could take in the details of a scene with one sweep of his eagle eye and say unerringly just what was wrong. ...he noticed that Ko-Ko's love scene with Katisha might be improved, and so we went together for an extra rehearsal.... Mr. Carte said he would be Katisha and I, of course, was to be Ko-Ko. Now, to make love to a bearded man, and a man who was one's manager into the bargain, was rather a task, but we both entered heartily into the spirit of the thing. "Just act as you would if you were on the stage," was his advice, "though you needn't actually kiss me, you know!" ...Little Rupert D'Oyly Carte was there, and before the rehearsal commenced, I lifted him on to the bar counter, where he sat and simply held his sides with laughter watching me making earnest love to his father!" That "eye" for stagecraft... has been inherited in a quite remarkable degree by his son, Mr. Rupert D'Oyly Carte. He, too, has the gift of taking in the details of a scene at a glance, and knowing instinctively just what must be corrected....

Portal:Gilbert and Sullivan/Selected quote/9

Rupert D'Oyly Carte
...the plays are all being restaged... Gilbert's words will be unaltered, though there will be some freshness in the method of rendering them. Artists must have scope for their individuality, and new singers cannot be tied down to imitate slavishly those who made successes in the old days.

Portal:Gilbert and Sullivan/Selected quote/10

Decima Moore
I had to make my first entrance in a gondola, with my back to the audience; and when I turned round to get out of it and faced the house my feelings were such that I shall never forget. I had only been to about three theatres in my life, and, of course, had never seen an audience in evening dress from the stage. When I did see that audience... I felt a "catch" in the chest as if I had fallen into an ice-cold bath and it had taken away all my breath. I stuck my finger nails into my palms and said, "This won't do!" and walked down the stage, trying to remember all I had been told to do and not to do. I got through the evening in a kind of dream, wept all the way home in the hansom, convinced I had been a failure.


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