Talk:H.M.S. Pinafore/Archive 1

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Archive 1

Original comment

The article is entirely copied-and-pasted from the site linked above. -- (said Sophysduckling mistakenly.)

Well, duh. Look at the source of that site's article... "The source of this article is Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL." --Quuxplusone 00:20, 9 June 2005 (UTC)

Song List

I'd like to see a songlist made, the Mikado page has one., 21:42, 13 December 2005

  • So what's stopping you? Wahkeenah 00:17, 14 December 2005 (UTC)
  • There you are, a songlist. I tried to stick to the Libretto's listing (hence the large amount of capitalisation). Any improvements are more than welcome, but there it is as a basis. D-Chan 01:30, 30 December 2005 (GMT)
  • The song "For He is an Englishman" is missing from the song list. Isn't it the last song? ColinKennedy 22:07, 18 January 2006 (UTC)
    • The reprise of it is the last verbiage in the play, but the whole song is earlier. I'm not sure if D-Chan forgot it, or if he considered part of that earlier song, so I have simply referenced it and someone with better knowledge of the libretto can elaborate and/or correct. Wahkeenah 00:42, 19 January 2006 (UTC)
There seems to be a misunderstanding here. "For He is an Englishman" is not a separate song. It is a theme first sung by Ralph and the Chorus in the middle of "Carefully on Tiptoe Stealing" then reprised at the end of it and reprised again at the end of the Act II Finale. The numbered songlist is perfectly correct as it is. "Carefully on Tiptoe Stealing" includes several themes including "What was that", "You have gone too far", "My pain and my distress" and "His sisters and his cousins and his aunts" as well as "For He is an Englishman" but these form a narrative (and a musical) whole rather than being separate songs. -- Derek Ross | Talk 07:56, 19 January 2006 (UTC)
Then you should re-add that to the song list, or footnote it, or something, in order to anticipate the question. "He is an Englishman" is a lot more recognizable than "Carefully on tiptoe stealing" to the casual observer. Wahkeenah 13:19, 19 January 2006 (UTC)
Or, maybe I'll do it. :) Wahkeenah 13:19, 19 January 2006 (UTC)
I dood it. :) Wahkeenah 13:23, 19 January 2006 (UTC)
Have clarified the slightly eccentric choices of titles for the individual sections. Adam Cuerden 05:40, 27 March 2006 (UTC)
That looks okay. Perhaps we could do the same for some of the other numbers that are made up of well known parts -- Derek Ross | Talk 16:20, 19 January 2006 (UTC)
Go for it. Wahkeenah 17:19, 19 January 2006 (UTC)
Ok, then. When I was adding it, I was working with the libretto in my I said, I tried to stick to the libretto's listing...therefore, I typed what it said and pretty much how it said it. But then, different editions and all...Anyway, good point about the familiarity.D-Chan 22:30, 9th February 2006 (GMT)
You did a good job. Working with the libretto was exactly the right thing to do. All that we were discussing above was adding a bit more information, so that people could see how the libretto titles match up to some of the popular songs from the show which don't have a separate listing in the libretto. -- Cheers Derek Ross | Talk 22:46, 9 February 2006 (UTC)
Thanks! I have all the libretti now (bar Thespis, which I have in a book of all of them) so I was thinking of doing such lists for all the articles that don't currently have them. But that's if I can be bothered...after I did HMS Pinafore, I did Iolanthe, 14:55, 11th February 2006 (GMT)
And...done! Go take a look if you wish :) I haven't done Thespis, but I might...I dunno how able I'd be.D-Chan 21:48, 12th February 2006 (GMT)

As I understand it, Sir Joseph is not an Admiral, that is part of the point of the satire, that while he is First Lord he knows nothing about the Navy.Fat Red 00:11, 10 February 2006 (UTC)

You are correct. He is the civilian First Lord of the Admiralty (a mixture of civilian lords and admirals); not an admiral himself. And as you say, he knows nothing about the Navy. -- Derek Ross | Talk 00:28, 10 February 2006 (UTC)
Other than the fact that being on a ship during bad weather makes him seasick. Wahkeenah 13:25, 11 February 2006 (UTC)
<heh>, <heh>, Yup. -- Derek Ross | Talk 23:54, 11 February 2006 (UTC)

Numbering of Songs

Please do not change this to a default numbering: The scores number songs in a very specific way that should be kept. These numbers are used as an easy way to communicate with musicians, singers, and the like, and are STANDARDISED at an early stage. Additions and further divisions are marked by sub-lettering the numbers, and some operas have missing numbers, but this is completely correct. Adam Cuerden 17:23, 31 March 2006 (UTC)

What about Hebe's solo ? It was cut from the original performance but I believe that it does exist in the license copy filed with the British Library. And it is - very occasionally - performed. We are using it in the current Calgary production for instance but it doesn't appear in your completely correct list. -- Derek Ross | Talk 18:21, 31 March 2006 (UTC)
I apologise: I should have said what I was correcting it from. Someone had re-numbered the score using # as a tag, so that it read as so:

Act I

  1. "We sail the ocean blue" (Sailors)
  2. "I'm called Little Buttercup" (Buttercup)
  3. "But tell me who's the youth" (Buttercup and Boatswain)
  4. "The nightingale" (Ralph and Chorus of Sailors)
  5. "A maiden fair to see" (Ralph and Chorus of Sailors)
  6. "My gallant crew, good morning" (Captain Corcoran and Chorus of Sailors)
  7. "Sir, you are sad" (Buttercup and Captain Corcoran)
  8. "Sorry her lot who loves too well" (Josephine)
  9. "Over the bright blue sea" (Chorus of Female Relatives)
 10. "Sir Joseph's barge is seen" (Chorus of Sailors and Female Relatives)
 11. "Now give three cheers" (Captain Corcoran, Sir Joseph, Cousin Hebe, and Chorus)
 12. "When I was a lad" (Sir Joseph and Chorus)
 13. "For I hold that on the sea" (Sir Joseph, Cousin Hebe, and Chorus)
 14. "A British tar" (Ralph, Boatswain, Carpenter's Mate, and Chorus of Sailors)
 15. "Refrain, audacious tar" (Josephine and Ralph)
 16. Finale, Act I: "Can I survive this overbearing?"

Act II

  1. "Fair moon, to thee I sing" (Captain Corcoran)
  2. "Things are seldom what they seem" (Buttercup and Captain Corcoran)
  3. "The hours creep on apace" (Josephine)
  4. "Never mind the why and wherefore" (Josephine, Captain, and Sir Joseph)
  5. "Kind Captain, I've important information" (Captain and Dick Deadeye)
  6. "Carefully on tiptoe stealing" (Soli and Chorus)1
  7. "Farewell, my own" (Ralph, Josephine, Sir Joseph Porter, Buttercup, and Chorus)
  8. "A many years ago" (Buttercup and Chorus)
  9. "Here, take her, sir" (Sir Joseph, Josephine, Ralph, Cousin Hebe, and Chorus)2
 10. Finale: "Oh joy, oh rapture unforeseen!" (Ensemble) 3

This is wrong. Numbering should follow the scores. Certainly, if solos for Hebe still exist they should well be added in their proper place, but the rest of the numbering should not be shifted to suit them. Adam Cuerden 19:58, 31 March 2006 (UTC)

That said, there's nothing to keep the "official" numberings rom being broken down into further parts. For instance, it MIGHT be appropriate to add in 18b: "He is an Englishman" (though it's not a standard division) or to list it under 18a: "Pretty daughter of mine" and "He is and Englishman". Such things may well be desirable, but they should keep any numberings in the scores themselves intact. Adam Cuerden 20:02, 31 March 2006 (UTC)
Thinking about it, it might be best to put any futher divisions under their original numberings as two parts of the song. That is 18a: "Pretty daughter of mine" and "He is and Englishman" - it eliminates any possibility of confusion, even if I have violated this over at Utopia Limited by assisting in the dividing up of the Act I finale. Ah, well. Time to go fix my revisions there back. Adam Cuerden 20:06, 31 March 2006 (UTC)
Okay, now I understand. You were quite right to do what you did. -- Derek Ross | Talk 22:24, 31 March 2006 (UTC)

(Comic) Oper(ett)a

FYI, Gilbert and Sullivan themselves referred to their works as "comic operas" or "operas." They never referred to their works as operettas. I have therefore restored that phrase. Marc Shepherd 04:37, 5 April 2006 (UTC)

True, but they were not using Comic opera in its normal technical sense which refers to a form used in 18th century Italy. They were more likely using it as a translation of opera comique which refers to the slightly different 19th century French genre which their work does resemble. For the article it is more appropriate to use the more generic (and undoubtedly correct) term operetta to describe them than to use a more specific (and slightly misleading) term like "Comic opera", even if that was what the authors used. -- Derek Ross | Talk 15:13, 5 April 2006 (UTC)
I am not persuaded that this is the "normal technical sense" of the term. Mahler did not write symphonies in the "normal technical sense" that Haydn and Mozart wrote them, but we have no hesitation accepting Mahler's preference to style nine of his works as "symphonies." For that matter, Wagner's concept of opera is not the same as Monteverdi's. Most musical terms evolve as new works are written, and it would be peculiar to fix the meaning of one particular term – comic opera – to be what 18th century Italians thought it was. Marc Shepherd 16:57, 5 April 2006 (UTC)


The main article should probably be titled "H.M.S."...., rather than "HMS", as the former is correct. Marc Shepherd 04:45, 5 April 2006 (UTC)

That's just a matter of style. Wikipedia's style is to leave the periods and spaces out of most initialisms. The links to alternative styles of the title, H.M.S Pinafore and H. M. S. Pinafore both exist in case people want to use them in other articles. -- Derek Ross | Talk 15:13, 5 April 2006 (UTC)
That is true in general, but I also think there is a guideline (somewhere) that states that works should be titled as their authors titled them. Marc Shepherd 15:27, 5 April 2006 (UTC)
FWIW, I agree it's just a matter of style, and we should let sleeping dogs lie. "HMS" or "H.M.S." is just a typographical convention; and personally I also prefer "HMS" to "H.M.S.", "USSR" to "U.S.S.R.", and so on. The one exception is "U.S." versus "US", for ease of searching. --Quuxplusone 06:01, 6 April 2006 (UTC)
Victorian British opera, Victorian British spelling. Is there any other opera we update to modern punctuation conventions? I mean, we use Utopia, Limited, Not Utopia, Ltd. -- Adam Cuerden (was me!)
Other operas ? How about the "Die Zauberflöte", which we change from the 18th century Austrian German used by its composer to its modern English title, The Magic Flute. In practice we always write about our topics in modern English even if the topic is a work itself originally produced in English from another era or in another language. -- Derek Ross | Talk 05:24, 7 April 2006 (UTC)
Ah, but Magic Flute is a commonly used title. The change here is more akin to listing The Colour of Magic under The Color of Magic - an arbitrary change, that is seen places, but is not the preferred usage. Adam Cuerden 07:32, 7 April 2006 (UTC)
The WP naming convention for operas is that they should be named in their original language, except where the English name is commonly known. Thus, The Magic Flute is fine, but Puccini's La Bohème doesn't appear as The Bohemian, which would be absurd. We're discussing something a little different here, since H.M.S. Pinafore is already an English title. But the spirit of the guideline, obviously, is that the periods should be there, as the opera has a long history of being styled that way. I have been correcting it on any page where it appears. Marc Shepherd 15:22, 7 April 2006 (UTC)
Fair enough. However I note that you are using the modern style H.M.S. rather than the Victorian style H. M. S. You may want to consider which one is the more authentic. -- Derek Ross | Talk 17:39, 7 April 2006 (UTC)
Surely that to some extent depends on font? I mean, it's a difference in space after a period, which is a pretty indistinct thing to view already. Adam Cuerden
Sounds like selective pedantry to me. If you agree that "H.M.S." isn't historically accurate, why do you prefer it to the Wikipedia style, "HMS"? Notice, by the way, that one reason for Wikipedia's style on initialisms is because this is a Web resource, and Web search engines have a bias toward "HMS", "USSR", and the like. They often match "H.M.S." as closer to "H M S" — i.e., three one-letter words — which isn't what we want. I maintain that "HMS Pinafore" is the correct title on the English Wikipedia, and changing it to "H.M.S." simply because that's (halfway between) what Gilbert wrote (and what we write today) makes about as much sense as changing The Canterbury Tales to The Book of the tales of Caunterbury. --Quuxplusone 18:24, 21 April 2006 (UTC)
I just tried google searches on H. M. S. Pinafore, H.M.S. Pinafore, and HMS Pinafore. Search on it any way you like, and the same results come back. Dots or no dots, spaces or no spaces, it doesn't matter to google. So if seach-engine friendliness is the purported reason for omiting the dots, it is misguided. Marc Shepherd 21:51, 21 April 2006 (UTC)
I haven't checked the width of the spaces in every use of "H.M.S." in Gilbert's day. Type was set manually then, and the compositor had many different widths available. Surely the subtlety of space widths between periods and the following letter is on a completely different level of perception than renaming The Canturbury Tales to The Book of the tales of Caunterbury. The fact is that HTML rendering in general does not handle spaces with the sensitivity of the professional typesetting. This is merely one example of it. Marc Shepherd 21:51, 21 April 2006 (UTC)

Extra Song

I was recently in this play, and there was no such song as "Here, Take Her Sir" near the end. It wasn't even in my score, or anyone else's. If somebody could post the lyrics (if that's allowed), I'd be interested in seeing it. Incidently, one song we did have which is not on the song list here (because G&S decided to remove it, but our director put it back) was "Reflect my Child", which is a duet between the captain and Josephine near the beginning. -- Anon

This was a recitative in the original production. As it says in the footnote: "It was restored to dialogue in all subsequent productions and is almost never performed today." -- Derek Ross | Talk 16:29, 20 April 2006 (UTC)
I've added some futher detail on both "Reflect, my child" and the lost recitative. Marc Shepherd 15:49, 26 April 2006 (UTC)
Dover score includes the Recit. Adam Cuerden 06:15, 22 August 2006 (UTC)

Dubious Comments Removed

I've removed the following:

The title of the work itself is comic, in that it suggests "brave sailors serving aboard a man-of-war whose namesake [was] a lady's apron."


Given the operetta's mockery of the "Queen's Navee" and class structure in general, it is perhaps unsurprising that its reception among the nobility was cool. Legend has it that Queen Victoria summed up her reaction to the performance with the famous phrase "We are not amused". Gilbert was to insert a backhanded sort of apology in Pirates of the Penzance in which he mentions "that infernal nonsense Pinafore" and hinges the plot on overblown love for the Queen.

If anyone can back up either comment, feel free to restore them. Marc Shepherd 17:48, 25 April 2006 (UTC)

I think the first one was true--it is funny on its face that the flagship of the British Navy would be named after a frilly piece of clothing. --Ssilvers 19:21, 26 May 2006 (UTC)
As I recall, an earlier editor put {cite needed} after the first point, as it was given in quotation marks – suggesting a quote – but no source was given. I don't dispute that the title is humorous. Marc Shepherd 22:12, 26 May 2006 (UTC)
OK, I put in a sentence about the name being humorous. See if you like it. --Ssilvers 23:01, 26 May 2006 (UTC)

Dungeon vs. Brig

Somebody changed dungeon to brig and Marc changed it back. Sir Joseph says "Dungeon", but ships don't have dungeons. I think the joke is that Sir Joseph doesn't know anything about ships. So, I think, one should either say "the brig" or "what Sir Joseph calls the ship's "dungeon". --Ssilvers 19:24, 26 May 2006 (UTC)

Pinafore is no ordinary ship. Sir Joseph asks "Have you such a thing as a dungeon onboard ?". To which the sailors all reply "We have". Everyone then proceeds to sing about "the dungeon cell". At no point is a brig mentioned. Thus it appears that this no joke. Pinafore does indeed have a dungeon. -- Derek Ross | Talk 22:05, 26 May 2006 (UTC)
I'm still not convinced. I think they're just saying "dungeon" because Sir J. said "dungeon". The sailors agree with Sir J, because a brig IS "such a thing" as a dungeon. I haven't got the OED here, but in the U.S. a ship's prison is definitely a brig. Does anyone know for sure whether British naval ships *always* called their prisons "brig"? --Ssilvers 22:23, 26 May 2006 (UTC)
Even if it could be demonstrated that Gilbert was making a joke here – I'm inclined to agree with Derek that he wasn't – it's rather awkward to say "what Sir Joseph calls the ship's 'dungeon'," just to make that point. It's a synopsis, not a lexicon. Benford, by the way, who was a Naval Architect by training, didn't see fit to say anything about it in his book. Joseph Conrad, in The Mirror of the Sea, makes a number of ship-dungeon metaphors, such as:
Fortunately, nothing can deface the beauty of a ship. That sense of a dungeon, that sense of a horrible and degrading misfortune overtaking a creature fair to see and safe to trust, attaches only to ships moored in the docks of great European ports. You feel that they are dishonestly locked up, to be hunted about from wharf to wharf on a dark, greasy, square pool of black water as a brutal reward at the end of a faithful voyage. [1]
The south-westerly weather is the thick weather Par Excellence. It is not the thickness of the fog; it is rather a contraction of the horizon, a mysterious veiling of the shores with clouds that seem to make a low-vaulted dungeon around the running ship. It is not blindness; it is a shortening of the sight. [2]
Marc Shepherd 22:32, 26 May 2006 (UTC)
I dunno. "Brig" is the technical term for a ship's prison in all English speaking countries but I still don't think that Gilbert was making a joke here. If it had been a joke, I think that he would have made it plainer, since the audience couldn't be expected to know that the term is incorrect. As well as that it's not a great time for jokes, since it's a moment of dramatic tension what with the captain in disgrace and Ralph under arrest. I think that Gilbert needs to emphasis Sir Joseph's power here rather than his incompetence in order to maintain that tension. The funny stuff doesn't really restart until after Buttercup's revelations resolve the tension. -- Derek Ross | Talk 22:59, 26 May 2006 (UTC)
I yield, I yield. Your utterances are unanswerable. --Ssilvers 23:04, 26 May 2006 (UTC)
<grin>, and they weren't even official! -- Derek Ross | Talk 23:09, 26 May 2006 (UTC)

25 or 28

The opening date is different here and in wikisource. Someone please change either here or there.

Good catch. It was the 25th. I've corrected the article. Marc Shepherd 20:46, 21 August 2006 (UTC)

Reginald Allen book

Which book is being referenced? It says 1979. His first night book is 1975? --Ssilvers 20:34, 1 September 2006 (UTC)

I noticed that problem a while ago. I just haven't had a chance to check it. Allen wrote more than one book. I'm not sure which one was referenced here. Marc Shepherd 20:49, 1 September 2006 (UTC)


I dunno. It's a nice image, but I'd prefer something older as the first image. Just seems a little too slick and modern for such a period piece. Adam Cuerden talk 12:28, 30 September 2006 (UTC)

The image seems a little too big now. I deleted the advertisement for Timothy West at the bottom of it, but why do we have to say the name of the show again at the top, when it appears in huge letters on the image. If you have a better image, feel free to change it. --Ssilvers 16:27, 30 September 2006 (UTC)
I like This image from this Library of Congress page, which dates from the first D'Oyly Carte production. But can we use it? Adam Cuerden talk 16:36, 30 September 2006 (UTC)
Yes. It's out of copyright worldwide (1879--see lower left) -- Ssilvers 17:31, 30 September 2006 (UTC)

Copyright for intro paragraph?

It's very similar to this:

Does Wikipedia have rights to reproduce that, or is that from Wikipedia? I.e. is it on Wikipedia legally? Thanks. laddiebuck 00:38, 17 March 2007 (UTC)

Well, I wrote that for the G&S Archive (the site whose link you show above), and I also wrote the introduction for Wikipedia. So I hereby authorize myself to use my own work, as long as I ask myself politely!  :-) -- Ssilvers 02:22, 17 March 2007 (UTC)

Rollins and Witts

I don't know what pages in the supplements the last couple tours are from. Maybe Marc can help? However, he said that they were Rollins and Witts, and I trust him. - Shoemaker. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:04, 3 June 2008 (UTC)

I don't see how it is helpful to list the cast for the Imperial pirated production. None of them are notable, and it clutters up the table. Can I take it out, please? -- Ssilvers (talk) 03:22, 4 June 2008 (UTC)
I endorse Ssilvers' suggestion to remove the pirate production from the table, as there is nothing notable about the cast. The fact that it happened is better mentioned in prose. It's also optically ugly, because the first row of the table is now much wider than the other two.
I also note that the names of replacements are footnoted below the table. Every cast in every season had replacements, and we haven't noted them for any of the others. Marc Shepherd (talk) 12:35, 7 June 2008 (UTC)

I'm going to remove them. -- Ssilvers (talk) 05:04, 10 June 2008 (UTC)

Initial thoughts

This is looking pretty decent. However, citations are very poor, and it might benefit from some reorganisation, perhaps something along the lines of Trial. It could also use some vividness - for instance, quoting Jessie Bond's description of the disgruntled business partners attempting to carry off the scenery would add to the immediacy.

It needs a reviews section, similar to Trial by Jury.

All in all, the best thing may just be to use our sources, one by one, and expand (and reference) what's there, adding new sections as we see fit, then I'll do what I did with Trial by Jury, and rearrange it to force structure on it. =) Shoemaker's Holiday (talk) 16:27, 6 June 2008 (UTC)

Sounds good, but please do me a favor: Do not delete AND re-arrange in the same edit, because it makes it difficult for me to find what you deleted. When you do your rearranging, just re-arrange and save, and then make editorial changes in other edits. Thanks! -- Ssilvers (talk) 18:21, 6 June 2008 (UTC)
Okay, sure, but sometimes it's hard to find a place for some minor fact during the rearrange. If that happens, I'll move it to the talk page. Shoemaker's Holiday (talk) 11:31, 10 June 2008 (UTC)
Good, that will do the trick. -- Ssilvers (talk) 04:03, 11 June 2008 (UTC)


Okay, I have S.J. Adair Fitz-Gerald (who reproduces some nice programmes and so on), the Dover Full score (Not as useful as the Broude, but far more affordable), and all the usual material. Let's get going on this =) Shoemaker's Holiday (talk) 19:25, 26 June 2008 (UTC)


Cut this, it will be useful to link to these articles, but not as bulletpoints. Shoemaker's Holiday (talk) 19:29, 26 June 2008 (UTC)


Work in Progress

This is basically a holding pen for material I'm trying to revise and add citations for. All this material should appear, but it may not reappear immediately.

Cast of a (probably unlicensed) American production of H.M.S. Pinafore starring children
1880 programme for Carte's children's Pinafore
aboard the 1908 production

Pinafore became a source of popular quotations, such as the exchange:

"What, never?"
"No, never!"
"What, never?"
"Well, hardly ever!"[1]

Also popular was the verse:

For in spite of all temptations
To belong to other nations
He remains an Englishman.

Popular songs include:

  • "I'm called Little Buttercup" (a solo introducing the round, rosy, but mysterious nurse who later confesses to switching the babies)
  • "A British tar" (a glee describing the ideal sailor, composed by Sir Joseph, as he put it, "to encourage independent thought and action in the lower branches of the service, and to teach the principle that a British sailor is any man's equal, excepting mine")
  • "Never mind the why and wherefore" (a trio for the Captain, Josephine, and Sir Joseph)
  • Sir Joseph's patter song "When I was a lad" (a brazen satire on the career of William Henry Smith, the newsagent who had risen to the position of First Lord of the Admiralty in 1877).

Pinafore was pirated so much in the United States (over a hundred unauthorised productions sprang up in America)[2] that Gilbert and Sullivan made a special effort to claim American rights for their next work, The Pirates of Penzance, by giving the official premiere in New York at the Fifth Avenue Theatre under the management of John T. Ford. Gilbert, Sullivan and Carte tried for many years to control the American performance copyrights over their operas, without much success.[3] The pirated versions took many forms, including burlesques and juvenile productions, starring a cast of children. These were so popular that Carte mounted his own children's version.[4]

Captain Corcoran's curse "Damme!" was uncensored in early children's productions of Pinafore, shocking such prominent audience members as Lewis Carroll, who wrote, "...a bevy of sweet innocent-looking girls sing, with bright and happy looks, the chorus 'He said, Damn me! He said, Damn me!' I cannot find words to convey to the reader the pain I felt in seeing these dear children taught to utter such words to amuse ears grown callous to their ghastly meaning. Put the two ideas side by side – Hell (no matter whether you believe in it or not; millions do) and those pure young lips thus sporting with its horrors – and then find what fun in it you can! How Mr Gilbert could have stooped to write, or Arthur Sullivan could have prostituted his noble art to set to music, such vile trash, it passes my skill to understand."[5]

Pinafore remains one of Gilbert and Sullivan's most popular works, perhaps because of its infectious tunes and generally well-constructed libretto.

—Preceding unsigned comment added by Shoemaker's Holiday (talkcontribs) 21:20, 26 June 2008 (UTC)


This paragraph requires some corrections. See Jacobs. (to come)

Several months later, after Sullivan used some of the music during a successful Promenade Concert at Covent Garden, Pinafore became a smash hit. Carte's disgruntled former partners, who had each invested in the production with no return, staged a public fracas sending a group of thugs to seize the scenery during a performance. Stagehands successfully managed to ward off their backstage attackers and protect the scenery.[6] Carte's former partners then staged a rival simultaneous production of H.M.S.Pinafore, which was not as popular as the D'Oyly Carte production. The matter was settled in court, where a judge ruled in Carte's favour.

—Preceding unsigned comment added by Shoemaker's Holiday (talkcontribs) 22:13, 26 June 2008 (UTC)


The images, obviously, need re-added at some point, but if noone objects, let's leave them out until the article gets a little bit longer. Shoemaker's Holiday (talk) 22:10, 26 June 2008 (UTC)

Yes, I object, and I have resored most of the information for now. There is no reason to leave all this information out while you complete your research. Once you are ready to move the article forward, you can revise/take it out (as long as you let us know what is deleted), but in the meantime, this is all useful information for readers. This week, I'll try to begin my research too. Best regards, -- Ssilvers (talk) 16:15, 29 June 2008 (UTC)
Sorry, I meant that it would be esier to work with a few fewer images to move around with the info =) Shoemaker's Holiday (talk) 16:17, 29 June 2008 (UTC)

Yeah, fine, when you are actually working on them, park them here. But when you take a break, as you have for the last three days, they need to be in the article. -- Ssilvers (talk) 16:22, 29 June 2008 (UTC)

Fair enough. Sorry, I did think I'd be able to come back sooner, but then fell ill. =/

Cultural impact section

I've trimmed out the ones that were obviously trivial references - e.g., the film Foul Play is notable over at The Mikado, but that it happens to have a Pinafore backdrop as a backstage visual element may well be memorable, but cultural impact sections have the primary purpose of letting people know where they may have heard songs from the opera before. Here's what we need to cite:



  • In the "Cape Feare" episode of The Simpsons, Bart successfully stalls his would-be killer Sideshow Bob with a "final request" that Bob sing him the entire score of Pinafore.
  • In another episode, "Stark Raving Dad," Waylon Smithers observes that his bellbottom pants were for a 1979 production of Pinafore.
    • I'm inclined to cut this one - it's an off-hand reference, which there are an awful lot of for Pinafore. I'd prefer to stick to situations where at least some of the music is used, etc. Shoemaker's Holiday (talk) 04:50, 18 July 2008 (UTC)
  • Episode #3 of Animaniacs, "HMS Yakko", contains parodies of Pinafore and The Pirates of Penzance. Also, a Pinky and the Brain song called Meticulous Analysis of History is set to the tune of "When I was a lad".
  • The "Lord Bravery" theme song in Freakazoid uses the tune from the chorus of "A British Tar".
    • Freakazoid had a pretty short run, so if we can't find this, I don't think it matters too much.
  • The song "He is an Englishman" is referenced both in the title's name and throughout The West Wing episode "And It's Surely to Their Credit", written by Aaron Sorkin. White House Counsel Lionel Tribby insists that the song is from The Pirates of Penzance, while the other characters correctly identify the song as being from HMS Pinafore.
    • This is probably a good one, but the description is somewhat weird. Does West Wing have a wikiproject Shoemaker's Holiday (talk) 00:53, 19 July 2008 (UTC)
  • In the Leave it to Beaver episode "The Boat Builders," "We Sail the Ocean Blue" is used when introducing scenes involving the boat construction and launch.
    • This would be nice to have as an older one, but if we can't find it, I wouldn't mind much. Shoemaker's Holiday (talk) 00:53, 19 July 2008 (UTC)..
  • In the Courage the Cowardly Dog episode "Cabaret Courage/Wrath of the Librarian", Muriel and Di Lung each try to sing "I'm Called Little Buttercup."
    • I don't know this show. I suppose how notable it is depends what "try to sing" means here - it could be a pretty trivial occurrence with only a few words, badly sung, or a lengthy scene.
  • In the Suite Life of Zack and Cody episode called "Lip Synchin' in the Rain", Cody sings the first verse of "When I Was a Lad" for his audition song.

By the way, if it's not obvious (yet) they're in bold so that they're distinct from any citations we find. We may struggle for these, so collecting the text of the citations may let us figure out what we can say, and also give us some chance to discuss sourcing. Shoemaker's Holiday (talk) 00:41, 18 July 2008 (UTC)

Impact on musical theatre


Ssilvers, the point of this is to try and find reliable sources that will be accepted at FAC. This section is already going to be soul-crushing to source without suggesting a dozen more additions to it, which, although quite funny, would require finding secondary, independent sources before we could mention them. Shoemaker's Holiday (talk) 09:59, 18 July 2008 (UTC)

Er, no, the point is to get the best content and then reference it. Not just to reference the content that happens already to be there. Anyhow, I don't plan to add any more. Don't worry, I will help you look for references. Why don't you work on other parts of the article for awhile, and by the time you come back to this section, I will have looked for references. -- Ssilvers (talk) 13:46, 18 July 2008 (UTC)
Agreed, as far as it goes, but I'm not sure that many of the new suggestions are particularly usable - for instance, the Scrooge McDuck comic based on Pinafore, for instance, would be notable, except that it never got made; and while it's probably notable that people make parodies of Pinafore songs, I'm not sure why the parodies linked are that notable. Anyway, my father's here until the end of the month, so I cannot do too much.

It's making good progress. I don't see the reason to have a separate "Cultural Impact References" section. If a source is only referred to once, the cite can just be embedded in a footnote. The important references should just be an alphabetical list by author. Marc Shepherd (talk) 12:26, 18 July 2008 (UTC)

Do we need the in-references to Pirates and Utopia? I am not sure that a playwright referring to his earlier work is a "cultural impact". -- Ssilvers (talk) 13:46, 18 July 2008 (UTC)
I would submit that those references are more important than many of the others, and there's certainly no problem finding citations for them. When Gilbert quoted Pinafore in Utopia, all of the critics noted it, and some suggested that it was evidence that his creativity was on the wane. Marc Shepherd (talk) 13:59, 18 July 2008 (UTC)
Perhaps it is in the wrong section, then? -- Ssilvers (talk) 14:20, 18 July 2008 (UTC)

Other musicals

"Other musicals parodying or pastiching Pinafore include The Pirates of Pinafore, with book and lyrics by David Eaton;[60] The Pinafore Pirates, by Malcolm Sircom;[61] Mutiny on the Pinafore, by Fraser Charlton;[62] and H.M.S. Dumbledore, by Caius Marcius.[63]" - have any of these actually been performed professionally, and, in the last case, has it even been performed at all? If not, why are we referencing them? Shoemaker's Holiday (talk) 21:31, 18 July 2008 (UTC)

I am not sure. It seems clear that most of them have been performed numerous times. H.M.S. Dumbledore gets 54 google hits. Mutiny on the Pinafore gets 8, although it was peformed mostly in the 1990s, it seems, before google indexing kicked in. The Pinafore Pirates gets 169 hits. The Pirates of Pinafore gets only 6 hits. Do you think the author is this David Eaton? If not, I would remove that one at least. -- Ssilvers (talk) 22:24, 18 July 2008 (UTC)
I doubt it's that David Eaton: David Eaton is pretty solidly New York based, the Pirates of Pinafore one has a florida e-mail address and evident location. As for the other three...
The section is on cultural impact, so I think that we need some reason these works show or demonstrate aspects of Pinafore in popular culture. For instance, if H.M.S. Dumbledore was performed by roving groups at Harry Potter book launches or conventions (remember that J. K. Rowling owns the copyright on Harry Potter), then that would show a new aspect of Pinafore's cultural impact. At the moment, though, it's not... really clear that these are any more notable than that Pirates/Pinafore/Utopia/Mikado crossover discussed in an early Trumpet Bray. (and at least that one has an independent source. If we have it discussed and referenced, then by all means let's also add a link to the authors making their text available. That's just useful. But we need a second source that shows it's significant, and to show it's (preferably regularly) performed.Shoemaker's Holiday (talk) 01:21, 19 July 2008 (UTC)

I made a change. See if it solves the problem. I'm off to Buxton on Saturday. -- Ssilvers (talk) 18:14, 29 July 2008 (UTC)

You lucky fellow! We shall expect a full report, <grin>. -- Derek Ross | Talk 20:15, 29 July 2008 (UTC)


I've been told IMDB is not a reliable source, so try to avoid that. On the other hand, the Reliable sources noticeboard recommended Mugss,, and said CHUD was sufficiently reliable. Shoemaker's Holiday (talk) 21:32, 18 July 2008 (UTC)

Well that can't be possible! IMDB is certainly a reliable source, and MUGSS is just a student site. Who told you that IMDB is not a "reliable source"? On what grounds? I have no interest in getting articles beyond GA if we have to deal with something that ridiculous. -- Ssilvers (talk) 22:07, 18 July 2008 (UTC)
I should say rather that it's a reliable source for actors and dates, but we can't use the user-submitted parts like plot reviews and comments. Shoemaker's Holiday (talk) 22:17, 18 July 2008 (UTC)
OK, as long as we can use the Soundtrack listings. -- Ssilvers (talk) 22:24, 18 July 2008 (UTC)
Might get challenged to find another source if we want to add details about the context of the usage, though. =/ Well, let's see how it goes. Worse comes to worse, we end up spinning it off to a sub article, and use the best-sourced items in the summary. Shoemaker's Holiday (talk) 22:42, 18 July 2008 (UTC)
I don't follow these things exactly, but I thought that IMDB was acceptable as to its facts (casts, crews, release dates), but not as to its commentary. Marc Shepherd (talk) 13:16, 19 July 2008 (UTC)
Right. I am only intending to refer to the fact that the song was in the soundtrack of the film. -- Ssilvers (talk) 18:12, 29 July 2008 (UTC)

Upcoming GA review

Before a suitably impartial reviewer begins the GA review, may I offer a few, mostly minor, suggestions which I hope will be helpful?

  • "Drawing on several of his earlier Bab Ballad poems, Gilbert imbued H.M.S. Pinafore with mirth and silliness to spare" This is true, no doubt, but as it stands this is an unsupported POV. Likewise "good-natured" later in the para.
See this article: 'Pinafore' focuses on mirth and silliness and this one: re: poking good-natured fun. I don't think that we need refs like these in the LEAD though? Perhaps there is a better way to phrase it, but I think we need to characterise in some way why this work has been so beloved for 130 years. What if we added some of this stuff to a Reception section? Indeed, your comment points out that we are missing a Reception section! -- Ssilvers (talk) 15:20, 6 March 2009 (UTC)
Oh, god. More newspaper diving. Oh, well! Might not get this done before the final FA polish - I'm already a little behind with some essays for University, but if I have a chance, I'll try and find 3-4 contemporary reviews and discussions. Shoemaker's Holiday (talk) 16:24, 6 March 2009 (UTC)
  • "As with most of the Gilbert and Sullivan operas, a surprise twist changes matters dramatically near the end of the story." Is this strictly true? Pirates and Gondoliers come to mind, but most of the operas?
True. Of course "a twist of logic or a surprise disclosure" would cover almost all of the shows, but would not be as relevant. I changed it to "many" and "a surprise disclosure". That covers Trial, Pinafore, Pirates, Patience, Ida (arguably), Yeomen, Gondoliers and GD. -- Ssilvers (talk) 15:43, 6 March 2009 (UTC)
Ruddigore and Iolanthe are probably better examples than Yeomen or Ida. Shoemaker's Holiday (talk) 16:22, 6 March 2009 (UTC)
  • Para beginning "In 1875, Richard D'Oyly Carte…": "obligated" is a touch sesquipedalian. Suggest "obliged"
OK, done. I imagine this is a US/UK usage issue. -- Ssilvers (talk) 00:13, 7 March 2009 (UTC)
  • "The success of The Sorcerer made another collaboration by Gilbert and Sullivan inevitable." Highly likely and desirable, but surely not inevitable.
I made it "paved the way". Ainger's language supports this. -- Ssilvers (talk) 00:13, 7 March 2009 (UTC)
  • "This attention to detail was typical of Gilbert's stage management and would be repeated in all of the Savoy Operas." "all of"? Just "all" perhaps?
Nothing wrong with "all of". Consider "They saw many of the Savoy Operas. Not all of them but most of them". "Of" is necessary in each case. Although it could be left out in the example which you gave, it shouldn't be in my opinion. -- Derek Ross | Talk 16:15, 6 March 2009 (UTC)
I wonder if this is a US/UK usage issue? -- Ssilvers (talk) 16:20, 6 March 2009 (UTC)
It's acceptable usage in the US or the UK. I just don't think that it's significant. -- Derek Ross | Talk 16:29, 6 March 2009 (UTC)
I agree and am leaving it "all of". -- Ssilvers (talk) 00:13, 7 March 2009 (UTC)
  • "As was to be his usual practise…" "practice" is the British form of the noun.
Ha! I will never get this right. We also spell it "practice" in the US, but I thought it was with the s in the UK. Don't even try to explain it to me again; I'm hopeless. Fixed. -- Ssilvers (talk) 00:13, 7 March 2009 (UTC)
  • "Carte left for America to make arrangements for a New York theatre and tours for Pinafore, Sorcerer and the next opera in America." This reads awkwardly: perhaps something like "…. American tours for Pinafore, Sorcerer and a new opera by Gilbert and Sullivan."
Done. -- Ssilvers (talk) 00:13, 7 March 2009 (UTC)
  • "Some of the most popular songs from the opera include… " All perfectly true, IMO, but this is nevertheless an unsupported assertion.
Help, everyone!: We need a ref for "most popular songs". Many of the reviews say which songs were encored, but I am sure there must be a source somewhere for which ones have become most popular. -- Ssilvers (talk) 00:13, 7 March 2009 (UTC)
Having raised the point I felt obliged to follow it up - without success, I'm afraid, despite having looked in G&S books by Ayre, Bradley, Pearson, Baily, Caryl Brahms, Diana Bell, Wilson & Lloyd, and Percy Young. Tim riley (talk) 10:38, 7 March 2009 (UTC)
  • "…and Sir Joseph's patter song "When I was a lad" (like the judge's song in Trial by Jury, a satire on the meteoric career of an incompetent man to high office – in this case, the story bears similarities to the career of William Henry Smith, the newsagent who had risen to the position of First Lord of the Admiralty in 1877)." This has been mentioned earlier. Could the two mentions be rolled into one?
  • "Over a hundred unauthorised productions Pinafore sprang up in the United States. " Missing an "of".
Done. -- Ssilvers (talk) 00:13, 7 March 2009 (UTC)
  • "In November, he returned with a company of strong singers" Who says they were strong?
Ainger does, at some length. The triumvirate felt that NY audiences required stronger singers than London audiences. Darn, I need to CHECK PAGE NUMBERs. -- Ssilvers (talk) 00:13, 7 March 2009 (UTC)
  • "…shocking such prominent audience members as Lewis Carroll". Is there any evidence that anyone other than Carroll was shocked? If not, the plural is unjustified.
Yes, I think there were others. Help, everyone, please! -- Ssilvers (talk) 00:13, 7 March 2009 (UTC)
  • "It is noontime" – is this an English word?
Yes. Shoemaker's Holiday (talk) 16:33, 6 March 2009 (UTC)
So it is! The OED gives it the nod: "=NOONTIDE n. 1. Also: (U.S.) an interval in the middle of the day; = NOONING n. 2b." Sorry for dragging that kipper across the path. Tim riley (talk) 22:06, 6 March 2009 (UTC)
  • "… but she is a dutiful daughter and will marry Sir Joseph as her father wishes." I can’t find that in the libretto. She says she will not indulge her love for the sailor but she doesn’t promise to marry Sir Joseph, does she?
She says: "Fear not, father. I have a heart that loves, but I am YOUR daughter." And when Corcoran gives her the photo of Sir J, she says "My own thoughtful father". She is agreeing to obey her father. I think it's clearly enough inferred. She is still trying hard to talk herself into coping with the "tedious" Sir J many pages later, and it is only in the Act I finale that she weakens, and she is still choosing between the god of love and god of reason in Act II. -- Ssilvers (talk) 00:13, 7 March 2009 (UTC)
  • "…before all exit, leaving Ralph alone." If all exit Ralph is not onstage. Suggest "all except Ralph exit."
True enough! Fixed. -- Ssilvers (talk) 00:13, 7 March 2009 (UTC)
  • "she knows she is obligated to marry him…" under pressure, perhaps, but not obligated (not even obliged)
But Josephine sees it as an obligation of her class. Shoemaker's Holiday (talk) 16:34, 6 March 2009 (UTC)
Compromise: I changed it to "duty". Please check. -- Ssilvers (talk) 00:13, 7 March 2009 (UTC)
  • "Miss Bond, who at this point in her career …" Omit the "Miss"?
Technically she was married but separated or divorced at that time. Use of "Miss" indicated that she was using her maiden name and was how she was commonly addressed at the time. -- Derek Ross | Talk 16:25, 6 March 2009 (UTC)
I removed the "miss" - it's not necessary, and I think it's standard in WP not to use it in this sort of circumstance. -- Ssilvers (talk) 16:23, 6 March 2009 (UTC)
  • "Its initial run of 571 performances only begins to explain its popularity." What does this mean? Is it intended to convey that the initial run was followed by further success?
Yes. Can you think of a more felicitous introduction for this section? Note, BTW, my Mencken quote under the new "analysis" section. -- Ssilvers (talk) 00:13, 7 March 2009 (UTC)
Perhaps something like, "Its initial run of 571 performances was followed by continuous success in tours and revivals for the next decade and beyond."?
  • "…D'Oyly Carte Opera Company scenery and costumes" "Company’s"?
The way it's written is a pretty common idiomatic usage. Shoemaker's Holiday (talk) 16:33, 6 March 2009 (UTC)
I made the change suggested by TR. -- Ssilvers (talk) 00:13, 7 March 2009 (UTC)
  • "In America,… Gilbert, Sullivan, and D'Oyly Carte" Is the Oxford comma helpful here?
The general rule is, unless there's a reason to make an exception (such as a case where clarifying two points are, in fact, different points, when "and" would not be sufficient to make this clear, whereas the standard house style is leaving them out), consistency with the Oxford comma is more important than whether you use it or not. [Added by ?]
I agree and have removed the serial comma. Good catch. -- Ssilvers (talk) 00:13, 7 March 2009 (UTC)
  • "The 1930 recording is notable for preserving the performances of the best D'Oyly Carte Opera Company stars of the era" Another assertion which I agree with but is nonetheless an unsupported POV.
The cited reference says that the recording is notable for "featuring golden age D'Oyly Carte stars". I'll remove the word "best". -- Ssilvers (talk) 00:13, 7 March 2009 (UTC)
  • "Of the post-war D'Oyly Carte the 1960, which contains all the dialogue, is most admired." Ditto
I think this is supported by the reference, don't you? The assertion is based on its getting the most stars and on Shepherd's analysis of the recording. Do you know of any sources that disagree? Or if you personally disagree, I'll try to find more. -- Ssilvers (talk) 00:13, 7 March 2009 (UTC)
I have followed this up. Of the references I can find:
  • The 1960 Pinafore is one of only three G&S opera sets to be selected for inclusion in a 1967 symposium called "The Great Records" by ten music writers, published by the Long Playing Record Library. (The other two were the stereo Cox & Box/Gondoliers and the post-war Decca mono Mikado.)
  • The 2008 "Penguin Guide to Recorded Classical Music" (ISBN 978-0-1410-3336-5) calls the 1960 set "in our view the finest of all the D'Oyly Carte analogue stereo recordings", and awards it a rare four star rating ("music-making in which artists are inspired to excel even their own highest standards or which are offering something quite revelatory about the music"). The only other Pinafore recording to get four stars is Mackerras's WNO version.
  • Opera on CD (Alan Blyth, Kyle Cathie, 1992 revised 1994 ISBN 1-85626-103-4) which offers a guide to recordings of 100 operas, includes 8 of the Savoy Operas, and chooses the New Sadler's Wells/Phipps recording of Pinafore.
  • The Rough Guide to Classical Music (1994 edition, ISBN 1-85828-113-x Parameter error in {{isbn}}: Invalid ISBN.) recommended only two G&S recordings – Mackerras's WNO Mikado and the 1960 D'Oyly Carte Pinafore.
  • At its first appearance on record The Gramophone felt that both the 1960 D'Oyly Carte and the earlier Sargent Glyndebourne set were good and that one's choice should be decided by whether one wants the dialogue. (The Gramophone, February 1960, p. 70. [3])
So with those and the G&S Discography rating I think it is fair to say that critical opinion tends to favour the 1960 Pinafore. Tim riley (talk) 10:21, 7 March 2009 (UTC)
  • "The Mackerras recording, featuring opera singers in the roles…" What roles? "… is musically well-regarded. on one CD, is particularly compelling." This doesn’t make sense.
Oops. Major typo. Fixed. -- Ssilvers (talk) 00:13, 7 March 2009 (UTC)
  • "Pinafore's popularity also led to musical theatre adaptations of the piece itself, including George S. Kaufman's 1945 Broadway musical Hollywood Pinafore and Pinafore Swing, a 2004 British swing adaptation with a score arranged by Sarah Travis in which the actors serve as the orchestra, playing the musical instruments. " All this has already been said earlier in the article.
Fair enough. Slimmed down the language to reduce repetition.
  • "Particularly notable examples…." In whose opinion?
Duly deleted. I violated my own rule: If it weren't notable, we wouldn't bother saying it on Wikipedia. -- Ssilvers (talk) 00:13, 7 March 2009 (UTC)

All this looks frightfully carping – my apologies. It’s a jolly good article nevertheless. Tim riley (talk) 10:24, 6 March 2009 (UTC)

Thanks, Tim, Derek and Shoemaker for your help. Please review my changes. Please also see my comments above. I need help with a couple of references. We also need to expand the analysis section, and any help appreciated. -- Ssilvers (talk) 00:13, 7 March 2009 (UTC)

Critical reception

Ref 21 (as is) quotes Jacobs as saying that some of the critical reception was "grudging". But Baily, (p. 157 in the 1956 edition) says that "the newspapers were very kind, except the Daily Telegraph." Tim riley (talk) 15:32, 7 March 2009 (UTC)

I took out the "grudging", since it is a dubious and minority opinion. -- Ssilvers (talk) 03:05, 8 March 2009 (UTC)

-ize v -ise

I see we have a mixture. Modern British use (except among the austerely classically inclined) is for -ise endings. Is it all right if I standardise on that passim? Tim riley (talk) 21:16, 7 March 2009 (UTC)

Should be "ise" unless it's in a quote. Since G&S is a british topic, we try to use Brit. spellings in all our opera articles. Feel free to convert any US spellings that have escaped, unless they are in a quote. -- Ssilvers (talk) 22:16, 23 April 2009 (UTC)


I see some m-dashes and some n-dashes. Should n-dashes be standard? Tim riley (talk) 22:51, 7 March 2009 (UTC)

Yes, ndashes with spaces around them. -- Ssilvers (talk) 03:05, 8 March 2009 (UTC)


I like this article and have liked it for some time now. I can't see anything that I particularly want to be changed other than the "Analysis" section. No doubt there will be technical things that need changing to meet the FA criteria but content-wise, I think the article is in great shape. As for the Analysis section my only thoughts on that are that it has some analysis from the 1910s and 1920s then it jumps to 2005. Maybe it's just me but I get the feeling that Pinafore (and the other G & S shows) are showing a bit of a revival in critical popularity after some lean years between the 1970s and 2000. It would be interesting to document how critical opinion has changed over the years by adding some late 19th and late 20th century analysis.

Apart from that the one other thing we might consider adding is an account of the show's impact on community theatre. It is more widely performed by amateurs then professionals nowadays. In fact most people's initial exposure to Pinafore is highly likely to be through attendance at or participation in an amateur performance. The article currently doesn't mention any of this. On the other hand it might be better mentioned in one of the more general G & S articles since it's not specific to Pinafore. -- Derek Ross | Talk 06:57, 22 March 2009 (UTC)

I would be grateful if you would research these things and try to write them up! -- Ssilvers (talk) 15:10, 28 March 2009 (UTC)
Okay. Probably won't do it this week though, since I am currently a Heavy Dragoon. -- Derek Ross | Talk 06:12, 29 March 2009 (UTC)

Self reference in Pirates

User:Smerus added this to the cultural impact section: "The immediate popularity of Pinafore was such that Gilbert himself sneaked a reference to it [7] into the Major-General's song in The Pirates of Penzance (premiered in New York in 1879)."

This information is already contained in footnote 105, and I don't think it should go in more prominently. The thinks noted in footnote 105 do show that G&S knew that Pinafore was a success and that their audience would get the joke, but I don't think that's in dispute. I'm not sure why a passing self-reference to Pinafore in their next show helps readers understand Pinafore? What does everyone think? -- Ssilvers (talk) 15:10, 28 March 2009 (UTC)

A couple of points

I've looked through about half of the article, which seems very thorough, and made a couple of small changes. I'm puzzled by part of the quote from the Illustrated London News, which says "The plot is merely a slight sketch, which serves, however, as a vehicle for that caustic humour and quaint satire in which Mr. Gilbert is such a proficient...." Such a proficient what? "Proficient" is an adjective, not a noun.

The other thing I noticed is that there is little reference to operatic parody. Surely the mixed-up babies is a reference to Il trovatore? Indeed, the sailors' "You do us proud, sir" in Act 1 quotes directly the final bit of recitative before the Soldiers' Chorus in that opera. No, I don't have a reference for this, but I'll bet that it's mentioned in Gervase Hughes's book on Sullivan's music, which, if memory serves, is very good on Sullivan's borrowings, conscious or unconscious, from other composers.

Oh, is it Comedy Opera Company or Comedy-Opera Company? Both forms appear in the article. --GuillaumeTell 21:37, 23 April 2009 (UTC)

Thanks for the comments. Should be hypenated; fixed now. I added a cite re: Trovatore. Any other tips re: opera parody are very welcome - both G and S probably got in a few barbs at a few operas. As to "proficient", I'll check Allen again, but it appears that you and the late editor of the 'News differ on this point of grammar. -- Ssilvers (talk) 21:45, 23 April 2009 (UTC)
"proficient" bit the dust, as I revised the sentence to shorten the quote. And there was much rejoicing. -- Ssilvers (talk) 03:15, 28 April 2009 (UTC)

I notice that "Jacobs" (presumably Arthur Jacobs) is cited frequently, but he and his work(s)don't appear in the bibliography, AFAICS. --GuillaumeTell 18:05, 24 April 2009 (UTC)

D'oh! Quite right. Fixed now. I wonder what else I've forgotten to do! -- Ssilvers (talk) 19:13, 24 April 2009 (UTC)

Three Men in a Boat

In the "Cultural impact" section, it says "Literary references to Pinafore songs include the Jerome K. Jerome homage to "When I was a Lad" in Three Men in a Boat". Actually, nothing that I can see in Chapter 8 of 3MiaB[4] can remotely be described as "homage" - in fact, by mixing up the Judge's song with "When I was a lad", Harris demonstrates that, in his mind, one G&S comic song is much like another! So the sentence needs rewriting, maybe along the lines of " ... include Harris's attempt to sing "When I was a Lad" in Three Men in a Boat" - and why not also change (or add) the ref to the above or another full-text site? --GuillaumeTell 16:14, 25 April 2009 (UTC)

Isn't imitation the sincerest form of flattery? I have made the correction and added the cite as you suggest. Thanks! -- Ssilvers (talk) 04:42, 26 April 2009 (UTC)

Musical allusions and parody

I've had a look in two of my operatic reference works, and there are a couple of quotes, all or parts of which could be used as references for a bit more on G&S's indebtedness to opera proper:

  • "Ralph, Captain Corcoran, Sir Joseph and Josephine all live in their interactive music (particularly "Never mind the why and wherefore") and almost as much musical resource is lavished on two characters parodied from opera or melodrama, Little Buttercup with "gypsy blood in her veins" and the heavy-treading Dick Deadeye." - Arthur Jacobs (for it is he) in the Pinafore subsection of the Sullivan article on p. 1060 of Holden, Amanda (1993). The Viking Opera Guide. London: Viking. ISBN 0-670-81292-7.  Unknown parameter |coauthors= ignored (|author= suggested) (help) The gypsy blood (mentioned in the Corcoran/Buttercup dialogue at the start of Act 2) does rather align Buttercup with Azucena in Trovatore, doesn't it?
  • "In the music the burlesque element is also prominent, particularly the Handelian recitatives and the elopement scene (evocative of so many nocturnal operatic conspiracies), but best of all is the travesty of the big patriotic tune in "For he is an Englishman!"" - David Russell Hulme in the HMS Pinafore article on p. 727 of vol 2 of Sadie, Stanley (ed) (1992). The New Grove Dictionary of Opera. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-522186-2. 
--GuillaumeTell 21:20, 24 April 2009 (UTC)

Super! I added these to the musical analysis section. -- Ssilvers (talk) 03:51, 25 April 2009 (UTC)

I looked through the peer review and...

... noted that the problem with "Gilbert's focus on visual accuracy provided a foundation for his absurd characters and situations" hasn't been resolved. How about "Gilbert's focus on the accurate reproduction of a warship and its sailors' uniforms was intended to provide a sharp contrast with his absurd characters and situations" or similar? Actually, the situations are indeed absurd, but which of the characters, if any, are absurd? Sir Joseph is a caricature, but not dissimilar to present-day politicians such as whatsisname and you-know-who. The Captain is highly-strung and a little eccentric, Dick Deadeye is derived from crude melodrama, Ralph and Josephine are not absurd in any way..... Gilbert was particularly keen that his characters should be played as straight as possible and should certainly not try to be funny. --GuillaumeTell 16:53, 28 April 2009 (UTC)

I like your sentence very much, but that is not exactly the point that the source is making: What Stedman says, IIRC, is that Gilbert's hyper-realistic sets, costumes and also acting style grounded the play so that when he launched into absurd flights of fancy, they would be believeable in the context of the play. I'll look again at Stedman and see if I can better explain what she says. You're probably right about the characters. -- Ssilvers (talk) 18:35, 28 April 2009 (UTC)

I went back to Stedman and used her words, clarifying the explanation, I hope? You were right, in any case, about the characters; I deleted the reference to them. -- Ssilvers (talk) 05:13, 5 May 2009 (UTC)

HMS Semaphore

G&S considered naming the show H.M.S. Semaphore. See Gary Dexter, "How HMS Pinafore got its name", The Sunday Telegraph, 1 October 2008. Some G&S fans have said that they find this information interesting. I doubt that it is interesting to a general reader. What do others think? -- Ssilvers (talk) 22:49, 11 May 2009 (UTC)

If it's to be included - and it might be worth a mention, if true - it would need citations from reliable printed sources rather than taking the word of a Telegraph hack. Do any such sources exist? --GuillaumeTell 01:00, 12 May 2009 (UTC)
No one seems to have wanted to follow up on this. I think it's trivia, since the idea was, at best, briefly considered. If someone else feels strongly, they can make the case. -- Ssilvers (talk) 16:23, 23 May 2009 (UTC)
Not that I greatly supported that idea, but see Bradley 1996, p. 128. vvvt 20:18, 2 August 2010 (UTC)
Thanks, V. The Telegraph article seems to be based solely on Bradley's note, except that the Telegraph writer gives his own conclusion that Gilbert found Pinafore funnier. Bradley refers to an 1880 The World interview of Gilbert (he does not give the exact date). So, it seems pretty clear that Gilbert said it. Whether he was telling the interviewer a bit of a story, as he was wont to do, is another matter. I think it would be seen from his plot sketches whether this was really true. Gilbert kept a notebook with his early drafts of each show, but I don't know if the Pinafore plot book survives. I could find out. But, again, I wonder if it is really encyclopedic that this was an early idea. After all, Gilbert generally considered and rejected dozens or hundreds of such ideas along the way to finalizing each libretto. -- Ssilvers (talk) 14:32, 4 August 2010 (UTC)