EN 2140 Lecture
February 29, 2012
The Mikado, or the Town of Titipu
W.S Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan.
• "Schwenk" Gilbert (1836-1911) wrote the libretto. His father was a doctor.
• Sir Arthur Sullivan (1842-1900) wrote the music. Considered England's great musical
hope. His father was a bandmaster (1, 390,470).
• Richard D'Oyly Carte (1844-1901) was the impressar: founded the D'Oyly Carte Opera
Company, the Savoy theater and eventually the Savoy hotel.
The Savoy Theater
• Home of the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company. It was located on the site of a former palace
(during chaucer's time) then a hospital during the Tudor period.
• The invention of gas lighting in 1803, and then in 1881, Richard D'Oyly Carte made the
Savoy theater the first
• Licensing Act, 1737: censorship and the lord Chamberlain
• How can the trivial become interesting or even political? (a questions shall ask next
week, when we read the importance of being earnest, "a trivial comedy for serious
people"). Also john gay: "we know these things to be nothing"
• So check out the names! The plot!
o The names are silly - titipoo as an example; they're foolish and childlike, and not
The circumstances of the composition
• Return to imperial rule in japan
• International exhibition of 1862
• The executioner's sword!
• Authentic fabric and costumes sent from Japan by algernon Mitford, the English
ambassador to japan
• "on many a vase and jar,