Theatre poster for The Mikado
Bass vocal range (E2–E4) notated on the bass staff (left) and on piano keyboard in green with dot marking middle C (C4).
Cover of vocal score, c. 1895
Photo at the Japanese village taken by W. S. Gilbert
Durward Lely as Nanki-Poo
Ko-Ko – 1926 costume design by Charles Ricketts
Nanki-Poo as a wand'ring minstrel, from The Story of the Mikado. Art by Alice B. Woodward.
Theatre poster, Edinburgh, 1885
Political parody celebrating the bicentennial of Albany, New York
Geraldine Ulmar, Yum-Yum in the New York cast
Ko-Ko reveals that when a man is beheaded, his wife is buried alive: from Gilbert's children's book The Story of the Mikado. Art by Alice B. Woodward.
Grossmith "made up" as Ko-Ko
Temple as the Mikado
Barrington: "Lord-high everything else"
D'Oyly Carte Opera Company production, 1962
Cover of re-issue of 1907 Mikado recording
Cover of The Story of the Mikado. Art by Alice B. Woodward.
1886 advertisement featuring the "three little maids"
Wallpaper showing characters from The Mikado and other Savoy operas
From The Capitalist, 1888
Film poster for The Little Shop of Horrors parodying the song "The Flowers that Bloom in the Spring, Tra la!" changing the word "bloom" to "kill"

The Mikado of Japan (bass or bass-baritone)

- The Mikado

The Mikado: The Mikado of Japan

- Bass-baritone
Theatre poster for The Mikado

11 related topics

Alpha

One of Gilbert's illustrations for his Bab Ballad "Gentle Alice Brown"

Gilbert and Sullivan

Gilbert and Sullivan refers to the Victorian-era theatrical partnership of the dramatist W. S. Gilbert (1836–1911) and the composer Arthur Sullivan (1842–1900) and to the works they jointly created.

Gilbert and Sullivan refers to the Victorian-era theatrical partnership of the dramatist W. S. Gilbert (1836–1911) and the composer Arthur Sullivan (1842–1900) and to the works they jointly created.

One of Gilbert's illustrations for his Bab Ballad "Gentle Alice Brown"
Ages Ago, during a rehearsal for which Frederic Clay introduced Gilbert to Sullivan
The Crystal Palace, where several early Sullivan works were first performed
A contemporary illustration of Thespis from The Illustrated London News of 6 January 1872
D. H. Friston's engraving of the original production of Trial by Jury
An early poster showing scenes from The Sorcerer, Pinafore, and Trial by Jury
The Pirate King
George Grossmith as Bunthorne in Patience, 1881
Barnett as The Fairy Queen
Princess Ida, Act II Finale: Hildebrand and soldiers rush through the gate.
Poster for The Mikado
W.H. Denny as Wilfred and Jessie Bond as Phoebe in Yeomen
Rutland Barrington and Courtice Pounds as Giuseppe and Marco in The Gondoliers
Original facade of the Savoy Theatre c.1881
In the midst of the quarrel, Gilbert dedicated a collection of Savoy opera lyrics, Songs of a Savoyard, to the composer
The drawing room scene from Act II of Utopia, Limited
The Entr'acte expresses its pleasure that Gilbert and Sullivan are reunited
1921 cartoon of Gilbert and Sullivan audiences
Advertisement for the first recording of The Mikado, 1917
Detail from a Punch cartoon, showing Sullivan and Gilbert.
1880 Pirates poster
Frontispiece to The Pinafore Picture Book, 1908
Poster for Ages Ago, during a rehearsal for which Frederic Clay introduced Gilbert to Sullivan

The two men collaborated on fourteen comic operas between 1871 and 1896, of which H.M.S. Pinafore, The Pirates of Penzance and The Mikado are among the best known.

The libretto of H.M.S. Pinafore relied on stock character types, many of which were familiar from European opera (and some of which grew out of Gilbert's earlier association with the German Reeds): the heroic protagonist (tenor) and his love-interest (soprano); the older woman with a secret or a sharp tongue (contralto); the baffled lyric baritone—the girl's father; and a classic villain (bass-baritone).

Baritone vocal range (G2–G4) notated on the bass staff (left) and on the piano keyboard in green with middle C (C4) shown in yellow

Baritone

Type of classical male singing voice whose vocal range lies between the bass and the tenor voice-types.

Type of classical male singing voice whose vocal range lies between the bass and the tenor voice-types.

Baritone vocal range (G2–G4) notated on the bass staff (left) and on the piano keyboard in green with middle C (C4) shown in yellow

Many operatic works of the 18th century have roles marked as bass that in reality are low baritone roles (or bass-baritone parts in modern parlance).

Ko-Ko, The Mikado

Bass vocal range (E2–E4) notated on the bass staff (left) and on piano keyboard in green with dot marking middle C (C4).

Bass (voice type)

Type of classical male singing voice and has the lowest vocal range of all voice types.

Type of classical male singing voice and has the lowest vocal range of all voice types.

Bass vocal range (E2–E4) notated on the bass staff (left) and on piano keyboard in green with dot marking middle C (C4).

It is produced using a more Italianate vocal production, and possesses a faster vibrato, than its closest Germanic/Anglo-Saxon equivalent, the bass-baritone.

The Mikado of Japan, The Mikado

Theatre poster, 1884

The Sorcerer

Two-act comic opera, with a libretto by W. S. Gilbert and music by Arthur Sullivan.

Two-act comic opera, with a libretto by W. S. Gilbert and music by Arthur Sullivan.

Theatre poster, 1884
1878 programme cover
Richard Temple with Mrs Howard Paul in The Sorcerer (1877)
Incantation scene
Act II opening, from 1884 programme
Henry Lytton (J. W. Wells), Elsie Griffin (Aline) and Derek Oldham (Alexis), 1920
W. S. Gilbert illustration, 1890
From 1877 programme
Poster by H. M. Brock for the 1919 revival
Walter Passmore as J. W. Wells in the 1898 revival
Dr Daly accompanies himself on a flageolet on stage
"Welcome, joy, adieu to sadness!"
Grossmith as J. W. Wells, his first of many "patter roles". Sketch by W. S. Gilbert
Rutland Barrington as Dr Daly
Bond, as Constance, pines for Dr Daly, 1884
Warwick and Bentham, 1878, after Warwick took over the role of Aline
Wallpaper showing characters from The Sorcerer and other Savoy operas

Sir Marmaduke Pointdextre, an Elderly Baronet (bass-baritone)

Its second London revival in 1898 came sooner than any other Savoy opera except for The Mikado.

Theatre poster, 1879

H.M.S. Pinafore

Comic opera in two acts, with music by Arthur Sullivan and a libretto by W. S. Gilbert.

Comic opera in two acts, with music by Arthur Sullivan and a libretto by W. S. Gilbert.

Theatre poster, 1879
Punch cartoon, 1877, portraying First Lord of the Admiralty W. H. Smith as a land-lubber, saying: "I think I'll now go below." In Pinafore, Sir Joseph similarly sings: "When the breezes blow / I generally go below".
Scene from 1886 Savoy Theatre souvenir programme
Illustration of the characters in Act II by D. H. Friston, 1878
Rutland Barrington as A.B.S. Corcoran at the end of Pinafore
Poster illustration from original 1878 production
Opening night programme cover
Advertisement for a (probably unlicensed) American production of H.M.S. Pinafore
1880 programme for Carte's Children's Pinafore
Ruth Vincent as Josephine in 1899
Punch cartoon mocking Sullivan for his focus on comic opera
Rutland Barrington as Captain Corcoran in the first London revival, 1887
Souvenir programme cover from 1878 during the run of the original production
Theatre poster for an American production, c. 1879
Gilbert's Illustration of "A British tar" (1906)
Bond as Hebe with Grossmith as Sir Joseph, 1887 revival
Frontispiece by Alice B. Woodward to The Pinafore Picture Book, 1908
W.S. Gilbert in about 1878
Arthur Seymour Sullivan

Pinafores extraordinary popularity in Britain, America and elsewhere was followed by the similar success of a series of Gilbert and Sullivan works, including The Pirates of Penzance and The Mikado.

Dick Deadeye, Able Seaman (bass-baritone)

The ghost scene, depicted by H. M. Brock for the first D'Oyly Carte Opera Company revival in 1921

Ruddigore

Comic opera in two acts, with music by Arthur Sullivan and libretto by W. S. Gilbert.

Comic opera in two acts, with music by Arthur Sullivan and libretto by W. S. Gilbert.

The ghost scene, depicted by H. M. Brock for the first D'Oyly Carte Opera Company revival in 1921
Amédée Forestier's illustration of scenes in The Illustrated London News, before the opera's name change.
Richard, Rose and Robin
Robin and Rose
Durward Lely as Dauntless
Henry Lytton as Sir Ruthven
Courtice Pounds as Richard in the original New York production (1887)
George Grossmith as Robin Oakapple
Bond and Barrington: Margaret discloses one of her "odd thoughts" to Despard.
Geraldine Ulmar as Rose in New York
Jessie Bond as Margaret
William Bridges-Adams' Act II set design for the 1921 revival.
Poster from 1887, with Rose and Robin

The first night was not altogether a success, as critics and the audience felt that Ruddygore (as it was originally spelled) did not measure up to its predecessor, The Mikado.

Sir Despard Murgatroyd of Ruddigore, A Wicked Baronet (bass-baritone or baritone)

Scene from The Yeomen of the Guard D'Oyly Carte Opera Company 1906 Revival

The Yeomen of the Guard

Savoy Opera, with music by Arthur Sullivan and libretto by W. S. Gilbert.

Savoy Opera, with music by Arthur Sullivan and libretto by W. S. Gilbert.

Scene from The Yeomen of the Guard D'Oyly Carte Opera Company 1906 Revival
1883 poster similar to the one Gilbert said gave him the inspiration for the opera
Denny (Wilfred) and Bond (Phœbe), 1888
Souvenir illustration from the New York Casino Theatre production, 1888
Gilbert's illustration of "I have a song to sing, O!"
Geraldine Ulmar as Elsie
"Strange Adventure, Maiden Wedded"
"Consider each person's auricular"
"When a Wooer Goes A-Wooing"
"Jealous Torments", written for Barrington, was not ultimately performed by his replacement, newcomer Denny
Charles H. Workman as Jack Point
Cover of tin box, with scene from Yeomen
Illustration of the 15th century Tower of London
Poster for 1897 production

When the previous Gilbert and Sullivan opera, Ruddigore, finished its run at the Savoy Theatre, no new Gilbert and Sullivan opera was ready, and for nearly a year the stage was devoted to revivals of the company's old successes H.M.S. Pinafore, The Pirates of Penzance and The Mikado.

Sergeant Meryll of the Yeomen of the Guard (bass-baritone)

W. Russell Flint illustration, 1909: luncheon scene Act II: Hilarion (disguised as a woman) speaks with Ida.

Princess Ida

Comic opera with music by Arthur Sullivan and libretto by W. S. Gilbert.

Comic opera with music by Arthur Sullivan and libretto by W. S. Gilbert.

W. Russell Flint illustration, 1909: luncheon scene Act II: Hilarion (disguised as a woman) speaks with Ida.
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Brandram as Blanche
Bab illustration for Princess Ida
Caricature of Charles Darwin contemplating a bustle, in Fun, 1872
Guron (Warwick Gray), Arac (Richard Temple) and Scynthius (William Lugg), 1884
Lytton as Gama, 1921
Illustration by Gilbert for the "Darwinian Man" song; compare with Darwin image above.
Rutland Barrington as Hildebrand, 1884
"I can tell a woman's age in half a minute – and I do!" (A line from King Gama's song, "If you give me your attention.")
Ida, Blanche and the students, 1884.
"Gently, Gently": 1884 illustration
"Jump for Joy and Gaily Bound!" (from Act II)
Winifred Lawson as Princess Ida, 1922
"Gently, Gently": Darnton (Cyril, left), Oldham (Hilarion, right) and Granville (Florian), 1921

The stalemate was broken, and on 20 May, Gilbert sent Sullivan a sketch of the plot to The Mikado.

King Hildebrand (bass-baritone)

From Act I of the 1907 D'Oyly Carte production at the Savoy Theatre

The Gondoliers

Savoy Opera, with music by Arthur Sullivan and libretto by W. S. Gilbert.

Savoy Opera, with music by Arthur Sullivan and libretto by W. S. Gilbert.

From Act I of the 1907 D'Oyly Carte production at the Savoy Theatre
Barrington and Pounds as Giuseppe and Marco
The gavotte scene: Circa 1890 advertisement for a touring company of the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company.
Savoy Theatre, 1881
The Entr'acte expresses its pleasure that Gilbert and Sullivan are reunited.
W. H. Denny as The Grand Inquisitor
Pounds as Marco, Act II
"Try we life-long"
Brownlow and Moore as Luiz and Casilda
"At charity dinners, the best of speech-spinners, I get 10% of the takings!"

Gilbert suggested an opera based on a theatrical company, which Sullivan rejected (though a version of it would be resurrected in 1896 as The Grand Duke), but he accepted an idea "connected with Venice and Venetian life, and this seemed to me to hold out great chances of bright colour and taking music. Can you not develop this with something we can both go into with warmth and enthusiasm and thus give me a subject in which (like The Mikado and Patience) we can both be interested....?"

Don Alhambra del Bolero, the Grand Inquisitor of Spain (bass-baritone)

A scene from Trial by Jury as illustrated in the magazine Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News of 1 May 1875

Trial by Jury

Comic opera in one act, with music by Arthur Sullivan and libretto by W. S. Gilbert.

Comic opera in one act, with music by Arthur Sullivan and libretto by W. S. Gilbert.

A scene from Trial by Jury as illustrated in the magazine Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News of 1 May 1875
Gilbert's original sketch of Trial by Jury, published in Fun in 1868
April 1875 programme for La Périchole and Trial by Jury. Sullivan and Gilbert are the cherubs.
The Usher advises the jury. Drawing by W. S. Gilbert
Third page of the 1875 programme
Sullivan's original thematic sketch of Trial by Jury
Fred Sullivan as The Learned Judge
Part of the vocal score of "A nice dilemma"
Rutland Barrington as the Learned Judge
Poster advertising operettas by Gilbert & Sullivan; includes Trial by Jury
The Plaintiff, in "distress", captures the sympathy of the judge and jury. Production with Sydney Granville, 1919

Usher (bass-baritone)

The melody for "His Lordship's always quits" is known, and it was reused in "I loved her fondly" in The Zoo and later modified into the main tune from "A wand'ring minstrel, I" in The Mikado.