Miscellaneous short items from The World : a journal for men and women

updated 12 October 2002

[ENGEL, Louis] L.E. MUSIC. A SAD EVENT. The World 1882 June 7 16(414): 10, col. 2

A MAN who loses his mother, loses his best friend, the only affection upon which he can depend as disinterested and unselfish, ever ready to sacrifice itself, and knowing only one happiness that of the beloved child. When that child is a gifted son, laden with all the distinctions, the respect, and sympathy of his countrymen, a great man in the eyes of his friends, a god in the eyes of his mother when such a sad irreparable loss falls upon a man like Arthur Sullivan, so devoted and attached to his mother, whose idol naturally he was, it would be simply stupid to offer any consolation. All grief is borne because it must be borne; but to see Sullivan at the grave of his mother, while his perpetual endeavour had been to cause general merriment, bent down so low, caused to his assembled friends few and true a deep impression. . . . All he can do now is to seek strength in work; and if his new fairy opera can be ready in time, it is his intention to go, in September, to America, to bring it out there first, in order to save the copyright, as in the case of The Pirates, and then bring it back to Europe. He will not take the presidency offered him for the dinner of the Royal Musicians on the 17th inst. Lord O'Neill has kindly consented to take the chair.

"ATLAS." WHAT THE WORLD SAYS. The World 1882 June 28 16(417): 14, col. 2, pgph. 3

    Arthur Sullivan is hard at work on his new fairy opera. I have seen the fairies, en esquisse; but I must keep what I saw and heard to myself. This much I will say: that when the opera is brought out your eyes and your ears will be satisfied; and if you have any liver complaint which laughing can relieve, you shall be cured thoroughly.

[ENGEL, Louis] L.E. MUSIC. The World 1882 July 26 17(421): 10, col. 2, pgph. 2-3

    I went the other day to luncheon with a friend of mine. I do not know whether you are of my opinion, but there is a great and mysterious poetry in a sole Normande, if it is prepared by competent French hands. Never commit the barbarism to drink champagne with it. Sauterne, old, mild, oily, is the wine for fish. While we were enjoying and deeply discussing the propriety of eating potage bisque before the fish, or potage à la Reine, prepared with purée de faisan, we heard a neighbouring piano sighing sweet sounds. 'That is Sullivan,' said my host; 'he is trying over the first act of his new fairy opera, to be called Iolanthe, I believe, or perhaps Crudimene, or some such name. There is a very pretty barcarole in F sharp rather an awkward tone for amateurs, six sharps. Ah, now do listen, this is the military march; there must be two or three bands at it, because I hear him continually playing one motif with the right hand, another with the left, and there are some leading notes he sings I hope they are not Leitmotivs. But one thing I noted down is that duo, "On every lip, her ladyship." Of course her dameship would not be nice. You seem amazed that I should know all that; but Sullivan has a telephone with a double receiver in his room; so have I, and sometimes I hear every word that he says or sings there quite distinctly.'
    I confess that I find the invention of the telephone rather doubtfully pleasant in this application, of which I had another example in a printing office, where they distinctly hear other people's conversations. And as I know about that duo where an old man tries to entice a young girl with his title, and his servants 'with a curly, curly wig,' I could only testify to the accuracy of the repeater. The opera will be rehearsed in September, and with full instructions to the stage-manager sent to America, where it is to be performed for the first time at the Standard, New York, on November 6. About the brilliancy of the finale of the first act, which is quite completed, our 'cousins' will know before us.

WHAT THE WORLD SAYS. The World 1882 October 4 17(431): 13, col. 1, pgph. 5 [news item by "ATLAS"]
reprinted as: Gilbert and Sullivan's New Work. Music and Drama 1882 October 21 4(3): 7, col. 3

    With the exception of the detail that Mr. George Grossmith is to play the Lord Chancellor in Messrs. Gilbert and Sullivan's new comic opera in preparation at the Savoy, the particulars published in several papers respecting the piece are misleading. The title is Perola, Mr. Gilbert believing in the magic of the initial 'P.' The first act is laid in St. James's park and the second in Palace Yard, the sentry outside the Houses of Parliament being a prominent figure in that scene. The name of the hero is Strephon, a being half-fairy and half-mortal. His fairy qualities, inherited from his mother Perola, unfortunately terminate at the waist. This idea has already been worked out by Mr. Gilbert in a story, with a most laughable result. Strephon can render himself invisible only to a limited extent; he can pass his body through a keyhole, but his legs stick on the other side. Despite his deficiencies, however, he is elected member of Parliament, and commences to reform the Constitution, one of his first measures being for the creation of 'peers of the realm' by competitive examination. The second act deals with many of the political questions of the day in a highly original manner. The honours of the chorus are divided between fairies and peers, who, of course, fall in love with each other and are ultimately united. Mr. Sullivan's music is said to be more charming than anything he has yet written.

WHAT THE WORLD SAYS. The World1882 October 11 17(432): 15s, col. 1, pgph. 1-2 [news item by "ATLAS"]

    I am now able to supplement the particulars I gave last week of Messrs. Gilbert and Sullivan's new opera Perola, by stating that it is only intended to give one representation of the piece in England until Patience ceases to draw money in London. This must be done, in consequence of the unsatisfactory state of international copyright law, on the same day as the first performance in America, where the opera is to be 'put on' about six weeks hence. It will be remembered that The Pirates was produced in this way at Paignton; and some people have named that pretty little town on the Devonshire coast as the place for the first production of Perola. As all the performers now rehearsing are engaged at the Savoy Theatre, this would be impossible. A matinée will be given at an outside London theatre, probably Greenwich. On that occasion the cast of the principal characters will be as follows:

Perola     .          .              . 
Phyllis (the ward in Chancery)  .         . 
Queen of the Fairies      .          .          . 
The Lord Chancellor     .      .           . 
Strephon (son of Lord Chancellor and Perola)
Lord Mount Ararat   .          .           .          .
Lord Tollolla    .          .          .          .         .
The part of the Sentry, which has a capital song, with the refrain,
'Every little Briton which is born alive
Is a little Liberal or Conservative,'
has been offered to Mr. Walter Browne; but it is not yet settled whether he will play it. There is no part in the piece for Mr. Frank Thornton. It was intended that he should remain as under-study for Mr. Grossmith; but this position he has declined, and consequently he will sever for a time his connection with the Savoy Theatre. I understand, however, that this clever young actor, who has several times played Bunthorne in Mr. Grossmith's absence, is to have an important place in one of Mr. D'Oyly Carte's provincial or American companies.

    Mr. Grossmith's principal song in Perola is entitled 'The Highly-susceptible Chancellor.' It describes how the Lord Chancellor becomes worn out with his exertions to gain his own permission to marry his ward; and he has a dream, the details of whch are told in a string of humorous words, written by Mr. Gilbert specially to suit Mr. Grossmith's peculiar style. Another good song in the piece is 'Blue Blood,' intrusted to Mr. Lely. It commences 'Spurn not the highly-born,' and declares that 'hearts can beat as true in Belgrave-square as in the Seven Dials.' Its topsy-turvical fun is characteristic of the author.

ENGEL, Louis. MUSIC. The World 1882 November 15 17(437): 10-11

    P.S. It seems that I can never do, like certain ladies, without a postscript. This one serves to tell you that Perola, the new opera at the Savoy, is rechristened. Gilbert, having all possible confidence in the success of the initial P (vide Pinafore, Pirates of Penzance, Patience), was not satisfied with one P in Perola, so he calls it now Iolanthe, or the Peer and the Peri the Peer to be Mr. Grossmith, and the peerless Peri Miss J. B. I am sorry to state that the sword of Damocles is suspended over the charming quartet, 'What joy to be a noble pet, and walk about in a coronet;' it might be cut out.

transcribed by Helga J. Perry, 15 June 2001
Updated 29 June 2001