Questions tagged [gilbert-and-sullivan]

Questions about the works or respective lives of the theatrical partnership Gilbert and Sullivan, which consists of composer Arthur Sullivan (1842-1900) and librettist W. S. Gilbert (1836-1911).

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9 votes
3 answers
758 views

Is Frederic 21 or 22 in "Pirates of Penzance"?

As we discover in act 2, Frederic has "lived twenty-one years" or "Years twenty-one I’ve been alive". Yet in the opening chorus it states: Two and twenty, now he’s rising, So ...
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  • 193
1 vote
2 answers
86 views

Why is Phyllis a "ward of chancery"?

The answer given regarding Wards of Chancery already in a different post covered that wards often came about because of assets and so on, but how does this explain Phyllis's situation in Iolanthe? She ...
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8 votes
2 answers
234 views

What does it mean to "floor peculiarities parabolous" in conics, from The Pirates of Penzance?

In his song in The Pirates of Penzance, the Major-General states that he can "floor peculiarities parabolous," and do it "in conics." I know our mythic history, King Arthur's and Sir Caradoc's; I ...
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4 votes
0 answers
46 views

What changes were made to Ruddigore?

So I recently watched a performance of Ruddigore and later read that the second act was almost completely redone and that the overture was changed. However, I cannot seem to find anything regarding ...
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  • 141
5 votes
2 answers
170 views

Why are two earls the rankiest of all?

In Iolanthe, by Gilbert and Sullivan, Phyllis sings (after discovering the "betrayal"): So the richest and rankiest of you all My sorrowful heart shall choose. then: I'll be a countess, shall ...
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  • 153
13 votes
1 answer
209 views

Was Princess Ida written as a negative commentary on women's education?

One of Gilbert's more controversial librettos is Princess Ida, a story making fun of woman's education. I am asking this question in relation to how Princess Ida should be viewed as a text. If his ...
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17 votes
2 answers
5k views

What was a "ward in chancery"?

Gilbert often had certain ideas reappear in his various operas. One of these ideas was that of a "ward in chancery." From Pirates of Penzance: MABEL: Hold, monsters! Ere your pirate caravanserai ...
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