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Gilbert & Sullivan - Songs from the Savoy Operas - Thespis - "Little Maid of Arcadee" - arr. for Soprano & String Quartet by Gerald Manning


Sir Arthur Sullivan

Year of composition



Gerald Manning


William Gilbert




Difficult (Grades 7+)


3 minutes


Classical music


String quartet

Instrumental parts


MP3 file


Thespis; or, The Gods Grown Old (Gaiety Theatre, London, December 26 1871) The collaboration between English composer and conductor Sir Arthur Sullivan and the librettist Sir William Gilbert produced a distinctive style of �Opera Comique� where the marriage of words and music produced a mixture of parody, burlesque and satire that achieved immense popularity in Britain and the USA. Sullivan met Gilbert shortly after his first success with his one-act comic opera Cox and Box in 1867 and their collaboration began in 1871 with the now lost work Thespis. After the immense success of Trial by Jury in 1875 the impresario Richard D�Oyly Carte formed a new company specially to perform the works of Gilbert and Sullivan, but in 1881 while Patience was still running the company moved into the new Savoy Theatre � hence the sobriquet now attached to those operas after this date. �Little Maid of Arcadee� comes from the very first operetta on which Gilbert and Sullivan collaborated and only survives today because it was published as sheet music. The only other surviving number from the lost score is the chorus �Climbing over rocky mountain� which, with a slight change of lyrics, makes an appearance in The Pirates of Penzance.

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