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TRIAL BY JURY (Royalty Theatre, London, March 25, 1875)
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.
Four years passed after Gilbert and Sullivan had created the 1871 Christmas entertainment Thespis, and each man became even more eminent in his field, but they did not have occasion to work together. Richard D'Oyly Carte, who was then the acting for Selina Dolaro and her company in a season of light opera at the Royalty Theatre, asked the two men to collaborate on a short opera to be played as an after piece to Offenbach's comic opera, La P�richole. On 25th March 1875 Trial by Jury opened at the Royalty Theatre, and the very witty, tuneful and "English" piece was an immediate hit with Londoners and continued to be played until the Royalty closed on 12th June for the summer. Trial by Jury was again on the bill when the theatre reopened on 11th October 1875. The conclusion of Dolaro's season on 18th December 1875 marked the official end of Trial by Jury's opening run of by which time it had been performed 131 times.
Reviews of Gilbert & Sullivan - Songs from the Savoy Operas - Trial By Jury - " O gentlemen, listen I pray" - arr. for Voices & String Quartet by Gerald Manning
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