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By: W. S. Gilbert (1836-1911)

The Bab Ballads by W. S. Gilbert The Bab Ballads

The Bab Ballads are a collection of light verse by W. S. Gilbert, illustrated with his own comic drawings. Gilbert wrote the Ballads before he became famous for his comic opera librettos with Arthur Sullivan. In writing the Bab Ballads, Gilbert developed his unique “topsy-turvy” style, where the humour was derived by setting up a ridiculous premise and working out its logical consequences, however absurd. The Ballads also reveal Gilbert’s cynical and satirical approach to humour. They became famous on their own, as well as being a source for plot elements, characters and songs that Gilbert would recycle in the Gilbert and Sullivan operas...

The Story of the Mikado by W. S. Gilbert The Story of the Mikado

The Mikado is the ninth of the 14 Gilbert and Sullivan musical collaborations. It opened in 1885, had the second longest run for any work of musical theatre of the time, and remains the most frequently performed Gilbert and Sullivan. It was adapted as a children's book by W. S. Gilbert entitled The Story of The Mikado, which was Gilbert's last literary work (and published posthumously). It is a retelling of The Mikado, with various changes to simplify language or make it more suitable for children...

The Story of the H.M.S. Pinafore by W. S. Gilbert The Story of the H.M.S. Pinafore

H.M.S. Pinafore; or, The Lass That Loved a Sailor, is a comic opera in two acts, with music by Arthur Sullivan and a libretto by W. S. Gilbert. It opened in London, England, on 25 May 1878 and ran for 571 performances, which was the second-longest run of any musical theatre piece up to that time. H.M.S. Pinafore was Gilbert and Sullivan's fourth operatic collaboration and their first international sensation. This is not that opera.It was adapted as a children's book by W. S. Gilbert entitled The Story of HMS Pinafore, or The Pinafore Picture Book, and includes some lovely illustrations by Alice B...

Book cover More Bab Ballads

This is a subset of the first twelve poems from the second collection of Gilbert’s “Bab Ballads” – light verses poking fun at the life and people of his time in Gilbert’s unique “topsy-turvey” style. The epitaph on his memorial on the Victoria Embankment in London is “HIS FOE WAS FOLLY AND HIS WEAPON WIT”, an epitaph amply exemplified in these verses.

Book cover Sweethearts

Sweethearts is a comic play billed as a "dramatic contrast" in two acts by W. S. Gilbert. The play tells a sentimental and ironic story of the differing recollections of a man and a woman about their last meeting together before being separated and reunited after 30 years.

Book cover H.M.S. Pinafore; Or, The Lass That Loved A Sailor

In this recording, one person reads the entire play, all parts, including the stage directions. Even without the support of Arthur Sullivan’s music and the interpretation of actors, the consummate silliness of Gilbert’s libretto entertains. H.M.S. Pinafore; or, The Lass That Loved a Sailor is a comic opera in two acts, with music by Arthur Sullivan and a libretto by W. S. Gilbert. It opened at the Opera Comique inLondon, England, on 25 May 1878 and ran for 571 performances, which was the second-longest run of any musical theatre piece up to that time...

Book cover Patience (Bunthorne's Bride)

A comic operetta which is a satire on the themes of fashion and pretension and hero-worship. Bunthorne is a poet who pretends to be highly "idealised" in order to impress the ladies. They all worship him, except for Patience, the dairy maid, who is the only one he loves. However, his grand plan goes awry with the arrival of Grosvenor who is more idealised and more poetical then he is. The ladies all flock after Grosvenor instead, until Bunthorne curses him with poor fashion sense and stoutness! But will the curse bring Bunthorne his Patience?

Book cover Bab Ballads (version 2)

The Bab Ballads are a collection of light verse by W. S. Gilbert, illustrated with his own comic drawings. Gilbert wrote the Ballads before he became famous for his comic opera librettos with Arthur Sullivan. In writing the Bab Ballads, Gilbert developed his unique "topsy-turvy" style, where the humor was derived by setting up a ridiculous premise and working out its logical consequences, however absurd. The Ballads also reveal Gilbert's cynical and satirical approach to humor. They became famous on their own, as well as being a source for plot elements, characters and songs that Gilbert would recycle in the Gilbert and Sullivan operas...

Book cover Mikado, Or The Town Of Titipu

In this recording, one person reads the entire play, all parts, including the stage directions. Even without the support of Arthur Sullivan’s music and the interpretation of actors, the consummate silliness of Gilbert’s libretto entertains. The Mikado; or, The Town of Titipu is a comic opera in two acts, with music by Arthur Sullivan and libretto by W. S. Gilbert, their ninth of fourteen operatic collaborations. It opened on 14 March 1885, in London, where it ran at the Savoy Theatre for 672 performances, which was the second longest run for any work of musical theatre and one of the longest runs of any theatre piece up to that time...

Book cover Pirates Of Penzance; Or The Slave Of Duty (Version 2)

In this recording, one person reads the entire play, all parts, including the stage directions. Even without the support of Arthur Sullivan’s music and the interpretation of actors, the consummate silliness of Gilbert’s libretto entertains. The Pirates of Penzance; or, The Slave of Duty is a comic opera in two acts, with music by Arthur Sullivan and libretto by W. S. Gilbert. The story concerns Frederic, who, having completed his 21st year, is released from his apprenticeship to a band of tender-hearted pirates...


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