His Majesty

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Description:
His Majesty, or, The Court of Vingolia is an English comic opera in two acts with dialogue by F. C. Burnand, lyrics by R. C. Lehmann, additional lyrics by Adrian Ross and music by Alexander Mackenzie.

The work premiered at the Savoy Theatre in London on 20 February 1897, running for only 61 performances until 24 April 1897, despite a strong cast including George Grossmith, Ilka Palmay, Scott Russell, Fred Billington, Florence Perry and Walter Passmore. The D'Oyly Carte Opera Company then toured the opera throughout 1897 alongside more familiar Gilbert and Sullivan works.

Background

When the Gilbert and Sullivan partnership collapsed after the production of The Gondoliers in 1889, impresario Richard D'Oyly Carte struggled to find successful new works to present at the Savoy Theatre. He was able to bring Gilbert and Sullivan together briefly for two more operas, neither of which was a great success. In fact, after its disappointingly short run, their last piece, The Grand Duke (1896), was the only outright failure of a Gilbert and Sullivan opera. Arthur Sullivan had produced two operas for the Savoy in the early 1890s with librettists other than W. S. Gilbert, but neither had proved particularly successful, and pieces by other composers, for example Mirette, had fared worse.

Production

Carte assembled a high-quality team for His Majesty, including the well-known dramatist and writer F. C. Burnand and the well-respected composer Alexander Mackenzie. Lyrics were supplied...
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