Toye, Geoffrey Edward


Toye, Geoffrey Edward

Ruddigore, Overture on themes by Sir Arthur Sullivan, composed for the 1921 D’Oyly Carte production (first print / edited by Phillip Brookes)



Geoffrey Edward Toye

Overture on themes by Sir Arthur Sullivan, composed for the 1921 D’Oyly Carte production

(b. Winchester, 17 February 1889; d. London, 11 June 1942)

Ruddigore was Gilbert & Sullivan’s first operetta after the great success of The Mikado in 1885. It satirises the Victorian love of melodrama – with a wicked squire, a curse and a beautiful maiden (very much the same world that would produce Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Hound of the Baskervilles in 1902). It opened at the Savoy Theatre on 22 January 1887, and made a small profit on a run of 288 performances (though just 53 in New York). Early critical reception was mixed, with some wondering if the two creators had lost their touch, though by 1937, the Manchester Guardian could say that: “It is incomprehensible that Ruddigore should ever have been considered less attractive than the other comic operas in the Savoy series. The libretto gives us Gilbert at his wittiest, and in the music we hear Sullivan not only in his most tuneful vein but also as a master of more subtle rhythms than he commands elsewhere”.

This change in attitude was due largely to the successful 1921 production by the D’Oyly Carte Opera. This was only the work’s second production, and many changes were made. Several numbers were cut, the finales of the two acts re-cast, and the Musical Director asked to write a new overture. This was partly because some of the tunes in the original overture were no longer in the show, but also because the original (by Hamilton Clarke) was a truly dull affair, not much more than a ‘bandstand’ pot-pourri …


Read full preface > HERE

Score Data

Special Edition

The Phillip Brookes Collection



Performance Materials



225 x 320 mm


First print



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