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Many programmes have been photographed or scanned. These images are
available through our
Gilbert & Sullivan
Image Gallery, or they can be viewed directly from links in the
You can also browse through many of the standard designs for programmes
D'Oyly Carte London
Seasons, dating from the 1880s to the 1980s: programmes featuring these
designs will be linked to the corresponding images, identified at the end of
their descriptions as "[Lon.1896]" or "[Lon.1924]".
For your information and convenience, we present a
list of G&S first nights.
On this page you will find
First Productions of the Savoy Operas
December 26, 1871
March 8, 1872
Trial by Jury
March 25, 1875
December 18, 1875
November 17, 1877
May 24, 1878
May 25, 1878
February 20, 1880
The Pirates of Penzance
December 30, 1879
December 31, 1879
Fifth Avenue Theater, NY
April 3, 1880
April 2, 1881
April 23, 1881
October 8, 1881
October 10, 1881
November 22, 1882
November 25, 1882
January 1, 1884
January 5, 1884
October 9, 1884
March 14, 1885
January 19, 1887
January 22, 1887
November 5, 1887
The Yeomen of the Guard
October 3, 1888
November 30, 1889
December 7, 1889
June 20, 1891
October 7, 1893
June 9, 1894
The Grand Duke
March 7, 1896
July 10, 1896
Information from The D'Oyly Carte
Opera Company In Gilbert and Sullivan Operas: A Record of
Compiled by Cyril Rollins and R. John Witts. London: Michael Joseph,
. Pinafore. [February 1879]. Opera Comique. Cellier: Grossmith,
Barrington, Power, Temple, Burville, Bond, Everard. Programme also includes
Cups and Saucers "written and composed by Geo. Grossmith, Jun."; The
Sorcerer Quadrille; and After All, by Frank Desprez, music by Alfred
Cellier. 4 pp. large format cream paper folder, with spectacular
pictorial (classical design) covers; internally, ads printed in black,
programme in mauve. Tanned lines on front cover from prior framing, and a few
tape repairs to edges; horizontal fold with short split near spine. A near fine
copy from the middle of the first run.
Company still listed as "The Comedy-Opera Company, Limited, Manager Mr. R.
. Iolanthe. [February - August, 1883]. Savoy. Cellier: Grossmith,
Barrington, Manners, Temple, Barnett, Bond, Cathcart, Braham. On programme
with A Private Wire by Felix, Desprez and Reeve.
Pale green folder
printed in black with multiple typefaces, and decorative border on centre
spread; vertical fold; minor foxing; light streak on rear; a touch dusty.
A fine copy from the first run.
1894. Utopia. Printer's date 18/1/94 (hand dated "20 Jan 1894"). Savoy.
Cellier: Barrington, Denny, Le Hay, Kenningham, McIntosh, Owen, Perry, Brandram.
8 pp. stapled light card
oblong booklet, with
colour pictorial (classical figures) outer leaves*, and programme specific
gold ruled inner leaves printed in purplish-brown; staple rusting; outer leaves
very lightly foxed, a touch dusty, and with minor bumping along top edge; date
pencilled at top front corner; internally nice and clean. A near fine copy,
from the first production.
* Although the basic design of the covers is the same as that used for the
deluxe Gondoliers programme, the font used on the front is distinctly
different, far less decorative, and not really suited to the illustration.
1899. Pinafore and Trial. Printer's date 2/8/99. Savoy. Cellier:
Passmore, Lytton, Evett, Temple, Vincent, Owen, Brandram; Cellier: Lytton,
Childerstone, Russell, Passmore, Jay, Baker. Vertical cream paper tri-fold,
printed in brown, with Savoy arms on front panel; small split at top of one
fold; bright, crisp and clean. Fine. From the second Pinafore revival.
1899. Pinafore and Trial. Printer's date 13/10/99. Savoy.
Cellier: Passmore, Lytton, Evett, Temple, Vincent, Owen, Brandram; Cellier:
Lytton, Childerstone, Russell, Passmore, Jay, Moyse. Vertical cream paper
tri-fold printed in brown, with Savoy arms on front; now a little faded and
partly split at folds; hint of dusting; faint old horizontal crease across
centre. A very good copy from the second Pinafore revival.
1937. Trial and Pirates. July 16th, 1937. Sadler's Wells. Godfrey:
Granville, Rands, Wilson, Walker, Drummond-Grant, Naylor; Godfrey: Green,
Fancourt, Oldham, Granville, Bennett, eyre, Nickell-Lean, Gardiner. 8 pp.
stapled booklet, plus light yellow photo-pictorial (the theatre) wrappers, nice
and clean; one staple (now rusty) 1/4" from spine; small binding fault at lower
gutter. Near fine.
. [Five productions in repertory]. August 5th-10th
. King's Theatre, Hammersmith. Godfrey or Ward: cast includes Clifford,
Dean, Dyson, Fancourt, Flynn, Garry, Layland, Morgan, Rands, Walker, Eyre, Halman,
Mitchell, Roberts. Small 4 pp.
glossy white folder printed
in red and black; cross folded, with small ink "35" next to date on front; light overall creasing
and rubbing. Near fine.
[Souvenir and Libretto]. Iolanthe.
New York: Program Publishing Co., [n.d., 1947-48]. From the New York leg of the
1947-48 American tour.
1951. Festival of Britain Souvenir: 1881-1951, Gilbert and
Sullivan. 7th May-4th August, 1951. Savoy. With b/w photos of original/early
principals in their leading roles, and of the 1951 season company; together with
an illustrated 4 p. essay "Gilbert and Sullivan Then and Mow" by J.C. Trewin and
1 p. article on the history of the Savoy Theatre. 12 pp. large format sewn booklet,
card wrappers printed
in reddish-brown and black, with Savoy arms on front; a few faint marks to
Light cream card insert, printed in reddish-brown and black, listing the Festival
of Britain Company; with old glue stain across upper rear.
Original cream envelope, printed in reddish-brown "With Bridget D'Oyly Carte's
Compliments, 4th August, 1951"; now partly split, aged and foxed overall. Fine
souvenir and insert, in good, yet complete, envelope.
1957. Souvenir of the Seventy-Fifth Anniversary of Iolanthe
1882-1957. November 25, 1957. Streatham Hill Theatre.
Godfrey: Pratt, Adams, Osborn, Styler, Drummond-Grant, Wright. 4 pp.,
bordered light blue and white folder, with faint rust stain at top edge;
stitched-in smaller 4 pp. pale pink facsimile first night programme; fine.
1958-59. Souvenir of the London Season at the Princes Theatre.
December 15, 1958-March 14, 1959. Princes Theatre. "With the
Compliments of Bridget D'Oyly Carte". 4 pp.,
pink and grey
colour pictorial laminated card folder; with twelve b/w
photographs of principals in costume with facsimile signatures
inside. Together with white printed "With the Compliments of
BRIDGET D'OYLY CARTE" envelope. Both items fine.
Lacks the season's last night programme (March 14, 1959) sometimes
included with this souvenir.
[----- Another copy]. This one the Souvenir only. Fine.
Princess Ida 75th
1959. Princess Ida. January 5, 1959. Princes Theatre, London.
Godfrey: Sandford, Fryatt, Pratt, Adams, Hindmarsh, Drummond-Grant.
Souvenir of the Seventy Fifth Anniversary of Princess Ida
in mustard and
cream wrappers, and enclosing a sewn-in rich green facsimile of
the first night programme. A fine copy, with thin glue line along rear spine
from earlier mounting.
1960-61. Mikado. December 19-, 1960, January 9th-11th,
February 2nd-4th or 13th-15th, 1961. Princes Theatre, London. Godfrey: Adams, Round,
Reed, Sandford, Sanson, Wright, Jones, Knight. Illustrated with b/w portraits of the
cast in costumes from various shows, with bios. 16 pp. stapled booklet, plus dark
red "Christmas Season 1960" wrappers; scuffed on front at lower spine,
resulting in 2" jagged tear repaired with archival tape; staple rusted. Good.
With ad for North Thames Gas parodying "The sun whose rays ...", by F.W.B. (found
in most of the season's programmes).
1962. Ruddigore. January 22, 1962. Savoy. Godfrey: Reed,
Round, Sandford, Adams, Sansom, Wright. 8 pp. "Souvenir of the
seventy-fifth anniversary of ... Ruddigore ... 1887-1962."
Red and white
decoratively bordered card wrappers; with sewn-in blue-grey
facsimile of the first night programme. Nice and fresh; minor creasing
at lower edge; short closed tear at fore edge; thin glue line along rear spine
from earlier mounting. Near fine
1964. Mikado. January 20-26, February 13-19 or March 9-14,
1964. Savoy Theatre. Godfrey: Adams, Potter, Reed, Sandford, Toye, Jones, Humphreys,
Knight. Illustrated with several pages of b/w photos from various productions.
16 pp. stapled booklet, plus blue, black & white wrappers; broken
"1/-" seal at fore-edge; a few light creases, and fore-edge thumbed at front;
contents clean and tight. Near fine.
1965-66. Ruddigore. December 6th-8th, 1965 or January 27th-29th,
1966. Saville Theatre, London. Godfrey or Walker*: Reed, D.Palmer, Sandford, Adams,
Hood, Jones, C.Palmer, Mynett. Illustrated with photos from several season
productions. 16 pp. stapled booklet, plus red-yellow and black decorated (stage
proscenium design,listing all season productions) season wrappers; faintly wrinkled
at fore edge and spine. Near fine.
* Programme reads: "December 7th and 8th (Mat.), [January] 29th (Mat.): James
[-----Another copy]. This one with faint vertical fold; bright
and clean overall. Near fine.
75th Anniversary !
1966. Patience. 23 April 1966. Manchester Opera House.
Godfrey: Adams, Potter, Reed, Sandford, Jones, Wales, Palmer, Hood. 4 pp.
light card cream first night facsimile programme printed in pink and black;
cream paper wrappers,
printed in chartreuse and black, "designed by Peter Goffin"; 1" grey dampstain
along lower edge of wrappers. Because of the stain, very good.
Mikado - The Movie !
. Mikado. . Presented by BHE Productions.
Godfrey: Adams, Potter, Reed, Sandford, Masterson, Jones, Wales, Palmer. The 8 pp.
large format programme for the 1967 D'Oyly Carte movie of the Mikado, based on the
1964 re-design by Anthony Besch, and using the Ricketts costumes; illustrated
in b/w and full colour with photos of the production and costume
designs; including a plot synopsis, an essay on the costumes, and biographical
sketches of the principals.
Full colour pictorial (scene
painted on bamboo screen on front, Yum-Yum on rear) wrappers, now creased along
fore edge. Near fine.
1968-69. [Season Souvenir for North American tour]. October 15, 1968-January 7, 1969. S. Hurock Productions. Includes articles ("Stravinsky talks about Gilbert & Sullivan" and "A 'Special Set of Circumstances' ..."); a message from Bridget D'Oyly Carte; cast biographies and photos; production notes, synopses, glossaries and photos from each of the repertory productions; and an abreviated cast list. Large format 28 pp. stapled heavy paper booklet, printed in gold and black (some ads in colour), plus full colour photo-pictorial (Mikado, Act II) light card wrappers; very light rubbing and a touch wrinkled. Near fine.
Trial 95th Anniversary !
1970. Trial. [March 25] 1970. Sadler's Wells.
Walker: Williamson, Lawlor, Mason, Ellison, Guthrie, Parker. A fine copy of the
Peter Goffin designed
souvenir folder, printed in three colours, with sewn-in facsimile of
Trial first night programme, reproduced from facsimile collection in Allen's
The First Night Gilbert and Sullivan.
1970. [Nine productions in repertory]. July 13-25, 1970. Theatre
Royal, Nottingham. Walker: Cast includes Ayldon, Lawlor, Mason, Reed, Sandford,
Wright, Goss, Guthrie, Jones, Palmer, Wales. 16 pp., plus D'Oyly
Carte wrappers lettered in red and black; with membership form for The Gilbert and Sullivan
Society - Nottingham Branch laid in; light edge-creasing; fine.
[-----Another copy]. This one without membership form.
Faint age-toning overall, and minor dusting at spine; ink note ("13|July|1970")
at top front. Near fine.
1970-71. Souvenir of the Christmas Season ... December 14th
 to March 6th 1971. Sadler's Wells Theatre. (Covering envelope, not present,
read: "...With the compliments of Bridget D'Oyly Carte"); 4 pp. light glossy card
folder, with in-costume cast photos and facsimile signatures of the season's
twelve leading performers (Reed, Sandford, Webley, Mason, Lawlor, Ayldon, Wright,
Palmer, Jones, Wales, Goss, Hutchison), plus guest artistes Phillip Potter and
Front cover grey-blue, with
four-colour company armorial motif; small
marks to lower corner; a touch dusty, with minor wrinkling and corner very lightly
bumped; oddly, some images faintly speckled, as though in the printing.Very
1970-71. Yeomen, Patience and Iolanthe.
December 28 1970-January 9 1971. Sadler's Wells. Walker: performers include
Lawlor, Ayldon, Reed, Sandford, Mason, Hutchison, Jones, Palmer, Wales, Goss.
12 pp. stapled booklet, plus yellow, red and black decorated (stage procenium
design, listing all season productions) season wrappers; light half-glass ring
on front affecting lettering; a bit wrinkled; cast pages tabbed for easy access
to each show. Very good.
Because Britain changed to modern decimal currency in the middle of the London
season (on February 15, 1971), programmes from this run are priced in both old
and new styles ("2s (10p)")
1971. Mikado, Princess Ida, Gondoliers and
Yeomen. July 28-August 21, 1971. Royal Festival Hall. Nash: Performers
include Ayldon, Sandford, Mason, Webley, Reed, Wright, Goss, Holland, Hutchinson,
Jones, Wales. 8 pp. stapled booklet, with red, yellow and black decorated (stage
proscenium design) season wrappers; very light "ding" to rear panel, faint creasing
throughout. Near fine.
1971-72. A Souvenir of the new presentation of The
Sorcerer. December 20, 1971 - February 12, 1972. Sadler's Wells. Nash:
Ayldon, Mason, Sandford, Reed, Holland, Goss, Jones, Hutchinson. With
introductory essay; superb illustrations, in full colour and b/w, of the set
and costume designs by Osbert Lancaster; b/w historical photos, costume designs,
etc., from the original production; and cast list of the present production.
16 pp. glossy large format stapled booklet, including
(Lancaster's John Wellington Wells) wrappers; "Souvenir designed by Peter
Goffin ..."; a touch dusty, and very
lightly rumpled. Near fine.
1972-73. [Five productions in repertory]. December 11th-30th,
1972 or January 29th-February 14th, 1973. Sadler's Wells. Nash: Ayldon, Mason,
Rayner, Reed, Sandford, Wright, Goss, Holland, Hutchison, Jones, Wales. Illustrated
with b/w production photos. 20 pp. stapled booklet, plus pictorial (red and yellow
G&S proscenium) wrappers; light vertical crease to rear panel near spine; minor
age toning. Fine.
1973. Mikado, Yeomen and Patience.
January 1st-13th, 22nd-27th, February 15th-24th, or March 8th-10th, 1973. Sadler's
Wells. Nash: Ayldon, Wright, Reed, Sandford, Goss, Jones, Wales, Holland; Nash:
Wright, Ayldon, Reed, Sandford, Hutchinson, Jones, Holland, Egglestone; and Nash:
Ayldon, Mason, Reed, Sandford, Jones, Wales, Holland, Hutchison. Illustrated with
b/w photographs from all the operas. 10 pp. stapled booklet plus red and yellow
proscenium design wrappers; age-toned, lightly worn and a
bit soiled overall. Very good.
Pinafore 95th Anniversary !
1973. Pinafore. 10 March 1973. Sadler's Wells. Nash: Reed,
Rayner, Mason, Ayldon, Hutchison, Wales, Holland.
Grey-blue, red and black
printed folder designed by Peter Goffin, with sewn-in facsimile (4 pp. cream
folder) of first night programme. Fine in near fine presentation ("With the
Compliments of Bridget D'Oyly Carte") envelope.
NB - Being the last night of the London season, the D'Oyly Carte did not actually
perform Pinafore - despite what this souvenir programme implies. Instead
they did their usual last night hijinx.
[-----Another copy]. This one without the envelope. Fine.
1973-74. [Five productions in repertory]. 17 December 1973 -
9 February 1974. Sadler's Wells. Nash: cast includes Ayldon, Rayner, Reed, Sandford,
Williams, Wright, Field, Goss, Holland, Merri, Wales. With half-page photographs of
principals in costume, and several G&S related ads (Decca, Osprey, BASF). 16 pp.
stapled booklet, plus red and yellow proscenium design wrappers; upper rear corner
creased, otherwise nice and fresh. Fine.
1978. [Five productions in repertory]. 25 September-14 October
1978. Wimbledon Theatre. Nash: Reed, Sandford, Ayldon, Rayner, Reid, Shovelton,
Conroy-Ward, Goss, Leonard, Lilley, Metcalfe. 20 pp. stapled booklet (2 leaves
bright pink, remainder glossy paper printed in brown), plus
light tan pictorial (theatre
vignette) wrappers printed in brown; light vertical fold. Near fine.
The New D'Oyly Carte Productions
First Season of the New D'Oyly
1988. Iolanthe and Yeomen. April 28 - [July 9], 1988.
Various venues. New D'Oyly Carte Opera Company. Casts include former Savoyards
Gareth Jones, Gillian Knight and Jill Pert. Contains operetta histories and cast
photos; unimaginative layout and typesetting. 20 pp. large glossy magazine format,
plus colour pictorial
(caricature Lord Chamcellor and Jack Point) card covers, now soiled;
fingerprint soiling to Yeomen pages; creased at foredge. Very good.
See the general
ephemera section for programmes of shows
involving Savoyards, etc.,
but not by Gilbert or Sullivan.
1948. Trial and Pirates. 15th-[21st] March, 1948.
Theatre Royal, Glasgow. The Orpheus Club "(By permission of R. D'Oyly Carte)".
8 pp. stapled booklet, including plain paper wrappers; seal broken, rear panel
lacking 1" piece and with severe evidence of previous mounting; upper corners
[-----Another copy]. This one the souvenir/libretto only,
later issue, with insert reflecting the cast changes among the principals, now
including Tobias, Noone, Fraser, Ranson, Leonard, Ross, Lancaster. Full colour
photographic souvenir with colour pictorial (original poster design) card
wrappers; 1" split at lower spine; "ding" to lower rear cover, affecting
through to front; occasional creasing. Near fine.
. Hot Mikado. [June 1995]. Queens Theatre, [London].
Ford's Theatre Production, a rollicking swing version of the
Mikado created and adapted by David Bell and Rob Bowman.
decorated black wrappers; together with a June 27, 1995 ticket
stub. Both items fine.
2000. Gilbert & Sullivan Gala 2000. June 25th, 2000. Crawley
Festival. "To include excerpts from every Savoy Opera." Performance to benefit
The Great Ormond Street Hospital Children's Charity. Savoyards participating
include Valerie Masterson, Helen Roberts, Joyce Perry, Kenneth Sandford, Thomas
Round (who danced a hornpipe), Julia Goss, Peggy Ann Jones, Neville Griffiths,
and more than 40 other members of the Old and New D'Oyly Carte Companies.
16 pp. narrow, large format stapled booklet,
photo-pictorial (Gilbert and Sullivan) light card wrappers, Together with flyer
listing raffle prizes. Both pieces fine.
Gilbert Without Sullivan
 Pygmalion and Galatea and Comedy and Tragedy.
September 6 . Lyceum Theatre. 4 pp.,
cream folded paper printed
in maroon, with "1884" in pencil on front and rear; horizontal fold; light
foxing; advertising throughout. Near fine.
1975. Engaged. 6 August-[?], 1975. The National Theatre at
the Old Vic [London]. With a biography of Gilbert and historical sketch of the
play, each accompanied by period illustrations and photos; also with rehearsal
photos and cast bios. 8 pp. stapled colour booklet (2 foldout pages), plus brown,
white and yellow light card wrappers; a touch creased at edges. With 2 p. cast
list/ad for programme and 1 p. announcement of succeeding production laid in.
Sullivan Without Gilbert
. Trio ["Morn, happy morn!"]; "Words by W.G. Wills,
Music by Arthur Sullivan"; from the play Olivia by W.G.
Wills. . Royal Court Theatre. Starring Ellen Terry in the title role.
4 pp. heavy
cream paper folder,
printed in black; stab holes along fold from previous binding, resulting in
three tiny chips at spine and short split at tail; minor creasing at bottom.
With note on verso: "Mr. Hare [Theatre Lessee and Manager] is indebted to
the kindness of ... Mr. Arthur Sullivan for the Music he has expressly
composed for the Trio sung in Act II."
1898. The Beauty Stone. 1/7/98 (printer's date).
Savoy. Cellier: Devol, Isham, Lytton, Passmore, Brandram, Owen, Moyse, Joran.
Return to Main Gilbert and
Conditions of sale, and orders
Wilfrid M. de Freitas - Bookseller
P.O. Box 883, Stock Exchange Tower
Montreal, Canada H4Z 1K2
Last updated: 3/24/13
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