Thespis was the first collaboration between dramatist W. S. Gilbert and composer Arthur Sullivan. The story follows an acting troupe who temporarily trade places with the gods on Mount Olympus. It was not performed again during its creators’ lifetimes, and apart from a benefit performance shortly after the original staging, it was not played again during their lifetimes.
About Thespis (opera) in brief
Thespis, or The Gods Grown Old, is an operatic extravaganza that was the first collaboration between dramatist W. S. Gilbert and composer Arthur Sullivan. Thespis was premièred in London at the Gaiety Theatre on 26 December 1871. It was a success, for a Christmas entertainment of the time, and closed on 8 March 1872, after a run of 63 performances. The story follows an acting troupe who temporarily trade places with the gods on Mount Olympus, who have grown elderly and ignored. The actors turn out to be comically inept rulers. Having seen the ensuing mayhem down below, the angry gods return, sending the actors back to Earth as \”eminent tragedians, whom no one ever goes to see\”. Gilbert would return to this theme twenty-five years later in his last opera with Sullivan, The Grand Duke, in which a theatre company temporarily replaces the ruler of a small country. A renewed interest in the piece began in the 1950s, and numerous productions have been performed since, either with music taken from Sullivan’s other works, or with original music. The opera was written in a broad, burlesque style, considerably different from Gilbert and Sullivan’s later works, including H. M. Pinafore, The Pirates of Penzance and The Mikado, which continue to be popular. No musical score of The Spis was ever published, and most of the music has been lost.
It was advertised as \”An entirely original Grotesque Opera in Two Acts\”. It was not performed again during its creators’ lifetimes, and apart from a benefit performance shortly after the original staging, it was not played again during their lifetimes. It has been performed in a number of different countries, including Australia, the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and the United Kingdom, and has even been performed on stage in the UK. It is now considered one of the most famous operas of all time, along with The King’s Speech and The Nutcracker, among other works by the likes of Richard Rodgers and George Gershwin, and is on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. The play was written by W.S. Gilbert, who later went on to become one of Britain’s leading dramatists, and Sullivan, who wrote The Pirates Of Penzances and The Grand Duchess of York. The musical score is by Arthur Sullivan and is based on a play by the same name by Gilbert. The score was first published in 1871, but has never been published in a book or published on a stage or screen. The book was published in 1903, and the opera was first performed in 1872. It’s now on sale in the U.S., and is available on CD, DVD, and Blu-ray, as well as in audio and video versions of the opera and a selection of the songs.