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The Gilbert and Sullivan Archive   The Mountebanks

Gilbert's comic opera The Mountebanks, with music by Alfred Cellier, was first performed on 4 January 1892 at the Lyric Theatre, London, but its genesis had taken place much earlier. This was the notorious "lozenge plot" that Gilbert had tried to press on Sullivan so often, but without success. After the "carpet quarrel," Gilbert offered the libretto to other composers. The opera had a highly respectable run of 229 performances, but has rarely been revived, although the Lyric Theatre Company of Washington D.C. recorded it in 1964.

"Put a penny in the slot"
  • Programme from the 1892 production at the Lyric Theatre.
  • Review from The Illustrated London News, 9th January, 1892.
  • Review from The Times, 5th January, 1892.
  • Scores:
    • Arthur Robinson has sent us a scan of the Chappell Vocal Score published in 1892
    • Marc Shepherd has put together a vocal score using the score and libretto posted here and made it available on Lulu . If you want a printed and bound copy, this is the most convenient and economical way to obtain one.
    • Cut Song: "When your clothes from your hat to your socks. This song was included in the American edition of the vocal score, but not the British edition and was cut from performance. Gilbert later rewrote the song as "When you find you're a broken down critter" and included it in The Grand Duke.
      [PDF, 212Kb]
    • Vocal scores and libretti of The Mountebanks may be rented from St. David's Players of Cullompton, Exeter, England. Send queries to Ian Bond at
    • Tams-Witmark Music Library, Inc. - The Tams-Whitmark Music Library, which is located in New York City, has available the original orchestration for Mountebanks.
  • Put a Penny in the Slot. An adaptation of the Nita-Bartolo subplot from The Mountebanks by Chuck Berney, first performed by the Royal Victorian Opera Company. Mr. Berney infroms us there are no copyright restrictions.

Page modified 28 October, 2012