The Chieftain
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The Chieftain, with libretto by Francis Cowley Burnand and music by Sullivan, is a revison of the two men's earlier work The Contrabandista of 1867. The Chieftain ran at the Savoy Theatre from 12 December 1894 to 16 March 1895, achieving 97 performances.

The Ladrones, a band of Spanish brigands, have been without their chieftain Ferdinand for a year. Their law declares that the next person who enters their domain shall be named chieftain and wear the ancient sacred hat. Unfortunately, that person terms out to be a mild-mannered British tourist named Peter Adolphus Grigg. His disappearance in the Spanish hills prompts his wife Dolly to come looking for him. Unknown to them, her escort is Ferdinand himself, disguised as a Polish courier.

Poster from the original production of The Chieftain
  • Notes on the libretto by Clifton Coles.
  • Libretto in text format.
  • Web Opera The Libretto and MIDI files of all the music.
  • Vocal Score:
    • The vocal score of The Chieftain was issued in two editions. The Gilbert and SullivanArchive has published a vocal score containing all the material from both which may be obtained from Lulu. You may download a preview.
    • The vocal score can be hired from R.Clyde Music Publisher.
    • The vocal score and libretti may also be rented from St. David's Players of Cullompton, Exeter, England. Send queries to Ian Bond at

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