Savoy Theatre, Strand, London

Ruddigore opened at the Savoy on 22nd January 1887. Audiences for The Mikado had begun to get thin and rehearsal commenced on the new opera.

Some members of the press took offence at what they perceived to be privacy in advance of the opening night, and began to say so in their respective journals. So much so that Gilbert eventually replied to the Pall Mall Gazette.

Jessie Bond and Ruttland Barrington

Jessie Bond and Ruttland Barrington

“Sir, You are pleased to make merry with what is supposed to be an exaggerated anxiety on the part of Sir Arthur Sullivan and myself lest the details of the new opera, now in rehearsal at the Savoy, should become prematurely known to the public. So little has this consideration troubled us that we invited to the first reading of the piece. no fewer than forty four ladies and gentlemen of the chorus, besides dozens of personal friends. We have declined to accede to several requests which have been made to us to allow the details of the plot to be published in newspapers; and in behaving thus we believe we have taken no unusual course. You say that so great is the fear of piracy that even the actors themselves do not know the name of the play, nor the characters they are severally engaged to represent. The name of the play is at present unknown to myself and I shall be much obliged to anyone who will tell it to me.”

The season continued at the Savoy until 5th November 1887.