The Grand Duke
Savoy Theatre, Strand, London
The last of the operas created by Gilbert and Sullivan opened at the Savoy after a two year gap. On 7th March 1896 The Grand Duke opened following a much-enjoyed revival of The Mikado. The plot was a complicated one and the opening night was an anxious one. However, all seemed to go well though the notices in the press the following morning were very mixed. It appeared that the love affair between the British nation and Gilbert and Sullivan was slowly coming to an end. Some of the press were very critical but others were merely thankful for a continuance of the Savoy tradition. According to the critic for Hearth and Home, ‘The British public clings loyally to its old superstitions, one of which is to the effect that Messrs.Gilbert and Sullivan are the only gentlemen who can turn out a creditable comic opera.’ Consequently the success of The Grand Duke at the Savoy was a foregone conclusion.
The Grand Duke enjoyed a relatively short run, closing on 10th July 1896.