Utopia, Limited

Emmie Owen and Florence Perry

Emmie Owen and Florence Perry

Savoy Theatre, Strand, London

During the run of The Gondoliers at the Savoy, D’Oyly Carte opened the brand new Royal English Opera House with Sullivan’s ‘Ivanhoe’.

Although it achieved a record run for a grand opera, nevertheless it was not the success hoped for and expected. Richard D’Oyly Carte reluctantly sold the opera house. This affected the confidence of the partnership badly and it was another two years before Gilbert and Sullivan could be brought to work together again.

As the audience took their seats on the night of 7th October 1893, there was more than just the customary anticipation. The next morning the professional critics were plainly divided.

There were those who admired the piece, who thought it showed all the spontaneity and wit of old, those who were more cautious, who thought it perhaps not so good but nevertheless were grateful for the offering and those who decidedly did not like it. It ran at the Savoy until 9th June 1894.