by Peter Medhurst
Thursday 20 June 2019
The operas of Gilbert and Sullivan are rich in contemporary satire and witty personal allusions. This lecture tells how each of the 14 operas, on which the partners collaborated, drew inspiration from the world in which they lived by drawing on celebrities, politicians, social mores, manners, artistic taste, the class system.
The lecture explains how the then First lord of the Admiralty, WH Smith, became the model for Sir Joseph Porter KCB in HMS Pinafore, how Oscar Wilde inspired Bunthorne – the fleshy poet – in Patience and how Gilbert himself was the model for the judge in Trial by Jury.
Peter appears in the UK and abroad as a musician and scholar, giving recitals and delivering illustrated lectures on music and the arts. He studied singing and early keyboard instruments at the Royal College of Music and at the Mozarteum in Salzburg.