Materials related to the formation and dissolution of the 'triumvirate' partnership and beyond, 1879-1897

Scope and Content

Agreements (including copies of originals and agreement memoranda), correspondence and engagement contracts between D'Oyly Carte, Gilbert and Sullivan during the years of their partnership prior to disbanding (1879-1890).

All materials are originals, unless otherwise stated at file level.

Administrative / Biographical History

The new partnership between D'Oyly Carte, Gilbert and Sullivan began in 1879 and would eventually be called the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company. Gilbert and Sullivan productions were staged at the Opera Comique until the opening of the Savoy Theatre in October 1881. The partnership disbanded in 1890 following a dispute between D'Oyly Carte and Gilbert over the maintenance costs for the theatre building. Sullivan sided with D'Oyly Carte and continued to work with him, collaborating with other librettists to produce comic operas.


The correspondence, agreements and memoranda in this series were kept separately from the correspondence, agreements and memoranda found elsewhere in the collection, as organised by the office of Bridget D'Oyly Carte. Presumably this served to mark them as being of particular significance.

Further correspondence may be found in the dedicated correspondence series THM/73/14.

It is possible that selected materials within this series might also refer to the Comedy Opera Company era but have not been catalogued to item level.