For Educators

Attention Teachers and Educators:

So who are Gilbert & Sullivan?   They wrote many highly successful comic operettas in the late 1800s, during the Victorian era in England.  Their shows bring humor, wit, parody, and satire to government and society norms of the time.   The study of Gilbert & Sullivan offers creative ways for teachers to meet Michigan Academic Standards in a variety of areas including English, History, Government, Literature, Music, and Drama.  Victorian England is a great period for classroom study.  Often we find that Gilbert & Sullivan jokes and satirical comments about Victorian England apply to our society today!  Gilbert & Sullivan were innovators of comic opera and are the fathers of modern American Musicals.  Gilbert’s style of humor also led to comedies like Monty Python and Saturday Night Live.

We are willing to work with schools and teachers to use Gilbert & Sullivan as the vehicle to achieve classroom objectives. The Mikado is generally thought of as Gilbert & Sullivan’s most famous production. It can easily be used with many different subjects. Click on the links below for classroom resources:

The Mikado Study Guide from the Pittsburgh Public Theater
• See page 7 for Savoy Theatre history that led to the term “Savoyards”
• See page 11 – Mikado as satire of Victorian England
• See page 17 for vocabulary terms

Lyrics and script to the Mikado
• Just reading the lyrics makes for fun and interesting study of the issues of the show

Cultural Influence of Gilbert & Sullivan

Pirates of Penzance Teacher’s Guide from the San Francisco Opera Guild
• Well done with many definitions of concepts and vocabulary terms

Pirates of Penzance Study Guide from the Oregon Shakespeare Festival
• Designed for study before seeing or seeing the show

The Gilbert & Sullivan Archive
• Excellent website for G&S information

Theatre seat store
• Another good site for those wanting an introduction to Gilbert & Sullivan