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Gilbert & Sullivan Names

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By Nephele

The character names to be found in the comical, light operas of Gilbert & Sullivan, for the most part, represent names that Victorian society either found to be fancifully appealing (as in the fairy names from Iolanthe) or absurdly amusing (as in the faux Japanese names from The Mikado).

iolanthe_poster By comparison, some G&S character names may seem a bit mundane to us.  But viewing a rousing performance of The Pirates of Penzance could do much to redeem such names, as one finds oneself charmed by the dutiful and beautiful Mabel, or one cheers the “piratical maid of all work,” Ruth, who is later transformed into a feminist swashbuckler in her own right.

I present here a list of some interesting character names gleaned from Gilbert & Sullivan‘s less often produced operas:

GIRLS

ALINE– a maiden betrothed, from The Sorceror

CASILDA – the Duchess’ daughter, from The Gondoliers

CELIA – a fairy, from Iolanthe

FIAMETTA  – an Italian peasant girl, from The Gondoliers

FLETA – a fairy, from Iolanthe

LELIA – a fairy, from Iolanthe

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