W. S. Gilbert

Sir William Schwenck Gilbert (18 November 1836 – 29 May 1911) was an English dramatist, librettist, poet and illustrator best known for the fourteen comic operas (known as the Savoy operas) produced in collaboration with the composer Sir Arthur Sullivan. The most famous of these include H.M.S. Pinafore, The Pirates of Penzance and one of the most frequently performed works in the history of musical theatre, The Mikado.

The popularity of these works was supported for over a century by year-round performances of them, in Britain and abroad, by the repertory company that they founded, the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company. Eleven of the Savoy operas continue to be frequently performed in the English-speaking world and beyond by opera companies, repertory companies, schools and community theatre groups.

Lines from these works have become part of the English language, such as "short, sharp shock", "What, never? Well, hardly ever!", and "Let the punishment fit the crime".

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