Two Merry Monarchs Libretto
by Anderson and Levy
Two Merry Monarchs is a musical comedy with Libretto by Arthur Anderson and George N. Levy, Lyrics by Arthur Anderson and Hartley Carrick, Music by Orlando Morgan. This opera first appeared at the Savoy Theatre on March 10, 1910 under the management of Charles Workman. Workman was the principal comedian at the Savoy, and was famous for his portrayals of the comedy roles in Gilbert and Sullivan operas. Roles like the Major General and Sir Joseph and KoKO and Jack Point, and he was very famous in London and the provinces. Upon retirement of Mrs. D'Oyly Carte in March 1909, Workman took over Savoy management in an effort to keep Savoy traditions in London going, and rather than produce the works that made him famous, he presented entirely new pieces in the same way that Richard D'Oyly Carte did in the 1890s when Gilbert and Sullivan were not working together. Two Merry Monarchs was the third production in Workman's season of light opera, following The Mountaineers and Fallen Fairies.
The two merry monarchs are King Paul of Esperanto and King Utops of Utopia. The year is the present (1910), but there are only two countries on the earth, Esperanto and Utopia. King Paul, who has secretly discovered the elixir of life a thousand years ago, plans to poison King Utops. Paul will then trade the antidote for the kingdom of Utopia, thus making Paul the king of both countries. Of course the plan goes awry, causing confusion and unanticipated results.
Two Merry Monarchs libretto was contributed to this web site by Scott Farrell, an expert on the life and career of Charles Workman. He is the author of The Final Savoy Operas: A Centenary Review.
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