Scottish Opera is delighted to be working with D’Oyly Carte Opera to bring the extensive music hire library of Gilbert and Sullivan works to its Elmbank Crescent offices in Glasgow, which also houses an extensive library of scores, orchestral and vocal parts.

The music hire library provides orchestral parts and other musical material to anyone in the UK and Europe looking to perform Gilbert and Sullivan, including professional companies, amateur dramatic societies, and school groups.

Scottish Opera acquired 86 crates of music from D’Oyly Carte which have taken three weeks to sort through. This will be the only location to hire the material from the original performers of Gilbert and Sullivan, with some of the rarer items being sent down to join the D’Oyly Carte collection in the British Library.

By hiring the material from Scottish Opera, companies will have the opportunity to buy into the great tradition of amateur performance and access the original D’Oyly Carte works of Gilbert and Sullivan. D’Oyly Carte parts available to hire include some of the rarer works such as Utopia, LimitedThe Grand Duke, shows that Sullivan wrote without Gilbert, as well as the more well-known works such as Trial by JuryHMS PinaforeThe Pirates of PenzanceIolantheThe MikadoThe Yeomen of the Guard, and The Gondoliers.

Scottish Opera has worked with D’Oyly Carte Opera Company since 2013, co-producing productions of Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Pirates of PenzanceThe Mikado and were due to have productions of The Gondoliers and Utopia Limited this year.

During lockdown the Company has delved in to the whimsical world of Gilbert and Sullivan with their Spotlight on The Gondoliers. An online project which looks further in to the musical intricacies of Gilbert and Sullivan’s comic opera, as well as featuring performances, in-depth articles and exclusive archive photography- available at the Scottish Opera website:

Scottish Opera Head of Music, Derek Clark said: ‘It’s not often that an opera company gets the chance to help another opera company, so it’s great for Scottish Opera to be able to offer the space and the manpower to take over the running of the D’Oyly Carte library. For me, personally, as a lifelong Gilbert and Sullivan devotee, it is wonderful to have this resource available to explore – it’s a bit like being let loose in Aladdin’s cave. So, I’m very much looking forward to seeing whether any undiscovered gems lie lurking in its depths.’

D’Oyly Carte Opera Trust General Manager, Ian Martin said: ‘I’m really happy that the D’Oyly Carte Music Hire Library is to be managed by Scottish Opera. Our co-producing partnership with Scottish Opera has been successful for over seven years now and we still have our greatest project to look forward to. I have looked after the library for over 32 years now and have moved it no less than seven times to various addresses around the UK- London, Birmingham and Wolverhampton. I hope that it has found a more stable and consistent home now and for the future.’

Scottish Opera Music Librarian, Gordon Grant said: ‘I’m excited to take over the running of the D’Oyly Carte Music Hire Library and I can’t think of a better project to work on until we can return to doing what we do best – putting on shows. We, at Scottish Opera, are a company who knows first-hand the joy of performing Gilbert and Sullivan’s operas, so it’s fantastic to be able to share our enthusiasm by providing sheet music to performing societies and organisations across the UK and Europe. By hiring from The D’Oyly Carte Music Hire Library, you are also helping both Scottish Opera and D’Oyly Carte bring you more brilliant opera.’