Here, in forty interviews and recollections, is a record of what was said about Sir William Schwenck Gilbert and Sir Arthur Sullivan during and shortly after their lifetimes by friends, musicians, theatrical managers, singers, actors, journalists, and authors. These engaging extracts serve to disprove the famous remark that "it was neither Gilbert nor Sullivan that was important. It was the ampersand."
"Supplemented by Orel's extensive notes, the testimonials comprise a dual biography documenting the achievements of the men together and singly, and demonstrating that each had a successful career on his own. Gilbert, one of the major satirists of his day, was the author of numerous plays and poems, and Sullivan was a respected conductor and a composer of sacred music, songs and serious opera. The two emerge as very different personalities from each other: Gilbert had a biting wit and domineering nature, while Sullivan was known for his easy-going manner and penchant for gambling. Savoyards will appreciate these reminiscences, which illuminate many aspects of a remarkable collaboration."—Publishers Weekly
"Orel's compilation of forty extracts from reminiscences by G&C's contemporaries was a happy idea. The factual content will not surprise connoisseurs, but the perspectives are refreshing. The convoluted, euphemistic prose seems admirably suited to the subject; endless sentences and tortured circumlocutions abound, and readers should find themselves chuckling a fair bit."—Choice