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Sir William Schwenck Gilbert
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(18 November 1836 – 29 May 1911) was a British dramatist
and illustrator best known for his fourteen comic operas
produced in collaboration
with the composer
Sir Arthur Sullivan
. Gilbert's most popular collaborations with Sullivan, including H.M.S. Pinafore
, The Pirates of Penzance
, and The Mikado
(one of the most frequently performed works in the history of musical theatre) and most of their other Savoy operas
continue to be performed regularly today throughout the English-speaking world and beyond by opera companies, repertory companies, schools and community theatre groups. Lines from these works have permanently entered the English language, including "short, sharp shock
", "What never? Well, hardly ever!", and "let the punishment fit the crime". (Read more...)