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Chapter Two: Sullivan and the Dilemma

In some ways, Sullivan typifies not only the acceptable face of the Victorian age but also its hidden side. He was a man of great personal charm and as a composer, conductor and administrator he dominated the musical world of his time. Sullivan was to be diverted from light orchestral music, of which Di Ballo is such a delectable example, to operetta, to oratorio and to time-consuming bureaucracy. But the characteristics of his instrumental melody follow through into the Savoy Operas. Sullivan was familiar with early Verdi, whose style he parodied from time to time. Sullivan became the victim of a climate of opinion – sadly, the climate of those whose approbation he craved. His situation was exacerbated by his own financial problems – in part stemming from his own insatiable gambling addiction, but in part also from his unfortunate choice of stockbroker.