Tita in Thibet (aka Brum, a Birmingham Merchant) is an English two-act musical play by Frank Desprez. It opened at the Royalty Theatre in London on 1 January 1879.
Tita in Thibet was written as a vehicle for the music hall star Kate Santley. Fred Leslie and W. H. Seymour, who would become the stage manager of the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company for 20 years, also played in the piece, as did ex-D'Oyly Carte player Walter H. Fisher.
The setting of the piece took advantage of the Victorian fad for anything Far East-themed. The became Desprez's most frequently played work and was later played by the Majilton theatre company more than a thousand times in the British provinces.
In China, a European idol merchant called Brum has a jealous wife named Tita. Brum decides to test his wife by pretending that love letters have been sent to him by another woman. Meanwhile, two Tibetan merchants (Chin-Chin and Po-Hi) and a young tea-gardener (Young Hyson) all seek to wed Tita. They point out that the customs of the country permit every wife to have four husbands. Brum is disgusted and enraged.
To punish her husband for his imagined flirtations, Tita pretends to be charmed by the idea of marrying these suitors, and she agrees to meet them in the Temple of Fo to hold the wedding ceremonies. Brum hides in the Temple and disguises himself as an idol to watch the ceremony. Tita dresses Chin-Chin as a woman and fools Po-Hi and Young Hyson into making their expressions of love to "her". Eventually, Tita and Brum reconcile, and all ends happily.
The Era, a London newspaper, reviewed the piece, as follows:
Songs in the show include:
Richard D'Oyly Carte was an English talent agent, theatrical impresario, composer, and hotelier during the latter half of the Victorian era. He built two of London's theatres and a hotel empire, while also establishing an opera company that ran continuously for over a hundred years and a management agency representing some of the most important artists of the day.
Frederick George Hobson, known as Fred Leslie, was an English actor, singer, comedian and dramatist.
Alfred Cellier was an English composer, orchestrator and conductor.
Charles Courtice Pounds, better known by the stage name Courtice Pounds, was an English singer and actor known for his performances in the tenor roles of the Savoy Operas with the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company and his later roles in Shakespeare plays and Edwardian musical comedies.
The Nautch Girl, or, The Rajah of Chutneypore is a comic opera in two acts, with a book by George Dance, lyrics by Dance and Frank Desprez and music by Edward Solomon. It opened on 30 June 1891 at the Savoy Theatre managed by Richard D'Oyly Carte and ran until 16 January 1892, for a respectable 200 performances, and then toured the British provinces and colonies.
Frank Desprez was an English playwright, essayist, and poet. He wrote more than twenty pieces for the theatre, as well as numerous shorter works, including his famous poem, Lasca.
After All! is a one-act comic opera with a libretto by Frank Desprez and music by Alfred Cellier. It was first performed at the Savoy Theatre under the management of Richard D'Oyly Carte, along with H.M.S. Pinafore and another short piece, Cups and Saucers, from December 1878 to February 1880.
Helen Carte Boulter, also known as Helen Lenoir, was a Scottish businesswoman known for her diplomatic skills and grasp of detail. Beginning as his secretary, and later marrying, impresario and hotelier Richard D'Oyly Carte, she is best remembered for her stewardship of the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company and Savoy Hotel from the end of the 19th century into the early 20th century.
François Arsène Cellier, often called Frank, was an English conductor and composer. He is known for his tenure as musical director and conductor of the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company during the original runs and early revivals of the Savoy operas.
Louisa Emma Amelia "Louie" Pounds was an English singer and actress, known for her performances in musical comedies and in mezzo-soprano roles with the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company.
In the Sulks is a one-act comic opera with a libretto by Frank Desprez and music by Alfred Cellier. It was first performed at the Opera Comique on 21 February 1880; revived 3 April 1880 to 2 April 1881 as a curtain raiser to The Pirates of Penzance, and again from 25 April to 2 May 1881 and from 11 to 14 October 1881 as a curtain raiser to Patience. It was also performed from 21 February to 20 March 1880 at matinees with the Children's Pinafore. The piece also toured frequently from 1879 to 1882.
Mrs. Jarramie's Genie is a one-act comic opera with a libretto by Frank Desprez and music by Alfred Cellier and François Cellier. The piece was first presented at the Savoy Theatre on 14 February 1888, as a curtain raiser to the revival of H.M.S. Pinafore. It was subsequently presented as a curtain raiser to revivals of The Pirates of Penzance and The Mikado, and then with The Yeomen of the Guard.
Quite an Adventure is a one-act comic opera by Edward Solomon with a libretto by Frank Desprez. The farcical plot concerns a house-guest who mistakes his hostess's husband for an intruder.
Evangeline Estelle Gazina, better known under her stage name, Kate Santley, was a German-born actress, singer and comedian. After spending her childhood in the US, she came to England in 1861, where she had a successful career, later also becoming a theatre manager.
The Vicar of Bray is a comic opera by Edward Solomon with a libretto by Sydney Grundy which opened at the Globe Theatre, in London, on 22 July 1882, for a run of only 69 performances. The public was not amused at a clergyman's being made the subject of ridicule, and the opera was regarded by some as scandalous. An 1892 revival at the Savoy Theatre was more successful, lasting for 143 performances, after public perceptions had changed.
Louie Henri, Lady Lytton was an English singer and actress, best known for her many roles in the Savoy Operas with the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company. She married Henry Lytton, who eventually became the company's longstanding principal comedian.
Julia Gwynne was an English opera singer and actress best remembered for her performances with the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company from 1879 to 1883. She married producer George Edwardes.
Frank Wyatt was an English actor, singer, theatre manager and playwright.
Walter Henry Fisher was an English singer and actor of the Victorian era best remembered as the creator of the role of the Defendant in Gilbert and Sullivan's 1875 opera Trial by Jury. Beginning in the 1860s with much promise in comic plays, classics, Victorian burlesque, and as a versatile singer in opera and operetta, Fisher seemed headed for lasting stardom alongside his wife Lottie Venne. His career was limited, however, by his struggle with alcoholism, ending in the 1880s, and he died at age 44. Gustave Slapoffski described Fisher as "probably the finest comic opera tenor the English stage has ever known".
Powis Pinder was an operatic baritone who created a number of minor roles in the Savoy Operas and played a range of more important parts in Gilbert and Sullivan operas and other works during a two decade long stage career. His later years were spent managing concert parties on the Isle of Wight where he later served as a volunteer fireman on the outbreak of World War II.