SULLIVAN, SIR ARTHUR S. (1842-1900). English composer; best known for 14 operatic collaborations with the dramatist W. S. Gilbert, including H.M.S. Pinafore, The Pirates of Penzance and The Mikado. Autograph Letter Signed, “Arthur Sullivan”. Two separate pages, octavo. Cairo [Egypt], March 19, 1882. Some folding, else fine condition. To Prosper Sainton, violinist and composer. Sullivan writes:
“My dear Sainton, I have received letters and newspapers speaking highly of the excellent performance of the ‘Martyr of Antioch’ under your direction at the Sacred Harmonie Society. Pray, therefore, accept my warmest thanks for all the care and attention you must have devoted to the work. I hope the result was as pleasant to you as it has been gratifying to myself. After a three months stay here in Cairo, I am going to leave next Saturday the 25th for Naples, and hope to be home again in the middle of April. But I am sorry to quit this place, I have got to [sic] attached to it. Never was anything so picturesque and varied in form and colour as the streets of Cairo. Why don’t you and Mad[ame] Sainton come out next winter, and get clear of the fogs, etc.? Please give my kindest remembrances to Mad[ame]. Sainton and believe me yours sincerely, Arthur Sullivan”.
The Martyr of Antioch is based on the poem by the Reverend Henry Hart Milman (1822), about the martyrdom of St. Margaret of Antioch, at the end of the 3rd century. Sullivan’s friend and collaborator, the dramatist W. S. Gilbert, assisted him in adapting the libretto from Milman’s poem. A very fine reference.