1877 The Comedy Opera Company and The Sorcerer
Richard D'Oyly Carte was as ambitious as his list of clients was impressive. He estimated that at that stage of his career he was earning about as much as William Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan, but he lacked the financial resources necessary to move on to the next stage. For that he needed men with capital, and he succeeded in interesting four men who would become the directors of his Comedy Opera Company. Two of them were music publishers, George Metzler and his associate Frank Chappell, and the other two were Augustus Collard Drake, chairman of the new company, and Edward Hodgson Bayley, a businessman with a fleet of water carts and a contract for damping down the dusty streets of the capital. Carte was now in a position to approach Gilbert and Sullivan with a greater degree of confidence. Alfred Sullivan and William Gilbert begin working on The Sorcerer during this time.
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