1891–1893 Picking up the Thread
The timing of their new work therefore was, as Arthur Sullivan said in a letter written from Newmarket, “a matter for consideration and discussion.” He was most anxious that nothing should ever arise which would lead to another misunderstanding between them. William Gilbert was ready to start on a new plot. He fully understood Sullivan's position, and taking Sullivan's opera with Sydney Grundy into consideration, together with his work for the next Leeds Festival, he estimated that it would be 12 or 18 months before they could collaborate. Gilbert preferred that libretto to be for Sullivan, but in early November Sullivan told him that negotiations with Grundy had reached a stage where he felt obliged to agree to start work on the piece at once.
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