Trial by Jury

one-act comic opera by Gilbert and Sullivan

Trial by Jury is one-act operetta by Gilbert and Sullivan. It is the second of their fourteen collaborations and their earliest work still performed today. It opened at the Royalty Theatre in London on 25 March 1875 with Jacques Offenbach's La Périchole and the farce, Cryptoconchoid Syphonostomata.

Trial by Jury
Trial Programme Page 3.jpg
Original programme
Written byW. S. Gilbert (words)
Arthur Sullivan (music)
CharactersAngelina, the Plaintiff
Edwin, the Defendant
Learned Judge
Date of premiere25 March 1875
Place of premiereRoyalty Theatre
London, England
Original languageEnglish
SubjectBreach of promise
SettingCourt of the Exchequer, ca. 1875

Trial by Jury moved about to several different theatres. It was performed about 300 times in its first two years. It was a popular and a critical success. It is only about 45 minutes long, has only one act, and has no spoken words.

Trial is about a young man who is sued for jilting his bethrothed. The judge hearing the case decides to marry the young woman himself. Today, it is sometimes played with another Gilbert and Sullivan operetta such as H.M.S. Pinafore.


  • Bradley, Ian. 2001. The Complete Annotated Gilbert and Sullivan. Oxford University Press. pp. 3-5.