Sir William Schwenck Gilbert (1836-1911) was an English dramatist, librettist and illustrator best known for his fourteen comic operas produced in collaboration with the composer Sir Arthur Sullivan, of which the most famous include H. M.S. Pinafore, The Pirates of Penzance and The Mikado. These, as well as most of their other Savoy operas, continue to be performed regularly throughout the English-speaking world and beyond by opera companies, repertory companies, schools and community theatre groups. Gilbert illustrated poems for several comic magazines, primarily Fun. The poems, illustrated humourously by Gilbert, proved immensely popular and were reprinted in book form as the Bab Ballads. Sir Arthur Seymour Sullivan (1842-1900) was an English composer best known for his operatic collaborations with librettist W. S. Gilbert. In 1856, he received the first Mendelssohn prize and went to study at the Royal Academy of Music until 1858. He then continued his studies at Leipzig, Germany, at the Felix Mendelssohn College of Music and Theatre where he also took up conducting. He composed play scores on numerous occasions. Early examples included The Merchant of Venice (1871), The Merry Wives of Windsor (1874) and Henry VIII (1877).