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With reference to Mr. Arthur Diosy’s version of the origin of a well-known air in the "Mikado," Mr. W.S. Gilbert, writing to "The Morning Leader" from Grim’s Dyke, Harrow Weald, says:
A cutting from your paper, dated 30 April, has just reached me, and in it I read that Mr. Diosy claims to have suggested to Mr. R. Temple the air that used to accompany the Mikado’s entrance before the piece was placed on the Lord Chamberlain’s Index Expurgatorius, and that it was by this means that the air became part and parcel of the dead opera.
Mr. Diosy may have suggested the air to Mr. Temple, for anything I know to the contrary, but, as a matter of fact, the words and music were suggested to Sir Arthur Sullivan and myself by the gentleman who was then Mr. Bertram Mitford, and who is now Lord Redesdale. Mr. Mitford, whose knowledge of Japan was "extensive and peculiar," very kindly offered to assist us in the production, and it was at one of the rehearsals at which he was present that I, personally, asked him if he could suggest an effective Japanese air with native words that would suit the Mikado’s entrance. He at once suggested "Miyo Sama," [sic] and Sir Arthur Sullivan, who jumped at the idea, took down the notes as Mr. Mitford hummed them, and I took down the words from his dictation. Lord Redesdale will, no doubt, recollect the circumstance.
Mr. Gilbert adds: "The piece was originally advertised as ‘Titipu,’ in order to mislead the American pirates (which it did). The actual title, which had been long decided upon, was only made public two days before the production.
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