MasterVoices | American Symphony Orchestra | Ted Sperling, Conductor
One of the most frequently produced musical theatre pieces in history; The Mikado is a comic opera in two acts, with music by Arthur Sullivan and libretto by W.S. Gilbert. The Mikado tells the story of the town of Titipu, in which the Mikado has decreed flirting a capital crime. Not wanting to execute any offenders, the authorities appoint Ko-Ko, a convicted flirter and the next in line to be beheaded, to the post of Lord High Executioner. They conclude that as he could “not cut off another’s head” before his own, there would be no beheading in Titipu. The story continues with Nanki-Poo, the Mikado’sson, who travels in disguise as a wandering minstrel to Titipu and proclaims his love for the maiden Yum-Yum, Ko-Ko’s fiancé. Ko-Ko later receives word from the Mikado that in order for Titipu to maintain its title as a town and not to demoted to a village, a beheading must take palce within the month. The plot thickens with the usual Gilbert and Sullivan humor, satirizing British politics and institutions in this fictionalized foreign land. The Mikado was Gilbert and Sullivan’s ninth collaborative work, and has experienced enormous popularity since its debut by the D’Oyly Carte Opera Company on March 14, 1884 at the Savory Theatre.
Associate Directing and Choreography by Andrew Palermo
Lighting Design by Frances Aronson
Sound Design by Scott Lehrer
Additional Lyrics by Joe Keenan