Just into its 71st season Bath G&S Society presents four animated concert performances of The Mikado or The Town of Titipu, arguably Gilbert and Sullivan’s most popular comic opera. The company recently presented a very successful scratch performance of the opera at the Westbury Music and Arts Festival and has assembled broadly the same line-up of soloists for the four concert performances at The Mission Theatre from 19th to 21st November.
It is said that there is a production of The Mikado being presented somewhere in the world 365 days of the year. It rightly holds its place as one of the most successful musical shows of all time. Many of its tunes and lyrics are embedded in the British psyche “Three Little Maids from School”, “I’ve Got a Little List”, “Tit Willow” and “The Flowers that Bloom in the Spring” to name but a few. Since its original production in 1885, the work has been revived and updated many times and one of the most enduring productions is Jonathan Miller’s all white 1930’s hotel staging for ENO. It returns for its umpteenth revival at the Coliseum in London this autumn. There has also been a “Black Mikado”, a “Jazz Mikado” and of course “The Hot Mikado” and two films.
The Mikado, set in fictitious Japanese Town of Titipu, features a village full of colorful characters including three maids from school, a wandering minstrel, the hilariously corrupt public official, and a Lord High Executioner that is too tenderhearted to actually execute those on his list. Yum-Yum, a beautiful school girl, loves the romantic minstrel Nanki-Poo, but is engaged to Ko-Ko the executioner. This romantic triangle takes the usual course of thwarted romance, until the arrival first of the fearsome Katisha, claiming Nanki-Poo as her “perjured lover,” and later of the emperor, or Mikado, himself – with his own list of punishments to fit the crime.
This animated concert production will include all of Gilbert’s witty dialogue and Sullivan’s captivating melodies, and will be presented by a company of forty singers at The Mission from Wednesday 19th to Saturday 21st November. Evening performances at 7.30 pm and a Saturday matinee performance at 2.30 pm. Tickets £10/£8 concessions.
The principal line-up is as follows: The Mikado of Japan (Nick Lee), Nanki-Poo (Philip Styles), Poo-Bah (William Stevens), Ko-Ko (Dave Key-Pugh), Pish-Tush (Steve Donovan), Yum-Yum (Sheila Symes), Pitti-Sing (Sarah Nash), Peep-Bo (Esther Lamin) and Katisha (Sandra MacPherson. Local singer and director Lydia Stevens takes the role of concert co-ordinator and Kerry Bishop conducts..
For tickets contact the Society on 01225 400295 or Bath Box Office on 01225 463362. Further details also available on the Society’s website: www.bathgands.co.uk .