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Gilbert & Sullivan favourite Mikado gets a new twist

By Ashbourne News Telegraph  |  Posted: August 05, 2014

The Mikado comes to Buxton Opera House next month.

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LOVERS of opera, comedy and fashion will be tempted to Buxton Opera House next month.

Newly updated to the world of modern fashion houses, performances of The Mikado will be playing at the Opera House from Thursday, August 14, to Saturday, August 16, at 7.30pm.

The Gilbert and Sullivan piece, hailed among titles such as HMS Pinafore and the Pirates of Penzance as one of the duo's most-loved comic operettas, is this time brought to the stage by the acclaimed Opera Della Luna company.

The story of love and duty offers an evening of song, dance and the company's well-known brand of humour.

The costumes also befit the setting, inspired by the creations of fashion houses Versace and Jean-Paul Gaultier.

The Mikado of the title is the emperor of Japan and the story centres on his son, Nanki-Poo, and his efforts to escape an arranged marriage.

When Nanki-Poo flees the court disguised as a musician, he falls in love with betrothed tailor's ward Yum-Yum – can they overcome the many obstacles to their love?

The play was first staged at the Savoy Theatre in 1885, and had the second-longest run of any work of musical theatre at 672 performances.

However, the piece is far from an antique – its Japanese setting allowed its creators to more freely satirise British politics and institutions, observations that may still ring true today.

It was famously conceived by Gilbert when a Japanese sword fell from his study wall, and born out of an artistic conflict which almost ended the partnership, as detailed in the 1999 Mike Leigh film Topsy Turvy.

The cast includes Gilbert and Sullivan specialists and Opera Della Luna regulars such as Richard Gauntlet as Ko-Ko, Louise Crane as Katisha and Ian Belsey as the Mikado.

This is one of many Gilbert and Sullivan shows at the opera house in August. Productions of The Sorcerer, The Pirates of Penzance and The Yeoman of the Guard are playing, as is a highlights show – A Feast of Gilbert and Sullivan – accompanied by the British Philharmonic Concert Orchestra.

Tickets are priced at £24 and £26 and discounts are available. To buy tickets or for more information, call the box office on 0845 127 2190 or buy online at www. buxtonoperahouse.org.uk.

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