June 9 - 19, 2011
Record audiences were entertained by The Gilbert & Sullivan Society of Austin's Summer 2011 Grand Production of The Mikado; or, The Town of Titipu. Nine performances, running June 9-19, captivated Austin - as our cast, orchestra, and crew once again created a G&S classic.
Last produced by the Society in 2005, The Mikado proved once again why it has delighted audiences for more than a century, and is arguably the most popular comic opera ever written. Performances were held at the Travis High School Performing Arts Center.
Artistic Director Ralph MacPhail, Jr. and Music Director Jeffrey Jones-Ragona presented an unforgettable Gilbert & Sullivan classic, a quintessential satire of human nature that reveals both Gilbert and Sullivan at the height of their creative geniuses.
The Gilbert & Sullivan Society of Austin thanks all the performers, the Gillman Light Opera Orchestra, sponsors, volunteers, Society members, and enthusiastic audiences for making this year's show such a joy.
The Mikado opened in London on March 14, 1885, and ran for a record-breaking 672 performances at the Savoy Theatre. This comedy about an executioner, while set in Japan, displays wit that is very much British, albeit kimono-clad. Victorian England is the target of Gilbert's satire, thinly disguised as a strange and distant land.
Its influence on popular culture is pervasive, from “Pooh-Bah,” “Tit-Willow," “A Wandring Minstrel I” and “Three Little Maids” to the 1999 Mike Leigh film “Topsy-Turvy” which tells the story of the creation of The Mikado.
Usually regarded as Gilbert & Sullivan's masterpiece, The Mikado has been translated into other languages and adapted more than any other of their works. Austin will, however, continue its tradition of offering The Mikado that Gilbert and Sullivan wrote, demonstrating why the work has proved so enduring & endearing for 125 years.
Congratulations to Arthur DiBianca for his 2011 B. Iden Payne Award nomination as Outstanding Lead Actor in Music Theater. This important recognition was well deserved for Arthur's nuanced and superbly entertaining performance as Ko-Ko.