24 Facts About The Mikado


Mikado; or, The Town of Titipu is a comic opera in two acts, with music by Arthur Sullivan and libretto by W S Gilbert, their ninth of fourteen operatic collaborations.

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The Mikado is the most internationally successful Savoy opera and has been especially popular with amateur and school productions.

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Gilbert and Sullivan's opera immediately preceding The Mikado was Princess Ida, which ran for nine months, a short duration by Savoy opera standards.

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The Mikado wrote to Sullivan asking him to reconsider, but the composer replied on 2 April 1884 that he had "come to the end of my tether" with the operas:.

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The Mikado recounted that a young Japanese lady, a tea server at the Japanese village, came to rehearsals to coach the three little maids in Japanese dance.

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The Mikado inquires about his beloved, a schoolgirl called Yum-Yum, who is a ward of Ko-Ko .

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The Mikado informs Nanki-Poo that Yum-Yum was scheduled to marry Ko-Ko on the very day that he has returned .

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Ko-Ko and Pooh-Bah receive news that the Mikado has just decreed that unless an execution is carried out in Titipu within a month, the town will be reduced to the rank of a village, which would bring "irretrievable ruin".

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The Mikado begs for her hand in marriage, saying that he has long harboured a passion for her.

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The Mikado's agrees and, once the ceremony is performed, she begs for the Mikado's mercy for him and his accomplices.

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The Mikado is astonished that Nanki-Poo is alive, as the account of his execution had been given with such "affecting particulars".

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The first provincial production of The Mikado opened on 27 July 1885 in Brighton, with several members of that company leaving in August to present the first authorised American production in New York.

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The Mikado was revived again while The Grand Duke was in preparation.

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When it became clear that that opera was not a success, The Mikado was given at matinees, and the revival continued when The Grand Duke closed after just three months.

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The Mikado is a comedy that deals with themes of death and cruelty.

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The town's Japanese-language adaptation of The Mikado has been revived several times throughout Japan and, in 2006, the Chichibu Mikado was performed at the International Gilbert and Sullivan Festival in England.

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The Mikado redesigned its Mikado production and debuted the new concept in December 2016, receiving a warm review from The New York Times.

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The Mikado became the most frequently performed Savoy Opera and has been translated into numerous languages.

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The Mikado has been recorded more often than any other Gilbert and Sullivan opera.

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Sound film versions of 12 of the musical numbers from The Mikado were produced in Britain and presented as programmes in 1907 titled Highlights from The Mikado.

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Video recordings of The Mikado include a 1972 offering from Gilbert and Sullivan for All; the 1982 Brent-Walker film; the well-regarded 1984 Stratford Festival video; and the 1986 English National Opera production .

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Quotes from The Mikado were used in letters to the police by the Zodiac Killer, who murdered at least five people in the San Francisco Bay area in 1968 and 1969.

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The Mikado is parodied in Sumo of the Opera, which credits Sullivan as the composer of most of its songs.

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In 1888, Ed J Smith wrote a stage parody of The Mikado called The Capitalist; or, The City of Fort Worth to encourage capital investment in Fort Worth, Texas.

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