*REGISTRATION STILL OPEN UNTIL JULY 31ST* A hilarious exotic opera by the forerunners of Monty Python and Marx Brothers, Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Mikado (1885) in a successful co-production of the GNO Alternative Stage with the Rafi music theatre company, conducted and re-orchestrated by Michalis Papapetrou and directed by Akillas Karazisis. Its creators, William Schwenck Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan, leading lights in the field of English comic opera, were inspired by the atmospheric Far East and composed this acerbic satire on the socio-political mores of the 19th century. Violence, corruption, populism, hypocrisy and puritanism are all in the firing line of this ingenious artistic duo, who satirise their times with humour and lightheartedness. Filmed at the GNO Alternative Stage at the SNFCC on 30 December 2017. Greek subtitles available.
The librettist William Schwenck Gilbert is said to have been inspired to write the work by a Japanese sword he saw hanging in a public library. At that time theatre companies from Japan were touring London, helping spread the sophisticated orientalism which the British public were going mad for.
Setting the action in a remote geographical location made it easier for the experienced writer to talk fearlessly about issues afflicting English society at that time: unending political scandals, abuses of power and the democratic deficit. The specific choice also allowed him to use humour and irony to satirise the prevailing puritanism of the Victorian period, paving the way for writers such as Oscar Wilde and Bernard Shaw.
In the magical land of Titipu where the Great Emperor (the Mikado) had banned flirting, philandering tailors become executioners so that they don’t have to behead themselves, parliamentary deputies declare themselves “masters of everything”, and flirting, although banned, flourishes in the most unimaginable forms. The composer Arthur Sullivan considered The Mikado to be his masterpiece, where he skillfully blended “light” British operetta and “serious” English opera, where “humour, satire, characters and high quality music exist in marvellous balance”.
It is worth noting that The Mikado also inspired George and Ira Gershwin’s musicals on Broadway and Hollywood. George Gershwin considered the Gilbert and Sullivan duo to be his role models. The work was a roaring success from the very first performance in 1885 (around 150 companies all over the world had included The Mikado in their repertoire by the end of the year) and remains one of the most popular work of music theatre of all times.
Music Arthur Sullivan
Libretto William Schwenck Gilbert
Arrangement, conductor Michalis Papapetrou
Director Akillas Karazisis
Adaptation Giorgos Tsaknias
Lyrics adaptation Κaterina Schina
Set & costume designer Alexia Theodoraki
Choreographer Hara Kotsali
Lighting designer Yiannis Drakoularakos
The Mikado Marios Sarantidis
Nanki-Poo Thanos Lekkas
Ko-Ko Dimitris Nalbandis
Pooh-Bah Νikos Spanatis
Katisha Anastasia Kotsali
Yum-Yum Lito Messini
Pitti-Sing Lydia Angelopoulou
Peep-Bo Barbara Biza
Pish-Tush Michalis Papapetrou
Guido de Flaviis (saxophone)
Giorgos Krimberis (trombone)
Costas Seremetis (percussion)
Vaggelis Stefanopoulos (piano, keyboard)
Dionisis Vervitsiotis (violin)
Haris Pazaroulas (double bass)