Vancouver Opera' s MIKADO


by Pat Wedd

The classic opera Mikado was brought to life in Vancouver with a whimsical and innocent comedic interpretation that left audiences thrilled.

The Mikado, first presented in London in 1885, was written by the famous musical duo Gilbert and Sullivan. It is said by many to be a Gilbert and Sullivan "masterpiece". The operetta was born out of the then craze in 19th century England for things "japonaiserie".

The story revolves around a love triangle with a timeless twist of plot and references of old Victorian flirtation and idiotic bureaucratic politics.

Director Michael Cavanagh modernized the original British satirical operetta with a constant witty Canadian flare. The effect was very humorous and the audience reacted to this unconventional presentation with heartfelt laughter.

British actor Richard Suart in the role of Ko-Ko was outstanding and literally stole the show. Other standouts included Laura Pudwell as Pitti-Sing , dressed in punk refinery with spiked hair. A novel interpretation of the role which she played with great enthusiasm.

Canadian actor Thomas Goerz deserved praise in the role of Pish-Tush. He played the part as a slang talking "Canuck" which enamored the audience and held their attention.

This unique interpretation of Mikado was light and refreshing in its originality and a feather in the cap to Vancouver Opera for its presentation.