MS OPERA CONTINUES 71st SEASON with a Gilbert & Sullivan Classic “THE MIKADO”
November 15th and 20th | Duling Hall in Jackson’s historic Fondren District
Jackson, MS— The Mississippi Opera continues its 71st season ON Tuesday, November 15 at 7:30 pm and Sunday, November 20 at 3 pm with Gilbert & Sullivan’s perennially popular THE MIKADO at Duling Hall in Jackson’s historic Fondren district.
THE MIKADO, or The Town of Titipu, is a hilarious musical comedy by the great British comedic team Gilbert and Sullivan. It premiered in 1885 at the famous Savoy Theatre in London and originally ran for almost 700 performances. Since then thousands of opera and musical theatre companies around the world have presented annual performances of this timeless classic. It has been translated into multiple languages and is one of the most frequently performed musical theatre pieces in history.
The comedy remains fresh and relevant today because the exotic setting in Japan allows productions worldwide to poke fun at local politicians and institutions by disguising them as Japanese. “We’ll be having some local and national political fun with our version as well,” noted Mississippi Opera Artistic Director Jay Dean.
Renowned director, author and designer Rob Mulholland directs THE MIKADO which features guest artists Taylor Hightower as The Mikado, Paul Houghtaling as Ko-Ko, Mandy Spivak as Yum-Yum, Nicholas Perna as Nanki-Poo, Greg Wascoe as Poo-Bah, Kevin Lozano as Pish-Tush, Katie Buckner as Pitti-Sing, Kelly Snyder as Peep-Bo, Meredith Johnson as Katisha.
The Production also features twenty members of the wonderful Mississippi Opera Chorus.
Director and cast are excited about the upcoming production:
“It is always such a pleasure to work with MS Opera. I know coming in that the cast and music will be top-notch and that the audiences will be captivated by the work. If you are already a fan of The Mikado, you will find this production to be unique in that the theater itself is so intimate that you can’t help but be immersed in the experience. If you have never seen The Mikado, or don’t know the works of Gilbert & Sullivan, you could ask for no better introduction.Welcome to the hilarious world of G & S."
- ROB MULHOLLAND, DIRECTOR
“Not often do you get to play a character with as terrific a name as Nanki-Poo, but even less often do you get to kiss the soprano quite often during your love duet, said Nicholas Perna who portrays Nanki-Poo. Even more, in the case of our cast, I get the most enjoyment from the fact that the soprano happens to be my beautiful wife Mandy Spivak who plays Yum-Yum."
- NICHOLAS PERNA, NANKI-POO
“I'm excited about this production of The Mikado because I love the show and I have a special connection to the role of Ko-Ko. There's a lot of me in that quirky, fussy little guy. This will be my 10th production of the piece (G & S have been really good to me in my career). I'm looking forward to collaborating with Rob & the entire cast to bring this show to life. Even though it's a comedy, there's a very real and touching message involved, one that has special relevance today. A young girl loves a boy, despite his rank, and a somewhat odd man falls for an old lady who loves lightning. Love is love, right? And even better with raucous laughter along the way.”
- PAUL HOUGHTALING, KO-KO
“I could not imagine a better way to make my debut with Mississippi Opera than being a part of this incredible cast and crew in a show that is both hilarious and musically brilliant. Despite its long history, the Mikado feels current, with its timeless humor, zany story line, and one great tune after another, after another. It is a high-energy show, never leaving a dull moment and leaving the audience wanting more. Playing Poo-Bah with this company will be an unforgettable experience!”
- GREG WASCOE, POO-BAH