The Mikado

Is nothing sacred anymore? In their own topsy-turvy way, Death itself is the latest sacred cow to be skewered by the rapier pen of Gilbert and Sullivan. All of this is tastily tempura'd and tied up in a big pink obi by three little Japanese maids from school. We all benefit from a little meiosis every now and then - a drastic understatement of the situation - and what better way to stick it to mortality than by whistling "Tit-willow, tit-willow, tit-willow?" Come on, we all have our own little lists of folks who won't be missed!

W. S. Gilbert and Sir Arthur Sullivan’s The Mikado premiered in London in 1885, and since then has become not just the pair’s most popular collaboration, but the only work to compete internationally with Die Fledermaus and The Merry Widow as the most popular work in the entire operetta repertoire. Famous melodies from The Mikado include “Tit-Willow”, “A Wandering Minstrel", and “Three Little Maids from School”. Edmonton Opera presented The Mikado previously in 1977, 1991 and 2003.

Canadian Director Robert Herriot returns to Edmonton Opera to bring his unique vision and interpretation of The Mikado to our 2011/12 season. Robert began his career in opera on the stage, singing such roles as Tom Rakewell in The Rake’s Progress and Tamino in The Magic Flute. We are elated to have Robert return for another season with his vibrant new take on everyone’s favourite Gilbert and Sullivan work.

To compliment Robert Herriot’s vision of Mikado, Edmonton’s own Deanna Finnman designed and built custom-made costumes, specifically for this cast and production. “I have always had an interest in Japanese fashion and street culture, so when we began talking about a modern Mikado that is where I began to draw inspiration from.”

We are thrilled to have John Avey (The Mikado) join us for the leading role, performing with soprano Andriana Chuchman (Yum-Yum), and baritone Scott Scully (Nanki-Poo). Erin Lawson (Pitti-Sing) makes her Edmonton Opera debut. To complete the cast, we welcome Curtis Olds (Ko-Ko), Sonya Goss (Katisha), Thomas Goerz (Pooh-Bah), Andrew MacDonald-Smith (Pish-Tush), Dionne Sellinger (Peep-Bo), all of whom join Conductor Peter Dala and Director Robert Herriot for the 2011/2012 mid-season production. The Edmonton Opera Chorus and the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra lend their talents to Gilbert and Sullivan’s best-loved opera.

Media Photo Call:
January 18, 2012 at the Jubilee Auditorium
12 pm to 1 pm
Media Dress Rehearsal:
February 2, 2012 at the Jubilee Auditorium
11 am


Edmonton Opera presents The Mikado at the Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium on Saturday February 4th, Tuesday February 7th and Thursday February 9th. For more information please visit www.edmontonopera.com or call 780.424.4040.


Edmonton Opera is dedicated to producing world class performances that bring the magic and power of opera to our community. Our purpose and vision is to present opera that excites and inspires – you, the audience; our supporters and partners in the community – individuals, corporate and government. For the last 48 years Edmonton Opera has given voice to opera in the community and throughout northern Alberta. It is the 4th largest opera company in Canada and the oldest, largest, year round opera company in the Prairie Provinces.

More media releases

Matinée programming adds flexibility to opera schedule

Opera is even more accessible during the 2012/13 season, as the Edmonton Opera has made changes to its production schedule to allow for matinée performances.

In addition to three nighttime performances, there will be a 2 p.m. performance on the Sunday during the production run. This earlier performance allows for out-of-town opera enthusiasts to enjoy the performance without making an overnight trip, or for families to expose their children to the art form and still make it home at a family-friendly hour.

Season starts with grand opera

One of the grand operas, Aida will grace the Edmonton stage for the first time in over a decade when the Edmonton Opera opens its 49th season next month. Celebrating the 200th anniversary of Verdi’s birth, Edmonton Opera joins other opera houses around the world honouring the great composer and his works.

The Verdi masterpiece will be presented in its full splendor, with roughly 100 performers, including principal artists, chorus members, supernumeraries and Brian Webb dancers on stage together at any given time.

Artists announced for Opera Art Project

The exclusive launch of the Opera Art Project will happen later this month, as the Edmonton Opera and the Alberta Craft Council come together for a new arts venture.

Local artists have created opera-themed fine craft, offering opera patrons a chance to take home memories of the 2012/13 mainstage season performances. The works will be on display and available for purchase for the first time on Sept. 28, prior to the opening of Aida.

Artists involved in the project come mainly from the Edmonton area and offer a wide variety of fine craft.

Edmonton Opera partners with Alberta Craft Council for unique project

Local craft artists are making it possible for opera patrons to take home memories of the 2012/2013 season mainstage performances, thanks to the partnership between the Edmonton Opera and the Alberta Craft Council.

After a successful Opera Coat Project a few years ago, the Edmonton Opera and the Alberta Craft Council have partnered again for the Opera Art Project, where artists will create opera‐specific pieces as it relates to their medium.

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