How can a young man be happy if he is betrothed to a much-older woman? Nanki-Poo is in this dilemma. Since he is the son of the Mikado of Japan, his obligation is immense. So what is the solution? He runs away and is disguised as a wandering minstrel, who is returning to search for the woman he really loves, Yum-Yum. Of course, Yum-Yum is betrothed to a man who happens to be her guardian but she still loves Nanki-Poo. Are you confused yet?
This is the story of the Gilbert and Sullivan opera,” The Mikado”.
“The Mikado” thrilled the audiences at the Orpheum Theater last weekend. This comedic opera had an updated flavor with many parts of this traditional production being substituted with modern technology and local references and preferences much to the delight of the audience.
Definitely a favorite of the audience was the chief executioner, Ko-Ko, portrayed by Brian-Mark Conover. His constant antics on stage, definitely found a kinship with this audience. Most notably, when making a list about who was on the executioner’s list and even referring to Nebraska football as to whether they are successful or not, left the audience laughing and eager to hear the encored, “Appendix” list of additional people on the list, including the Kardashians.
The musicianship and power of The Mikado, portrayed by Kevin Short, was outstanding. This is one person who definitely knows how to take command of the stage. Also notable was Melissa Parks, as Katisha complete with her colorful outfit of pink, orange, and purple and truly wickedly long fingernails, she perfectly became the overly demanding jilted lover with a powerful presence.
The members of The Opera Omaha Chorus were excellent in their performances with their voices, acting, dancing, and definitely fan flicking. The Omaha Symphony was outstanding and expressive with their task of accompanying the varied voices. All members of this cast showed how opera can be fun while still in the process of creating beautiful and complex music.
There were instances when people just couldn’t hear what was said on the stage and were even asking others about what was being said. The voices on stage needed to be a little louder. Often, even in the singing, the voices did not flow out from the stage.
Overall, “The Mikado”, is a fun opera that I would love to see again and again. For those who have never seen an opera to the seasoned opera-goers, “The Mikado” is always an entertaining experience.