Originally broadcast live from the world famous London Coliseum in 2015, cinema audiences will have a rare opportunity to see these classic Gilbert and Sullivan operas again in stunning multi-camera HD and amazing 5.1 surround sound.
Mike Leigh’s operatic directorial debut The Pirates of Penzance tells the story of the pirate apprentice Frederic and his love for Mabel, the daughter of Major-General Stanley who has the famous tongue-twisting patter song ‘I am the very model of a modern Major-General’. The song has featured and satirised within popular culture including The Muppet Show, Babylon 5, Frasier, Scrubs, Star Trek-The Next Generation, Family Guy and Spitting Image.
In this theatrical production, British baritone Andrew Shore made his role debut as Major-General Stanley with British tenor Robert Murray playing Frederic the pirate apprentice and New Zealand born Samoan bass baritone Jonathan Lemalu as the Sergeant of Police. British mezzo-soprano Rebecca de Pont Davies made her role debut as Ruth, and British baritone Alexander Robin Baker made his role debut as Samuel. The cast is completed by Australian/American bass Joshua Bloom as The Pirate King, Irish soprano Claudia Boyle as Mabel, British soprano Soraya Mafi as Edith, Welsh mezzo soprano Angharad Lyddon as Kate and Lydia Marchione as Isabel.
ENO’s Orchestra in this screening is led by celebrated British conductor David Parry. Olivier award-winning designer Alison Chitty, who previously collaborated with Mike Leigh on Life is Sweet, Naked and Secrets and Lies, designed the set and costumes. Lighting is by Paul Pyant with choreography by Francesca Jaynes.
President of the Sir Arthur Sullivan Society and the W.S. Gilbert Society and lifelong fan of the quintessentially English duo, Mike Leigh wrote and directed the 1999 BAFTA winning film Topsy Turvy, which chronicled the period leading up to The Mikado’s premiere in 1885.
Jonathan Miller’s hilarious production of The Mikado is a Marx Brother’s inspired song-and-dance take on the Gilbert and Sullivan classic. Miller takes the story out of the fictitious Japanese town of Titipu and sets it in the faintly seedy grandeur of a 1930s English hotel – the perfect place for lampooning targets much closer to home.
Full of high-kicking chorus lines, satirical touches and a wonderfully elegant score, The Mikado tells the tale of Nanki-Poo and his love for Yum Yum. There’s just one snag. She’s betrothed to Ko-Ko, the new Lord High Executioner. And he needs someone to execute otherwise it’s his own head on the block. Perhaps Ko-Ko and Nanki-Poo can come to some arrangement, without anyone losing their head?
The ENO Orchestra is conducted by former ENO Charles Mackerras Fellow Fergus Macleod, and the all British cast is led by distinguished bass Robert Lloyd. Baritone Richard Suart will charm and delight audiences in the comic role of Ko-Ko. Former ENO Harewood Artists Mary Bevan and Anthony Gregory play Yum-Yum and Nanki-Poo respectively. The cast is completed by Graeme Danby as Poo-Bah, George Humphreys as Pish-Tush, Yvonne Howard as Katisha and Rachael Lloyd as Pitti-Sing.
Stuart Murphy, CEO, English National Opera said “We are delighted audiences will be able to revisit these classic ENO productions in cinemas nationwide, especially after the runaway success of our staging of Gilbert and Sullivan’s Iolanthe last season in the London Coliseum. It was the third biggest box office success of all time at ENO. As the national opera house for everyone, it is central to ENO’s philosophy to bring opera to everyone, wherever they live and whatever their financial background. It is also exciting to have these productions available nationally in advance of Jonathan Miller’s brilliant Mikado coming back to the Coliseum stage in November 2019, with a brand new standout cast”