The Mikado (June 25)

06/25/2014

Contributed by Anthony DiRenzo

The Cornell Savoyards presents The Mikado: 7:30 PM today at the Schwartz Center for the Performing Arts (430 College Avenue, Ithaca). Free tickets available starting 6:15 PM.

Gilbert and Sullivan’s most popular opera The Mikado is rooted in Victorian ideas about race, class, and gender, even as it ingeniously turns these ideas on their head. Inspired by an 1885 exhibition in London, Gilbert and Sullivan used a make-believe Japanese setting to satirize 19th-century English fashion, politics, and sexuality. By using a style based on Japanese anime and popular culture, this new production seeks to satirize contemporary American fashion, politics, and sexuality.

Welcome to a world of corrupt bureaucrats, perverse incentives, and Hello Kitty! While suited young men trade state secrets on the black market, flighty young women embrace harajuku fashion. Their more traditionally attired elders disapprove. But although global trends and new technologies have redefined the rules of conduct, other things have not changed. In an artificial and hierarchical society, people still fight to save face and fear losing their heads!

The Mikado features such Ithaca College faculty, students, and alumni as June Allison, Anthony Di Renzo, Rachel Fichter, Nicholas Harmantzis, Andrew Hudson-Sabens, Mattie Keith, Katrina Kuka, Doug Mathews, Margaret Neher, and Geoff Peterson. Judith Pratt directs. Richard Montgomery is music director and accompanist.

This event is part of Cornell University’s free summer events series, sponsored by the School of Continuing Education and Summer Sessions. For more information, visit the college events calendar or www.summer.cornell.edu/events, You also may e-mail cusce@cornell.edu, or call (607)255-4987.

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