Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Winter Opera Saint Louis Presents Gilbert & Sullivan's "The Mikado"


Winter Opera Saint Louis commences its sixth season this weekend with W.S. Gilbert & Arthur Sullivan’s operetta The Mikado. Far too much illegal flirting has gone on in the Japanese town of Titipu. Thus, the Mikado (emperor of all) decrees that heads must roll. Nanki-Poo (wandering minstrel and errant son of the Mikado) longs to marry lovely Yum-Yum—but he’s promised to the older (and unpleasant) Katisha! At the same time, Yum-Yum is betrothed to Ko-Ko, the Lord High Executioner! Beheadings, boiling in oil…punishments galore are devised to make “criminals” pay. But fear not—this is a comedy, and you’ll be smiling the moment the curtain rises. Audiences will hear several memorable, melodies including “Three Little Maids From School,” “A Wand’ring Minstrel I,” “The Sun Whose Rays,” and the “Tit-Willow” Song.

Kathleen Jasinskas & Isaiah Bell
Artistic Director Gina Galati and Music Director Steven Jarvi have assembled a cast, crew and orchestra of talents new and familiar to St. Louis audiences. Several principal artists make their Winter Opera Saint Louis debut: Tenor Isaiah Bell, who has sung for Opéra de Montréal and Calgary Opera sings the role of Nanki-Poo. Artist with Tri-Cities Opera and Shreveport Opera, Soprano Kathleen Jasinskas portrays Yum-Yum. Mezzo-Soprano Lindsey Anderson, an artist with Seattle Opera and Opera North, sings Katisha. Baritone Gary Moss, a veteran of the Gilbert & Sullivan repertoire, sings Pooh-Bah. Bass-Baritone Edward Hanlon, artist with the Glimmerglass Festival and Lyric Opera of Chicago, sings the role of Pish-Tush. Soprano Emily Truckenbrod, artist with Wichita Grand Opera, sings the role of Peep-Bo. Returning artists include Baritone Lane Johnson (Ko-Ko) and Mezzo-Soprano Erin Haupt (Pitti-Sing). Mr. Johnson was last seen as Johann in Winter Opera’s Werther. Ms. Haupt sings her first principal role with Winter Opera.

  


(Clockwise from top left: Isaiah Bell, Kathleen Jasinskas, Lane Johnson and Lindsey Anderson)

John Stephens
After staging and performing in Winter Opera’s 2010 production of Werther, Baritone John Stephens returns to Winter Opera Saint Louis to once again perform double-duty as Stage Director and portray the title role. Conductor Michael Mishra, director of the Southern Illinois University Orchestra, leads in the pit. Nancy Mayo, adjunct professor of piano and accompanying at Webster University and resident collaborative pianist with Winter Opera Saint Louis, serves as rehearsal pianist. Jennifer Krajicek, who costumed last season’s La Bohème, returns as Costume Designer. Scott Loebl returns to Winter Opera as Set Designer. Having most recently designed for Winter Opera’s Ariadne auf Naxos, Sean Savoie returns as Lighting Designer. Theresa Loebl serves as Production Manager.

The Mikado will be performed on Friday, November 9th (8pm) and Sunday, November 11th (3pm) at the Skip Viragh Center for the Arts at Chaminade located at 425 S. Lindbergh Blvd. Production sung in English with projected English supertitles. Tickets may be purchased by calling Winter Opera Saint Louis at 314-865-0038 or online at http://winteroperastl.tix.com/

For further information on the company, its future performances and special events, visit winteroperastl.org.

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