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‘The Mikado’

Hawai‘i Opera Theatre presents a modern take.

June 12, 2014
Maui Weekly

Hawaii Opera Theatre (HOT) will bring opera back to Maui for the first time in seven years with a performance of "The Mikado" at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center's (The MACC) Castle Theatre on Maui on Wednesday, June 18.

HOT closes its 2013-14 opera season with a modern take on "The Mikado." The Gilbert & Sullivan operetta will be performed in English. This family-friendly classic takes the audience through a series of hilarious events as Nanki-Poo, the son of the Mikado (emperor), tries to escape an arranged marriage and finds new love along the way.

Although set in Japan, this enchanting work brings together worlds as only opera can, as the story makes fun of English society and mores of the time.

Article Photos

Gilbert & Sullivan’ family-friendly operetta, “The Mikado,” will be performed in English.

Directed by HOT Artistic Director Henry Akina, with costumes designed by local Fashion Designer Anne Namba, the artistic team is presenting a contemporary take on the tale with characters dressed in the style of Harajuku girls, yakuza and anime characters. Conductor Tim Shaindlin returns to Hawai'i to lead the orchestra.

Bass-Baritone Jamie Offenbach, a native of Honolulu, leads a phenomenal cast and stars as in the title role. Offenbach has enjoyed a stellar career and has performed at venues around the world, including his appearance in Florentine's Opera's production of "Elmer Gantry," which earned two Grammy Awards in 2012.

Tenor Joshua Kohl portrays Nanki-Poo, a role he performed with the Lyric Opera of Kansas City. He was described as having "an excellent lyric tenor voice" by The KC Independent. Baritone Curt Olds, who The Rochester Times describes as "born to interpret Gilbert's witty libretto," plays The Lord High Executioner Koko. The object of both Nanki-Poo and Koko's affection is Yum-Yum, who will be performed by rising star Soprano Sarah Asmar.

Metropolitan Opera star Mezzo-Soprano Victoria Livengood (Katisha), University of Hawai'i Professor Bass-Baritone John Mount (Pooh-Bah) and Baritone Leon Williams (Pish-Tush) round out the Soloists.

Tickets can be purchased by contacting The MACC Box Office at (808) 242-7469 or online at HYPERLINK www.MauiArts.org.

 
 

 

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