The Mikado (again…)

I think I’ve been out Mikado’d…

Okay, it must be bad as I’m starting to verb words, but once again I found myself sitting in a theatre on Saturday ready to watch The Mikado. Please bear in mind that this is the third time I’ve seen it in less than twelve months, so I could be tiring of it a little. This time it was the turn of the Carl Rosa Opera Company in Sheffield.

Now, it started strongly – and that may have been the problem. A good male chorus and (wonder of wonders) a strong Nanki Poo. Now, some may have been on the receiving end of my rants about the lack of strong Nanki Poo’s in the past, but this time I couldn’t fault him. Hell, at this stage I was wishing that they were trying something different with the production as it appeared that the strength of the voices may have carried it.

Then doubts started to creep in…

Timing issues meant that it didn’t quite snap along as it should (never more evident than at the end of Act One) and some of the voices started to become lost under the orchestration. The arrival of Katisha proved welcome, someone with a strong voice and impeccable comic timing, but it was all starting to go a little south. The second act suffered more, voices started to show a little strain at times and then the biggest problem of all occurred.

Sylvester McCoy as The Mikado was just painful. He seemed outclassed in terms of voice by everyone else and resorted to cheap ham. By this stage I was glad it was a traditional production as anything odd may have made it even more painful.

The sad thing is that I’d seen the company perform before so knew what they were capable of. Maybe it was just an off day, but it didn’t seem to gel at all this time. I think also I need to leave it a while before I see it again, two of the last three performances I’ve seen were distinctly lack lustre and that may be colouring my view a little.

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