It’s opera season 2023, and this time we saw Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Mikado.
We ate a light supper before getting ready. It wouldn’t work out to eat at a restaurant, since there are not that many along the way to the theater, which was in another town.
I wore a black and white dress with a sparkling black and gold shawl. Best Friend wore his black Beatle boots with dress pants and shirt.
The drive to the theater was easy, rain clouds hung in the distance, and we made it to the theater in about 40 minutes. The parking lot was crowded, but we easily found a spot to park our car. We later learned that the lot was crowded because there was also a private birthday party for “Chris” in a small conference room attached to the theater.
When the doors opened, we took our seats – orchestra left center. We had a good vantage point of the stage, and we were excited for the opera to begin. Especially since a gaggle of chitty chatty women were standing next to us in the aisle talking about their sons, their daughters, the beauty salon, the manicures they just got . . .
Patrons were dressed casually, and I observed it all – shorts, t-shirts, jeans, sparkling blouses, and khakis. Something that I wish people would cut back on is dousing themselves in cologne. It’s enough to gag an elephant.
The Mikado was enjoyable, although sometimes it was difficult to understand the spoken dialogue. The costumes were not what I expected. Since The Mikado takes place in a fictional location in Japan, I expected kimonos, yukatas, and traditional hairstyles. Instead, the costumes had hints of traditional dress – shoulder pads, vague oriental designs, and the like. Mainly, the costumes were of late nineteenth century Western style dress for both men and women.
Despite my disappointment with the costuming, the story was funny, and the songs were sung with strong, rich voices. My favorite piece from The Mikado is “On a Tree by a River (“Willow, tit-willow”), and I have liked that song since I was little. And . . .
We picked up a coloring book for my grandnephew that tells an abridged version of The Pirates of Penzance.
This was nearly a three-hour opera, and by the time we returned home, it was after eleven o’clock.
It was all worth a night out.
Lady Susan Marie Molloy
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