I owe this week’s Monday Music to my Dad. Growing up, I used to hear all sorts of things from the big tower system that we had at home. I used to wonder what all the buttons were for on it and I still don’t know.
This is just one of those things we used to listen to, and watch a film version of if I remember rightly. It came back to me last week when I was going through some old CDs and it’s been stuck in my head ever since.
I can’t say that I know much about Gilbert and Sullivan’s other works. The Mikado was first performed in 1885 and is a comic opera set in Japan. This exotic setting was a deliberate move by the writers to allow them to viciously satirise the pompous officialdom of Britain. It’s one of those things that you see today and think it must be deeply racist, however the original point was quite the opposite and the only thing the Japanese took offence to was that the Emperor was portrayed on stage: something which was not done. Gilbert and Sullivan wanted the settings and costumes to be as authentic as possible and engaged the help of the Japanese population of London to make it so.
When a Japanese Prince visited London in 1886, the government banned all performances of The Mikado for 6 weeks, but this backfired dramatically as the Prince has been looking forward to seeing it.
Anyway, I hope you enjoy this; the overture from the show.
The Mikado – Gilbert and Sullivan
Cheers for reading and watching.
If you feel like some more music, then please check out some of my other Monday Music posts. They’re packed with great examples of music from movies, TV and other places.