Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Dr. von Lyric's "Curious and Amazing Cabinet of Musical Marvels and Miracles"

My friends at BLO are currently engaged in mounting a production of Madama Butterfly - that quintessential portrayal of Japanese culture by a Western artist - with all that that suggests in terms of condescension, buried racism, and sentimental glorification coupled with transcendent sympathy and deeply felt basic human understanding. Japonisme... Orientalism... cultural imperialism... subjects of uncommon complexity, sensitivity and ambiguity. And in that context, what are we to make of that other most famous European depiction of the superficial surfaces of Japanese life, The Mikado by Gilbert and Sullivan? Some entries to ponder... - Dr. von Lyric

Groucho Marx on more familiar ground

 a rare view of the D'Oyly Carte Savoyards in action (in 1926)

 I couldn't resist giving you this video of Sir Thomas Allen (who as you know will be joining BLO this season to direct Cosi Fan Tutte, and sing the role of Don Alfonso) and his "little list" - even though (as sung at the London Proms) it's pretty full of very English references (and still pretty funny)

 2 versions of "Three Little Maids"

from the 1999 Mike Leigh movie about Gilbert and Sullivan and the creation of THE MIKADO (if you haven't seen!)

and from the recent London revival of the 1939 Broadway show THE HOT MIKADO


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