Jonathan Miller set his well-known production of The Mikado, staged for the English National Opera, in a British seaside resort of the 1920s. The result, complete with a chorus of gentlemen of Japan as cartoon-like British peers, emphatically underscores the Englishness of the satire. The occasional non sequiturs, like a bunch of gentry dressed for Ascot and singing in Japanese, are loonily fun, and no more absurd than the fantasyland Japan that Gilbert and Sullivan invented. The time frame, though, seems little more than an excuse for a smart black-and-white production design.
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