Chapter

1884–1885 The Mikado

Michael Ainger

in Gilbert and Sullivan

Published in print November 2002 | ISBN: 9780195147698
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199849437 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195147698.003.0020
1884–1885 The Mikado

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One day in his study at Harrington Gardens, William Gilbert happened to glance at a Japanese executioner's sword hanging on the wall. It started a train of thought that he began to turn into a plot. On May 20, he sent Arthur Sullivan his sketch plot of The Mikado. Sullivan thought the subject excellent—funny. By the end of the month, Gilbert was able to sail away for the summer in good heart. The Japanese exhibition had opened at Albert Gate, Knightsbridge, an event that could not have provided a better advertisement for The Mikado. The exhibition was laid out as a Japanese village comprising shops and houses, teahouses, and even a temple. It also included an entertainment provided by Japanese wrestlers and fencers, and a dance.

Keywords: William Gilbert; Japanese; executioner; sword; plot; Arthur Sullivan; The Mikado; exhibition; Albert Gate; village

Chapter.  7692 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Popular Music

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