Rockdale Opera Company presents The Mikado

After an absence of 12 years, Gilbert and Sullivan's much-loved operetta, The Mikado will make its welcome return to the Rockdale Town Hal stage in an all new production directed by Elizabeth Lowrencev.

This production will be fully staged, costumed and accompanied by a full orchestra under the baton of musical director Vincent Colagiuri.

The Mikado is undoubtedly the most popular piece of musical theatre of all time, when its 132-year history is taken into account.

For decades, a production of G&S's satirical opera could be seen somewhere in the English-speaking world every day of the year. Its libretto has even found its way into our language, with expressions including ''Let the punishment fit the crime.''

The Mikado, follows the son of the Mikado (the Emperor of Japan), disguised as a wandering minstrel as he woos his beloved throughout Titipu and attempts to evade both of their would-be spouses.

Gordon Costello plays the central character Poo-Bah.

"I've been wanting to play Pooh-Bah for years, just been waiting for the opportunity to come up,'' Costello said.

''I feel it'll be one of my best ever roles!"

The convoluted plot and delightfully clever score make for a hilarious criticism of the 19th century British elite.

Gilbert & Sullivan wrote The Mikado in 1885 when England was experiencing a craze for all things Japanese as a result of the opening of trade with Japan.

The opera is filled with glorious singing from the cast of principals and the ensemble.

Zoë Yalouris from Arncliffe said The Mikado was one of her favourite operettas.

"Both my parents are opera singers, so I have been exposed to a wide variety of music from a young age. I feel I have been performing since I can remember, always putting on little shows for my family and family friends,'' Yalouris said.

The wonderful score features some of the most beautiful and popular melodies including Three Little Maids from School, I Have a Little List and Tit-Willow.

The Mikado, Rockdale Town Hall, June 22-30

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