Wilton singers in Il Mikado
Soprano Jennifer Wallace and tenor Jim Cooper, both of Wilton, will take the stage in the Troupers Light Opera production of Il Mikado, April 14 and 21, at the Norwalk Concert Hall. Showtimes are 2:30 and 7:30 each Saturday. Tickets are available at TroupersLightOpera.org or by calling 877-987-6487.
This is Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Mikado, but instead of Japan it is set during the Italian Renaissance. The former gentlemen of Japan are now gentlemen of Milan; the ladies will exchange their kimonos for long gowns and puffed sleeves; and the fearsome Mikado is now the equally fearsome Duke of Milan. Sullivan’s score is entirely unchanged, while the lyrics have been occasionally adjusted and the characters renamed.
Wallace will sing the role of Pippa (Peep-Bo in the traditional version), one of the Three Little Maids from School. She has previously appeared in Thespis as both Pretteia and the Solo Star and in the ensemble of The Magic Knight and H.M.S. Pinafore. She is a member of the choral group Camerata d’Amici and has sung with the Wilton Singers, the Schubert Club, and the Music on the Hill Summer Chorus, appearing as a soprano soloist in its performances of Mozart’s Requiem and Schubert’s Mass No. 6 in E-flat.
Cooper has sung in the men’s chorus of Troupers for 17 years and serves as the company’s treasurer, webmaster, and technical director. He is a former president of the company. In 2013 he played the role of Willem in the Troupers’ production of The Red Mill, and he has also played the Lieutenant in Yeomen of the Guard, Giorgio in The Gondoliers, GoTo in The Mikado, and the Notary in The Sorcerer.
This variation on The Mikado comes from San Francisco, where the Lamplighters Music Theatre, reacting to complaints that The Mikado bothered some Japanese-Americans, opted for 15th-Century Italy.