Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The Japan of Pure InventionGilbert and Sullivan's The Mikado$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Josephine Lee

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780816665792

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816665792.001.0001

Show Summary Details

“The Threatened Cloud”: Production and Protest

“The Threatened Cloud”: Production and Protest

(p.141) Chapter 6 “The Threatened Cloud”: Production and Protest
The Japan of Pure Invention

Josephine Lee

University of Minnesota Press

This chapter considers a vital aspect of the opera’s racial history: how it operates not only as harmless divertissement but also as a touchstone of racial sensitivity. It provides an account of the 1907 censorship of the Savory revival and how this event affected William Schwenck Gilbert’s later reworking of the opera into the children’s book The Story of the Mikado in 1908. Gilbert’s impatience with how the growing diplomatic influence of the real Japan hindered the performances of his opera translates into a kind of hostility that is barely disguised in the fairy-tale tone of this version of the opera’s story. The chapter also examines protests of the opera along with other examples that demonstrate the opera’s power to represent Japanese and other Orientals.

Keywords:   opera, racial history, William Schwenck Gilbert, The Story of the Mikado, Japan, Japanese, Orientals

Minnesota Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.