Final Cast Announced For Charles Court Opera's THE MIKADO At The King's Head Theatre

Photos: First Look at 42ND STREET at Curve, Leicester and Sadler's WellsFinal cast is today announced for Charles Court Opera's smart, stylish, sparkling fresh version of the most loved of Gilbert and Sullivan's comic masterpieces, The Mikado.

The Mikado, directed by CCO Artistic Director John Savournin, who recently directed Gilbert and Sullivan's Trial By Jury for Opera North, will run at the King's Head Theatre, Islington, from Thursday 22 March to Saturday 21 April.

Press night is Tuesday 27 March at 7pm.

The cast features such CCO favourites as Philip Lee and Alys Roberts (last seen in King Tut - A Pyramid Panto) and Matthew Palmer (last seen in the Trafalgar Studios transfer of the King's Head Theatre's La Bohéme) alongside some brand new faces for what promises to be a hilarious, inventive and downright entertaining show, suitable for operetta lovers and newcomers alike.

Behind the closed doors at the British Consulate in the town of Titipu, Japan, the scheming, slippery Lord High Executioner is about to hatch one plot too far, with far-reaching and hilarious consequences for everyone involved, especially when the Mikado himself arrives... With such timeless comic songs as A wandering minstrel, I, I've got a little list and Three little maids from school and a brand new setting, this is The Mikado as you've never seen it before

Full cast: Matthew Palmer (The Mikado/Pish-Tush), Jack Roberts (Nanki-Poo), Philip Lee (Ko-Ko, except 6 - 8 April) Stephen Godward (Pooh-Bah, 31 March, 1 - 7 April /13 April /15 - 21 April), Matthew Kellett (Pooh-Bah ( 22 - 30 March/8 - 12 April, 14 April), Alys Roberts (Yum-Yum), Jessica Temple (Pitti-Sing), Corinne Cowling (Peep-Bo), Matthew Siveter (Katisha), John Savournin (Ko-Ko, three performances only, 6 - 8 April).

Creative team:
Director John Savournin
Musical Director David Eaton
Set Designer Rachel Szmukler
Lighting Designer Nicholas Holdridge

John Savournin said: "I'm very excited to be rediscovering this opera and looking at the setting with 21st century glasses on; to consider its place in today's social climate, and to embrace afresh its humour, pathos, and the downright genius craftsmanship of one of Britain's most prolific writing partnerships."

"A sparklingly fresh package of laughs, pathos,
foolery and high-class music making"
Opera Now on Charles Court Opera's The Pirates of Penzance

Matthew Palmer | THE MIKADO / PISH-TUSH

Matthew studied at the Guildhall School under Robert Dean. He recently made his European debut as Guglielmo at the Brigitta Festival, Estonia and has worked for some of the UK's leading opera companies, including Opera North (The Snowmaiden, Billy Budd & Andrea Chénier); Garsington Opera as an Alvarez Young Artist (L'Italiana in Algeri); Grange Park Opera cover Abimélech (Samson et Dalila) and cover Ancindoro/Benoit (La Bohème); and Glyndebourne Education as Adonis (Venus and Adonis). He worked closely with Iain Burnside (Why Does the Queen Die) at the Oxford Lieder Festival and has performed live on BBC Radio 3's In Tune.

Jack Roberts | NANKI-POO

Jack is currently finishing his final year of the Bachelor of Music Vocal Studies programme at The Guildhall School of Music & Drama where he studies with David Pollard. Stage roles include Don Ottavio (Opera Loki, France and UK tour), Monostatos (GSMD), Edmondo in Manon Lescaut (Brent Opera), Basilio/Curzio in Le Nozze di Figaro , Marco Palmieri in The Gondoliers , Richard Dauntless in Ruddigore and Ralph Rackstraw in HMS Pinafore . A huge fan of Gilbert and Sullivan's work, he was delighted to reprise the role of Richard Dauntless in Ruddigore for the 2015 International Gilbert at Sullivan festival in Harrogate. Since beginning his studies in London, Jack has performed in several concerts including Verdi's Requiem and most notably the UK premiere of Jonathan Dove's Monster in the Maze conducted by Sir Simon Rattle (LSO), both were at the Barbican Concert Hall. He is the winner of the Joyce Budd Second Prize of the 2015 Kathleen Ferrier Society Bursary For Young Singers to whom he is very thankful for generously supporting him through his undergraduate studies. This summer, Jack will be performing in the Grange Park Opera Chorus.


Philip studied Music at the University of Lancaster before training at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in London. Recently he has sung Alfredo in La Traviata at the Soho Theatre and on tour, KoKo in The Mikado and Dick Dauntless in Ruddigore for Charles Court Opera, Mr Snow in Carousel for Opera North at the Barbican, Renato di Rossi in Do I Hear a Waltz? At The Park Theatre, Count Almaviva in The Barber of Seville at Chiswick House for Focus Opera and Rodolfo in Opera Up Close's La Boheme at the Soho Theatre and on tour. Other opera credits include: Nadir in The Pearl Fishers (Swansea City Opera UK tour); Danny in Offside! (newly commissioned children's opera); Count Almaviva (or The Marquis of Bath) The Barber of Seville (Or Salisbury) Opera Up Close; Hilarion in Princess Ida and Lord Tolloller in Iolanthe (Buxton G&S Festival) and a special performance at the Tower of London of The Yeomen Of The Guard (Carl Rosa Opera). Other roles include Nemorino - E'lisir D'amore, Arnalta - The Coronation of Poppea, Gastone - La Traviata and Alfredo - Die Fledermaus.

STEPHEN GODWARD | POOH-BAH (31 March, 1 - 7 April /13 April /15 - 21 April)

Stephen Godward was born in Nottingham and studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, with Richard Standen and Derek Hammond-Stroud. Stephen is well known as a stage and concert performer and has played in many Sondheim productions and has nine times played the Judge in Sweeney Todd! In 1998, 1999, 2010 and 2013 he won 'Best Male
Performer' at the International Gilbert and Sullivan Festival in Buxton; Best Character Actor in 2001; Best Supporting Actor in 2004 and 'Best Supporting Actor' at the Waterford International Festival of Light Opera in 2000 and in 2006, 'Best Male Voice'. He is a regular adjudicator in Music and Drama Festivals, has been NANDA adjudicator over the last four years and was an All-England Drama Festival Adjudicator in 2015. Last Summer he toured with The National Gilbert and Sullivan Company and joined the cast of Sleeping Beauty at Norwich Theatre Royal. He will again tour with the NGSOC in Summer 2018.

MATTHEW KELLETT | POOH-BAH ( 22 - 30 March / 8 - 12 April / 14 April)

London born baritone Matthew Kellett is a graduate of The Royal Northern College of Music and Trinity College of Music where he was awarded the TCM Trust's Silver Medal for vocal studies. Previous opera roles include: Leporello Don Giovanni, Bartolo in Le Nozze di Figaro Dulcamara in L'elisir d'amore, Basilio in The Barber Seville, Shaunard in La Boheme and Superintendent Budd in Albert Herring amongst many others. A regular performer with Charles Court Opera, Matthew has appeared in many of the company's previous productions, notably as Robin Oakapple in Ruddigore and in many of the company's legendary pantomimes where he has performed as an impressively diverse selection of fauna, including a bear, a cicada and a goat. Last year Matthew returned to the Iford Arts Festival performing the role of Basilio in The Barber of Seville and will again tour with the National Gilbert and Sullivan Opera Company, performing the roles of Samuel in The Pirates of Penzance, Florian in Princess Ida and Boatswain in HMS Pinafore.


Welsh soprano Alys Roberts is a recent graduate of the Royal Academy of Music opera programme where she studied with Mary Nelson and Ingrid Surgenor. Roles with RAO have included Eurydice in Offenbach's Orfee auf Enfeers with RAO, Vixen in Janacek's Cunning Little Vixen , Amore in Monteverdi's Poppea and Barbarina in Mozart's Le Nozze di Figaro.Alys has also sung for WNO appearing as the Muse in their new commission opera Hedd Wyn by Stephen McNeff, Tweedle Dee for Opera Holland Park in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Will Todd, and created the roles of Tiny Tim and Fan for their new Will Todd piece A Christmas Carol. This summer, Alys will be returning to Opera Holland Park as a young artist, singing Annina in La Traviata as well as singing Bastienne in Pop up Opera's tour of Bastien und Bastienne. Alys is delighted to be returning to Charles Court Opera for the second time, having played the part of King Tut in their most recent Panto!

Jessica Temple | PITTI-SING

Jessica graduated from the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School in 2016. Work includes Peter Pan at the National Theatre directed by Sally Cookson, an all female production of Medea at the Bristol Old Vic, touring nationally with Who Cares for Lung Theatre/The Lowry theatre and Robin Hood for New Mutiny Theatre Company which played to family audiences at the Old Market Theatre in Brighton. She also does voice over work for Yakety Yak. This is Jessica's professional Gilbert and Sullivan debut since leaving drama school but is no stranger to G&S having grown up performing the operettas and is very excited to finally be working with Charles Court Opera.


Australian/American soprano Corinne Cowling has performed in major concert halls across the UK and Istanbul as soprano soloist for Raymond Gubbay's Johann Strauss Gala National UK Tour 2017 and 2018. Recent engagements include Barbarina (cover Susanna) in Clonter Opera's Le nozze di Figaro, Cosette in Pimlico Opera's Prison Project of Les Misérables, the University of Plymouth Choral Society and Sinfonia Christmas Concert, LSO St Luke's Lunchtime Concert Series, LSO's Guildhall Artist Platform Series at Barbican Hall and Side by Side at Wigmore Hall with The Prince Consort and GSMD artists.Corinne recently graduated with an MMus, MPerf (Vocal Studies) with Distinction at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and has a BMus, GradDip Opera Studies from the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts. She also studied dance at The Hague's Royal Conservatorium performing on tour across The Netherlands for the Holland Dance Festival.Awards include third place in the AESS Dame Patricia Routledge National English Song Competition, first place in the Franz Schubert Institut Competition and the GSMD Award at the 2014 IFAC Australian Singing Competition. She has been generously supported by the Drake Calleja Trust, Ian Potter Cultural Trust, Marten Bequest Travelling Scholarship and Golden Key International Honour Society.


Matthew Siveter is a North Notts born baritone. Having graduated from Royal Holloway he has gone on to play leading roles with The National Gilbert and Sullivan Opera Company (The Mikado, Sir Roderic, Private Willis). He has appeared extensively in musical theatre (Orin Scrivello in Little Shop of Horrors, Curley in Oklahoma, The Wolf in Into The Woods to name a few) and in plays he has performed roles such as Pa Ubu, Inspector Hound and originated the role of Tomos in short film, Byrd. His solo show of music and comedy has entertained audiences in the UK and abroad.

JOHN SAVOURNIN | KO-KO (6th-8th April)

John trained as an opera singer at Trinity College of Music. Recent performances include Leporello, Don Giovanni, and Count Horn, Un balla in maschera, both for Opera North, Leporello, Don Giovanni, for Opera Holland Park, Alidoro, La Cenerentola and Armchair/Tree, L'enfant et les sortilèges for Opera North, Peter Maxwell Davies' Eight Songs for a Mad King with the Ossian Ensemble / Lands End Ensemble, Calgary. Previous engagements include 2nd Gunmen Kiss me, Kate for WNO/Opera North , Colline La bohème and The Immigration Officer Flight for Opera Holland Park, Alidoro La Cenerentola for Scottish Opera, Schaunard La bohème and Peter Quince A Midsummer Night's Dream for Opera North.He recently made the world premiere recording of Peter Maxwell Davies' A sea of cold flame for AYRIEL Classical, and sings Bartolo on the BBC Concert Orchestra's recording of Cellier & Gilbert's The Mountebanks. Concert appearances have included Wigmore Hall and Purcell Room recitals; Messiah for Raymond Gubbay and Kagel's '...den 24.XII.1931' under Edwin Roxburgh.


Preview - 22 March £10.00
Preview - 23, 24 & 25 March £14.00
Premium (Friday & Saturday Evenings) £35.00
Premium (Sundays - Thursdays) £25.00
Standard £21.50
Concession A (Excluding Friday & Saturday Evenings) £19.50
Concession B (Excluding Friday & Saturday Evenings) £17.50
Under 30's (Every Tuesday - 3 April onwards) £10.00
Unemployed (Every Sunday - 8 April onwards) £5.00

About King's Head Theatre

The King's Head Theatre was established in 1970. The most ethically and socially responsible fringe theatre in the UK, we are known for our challenging work and support of young artists. Last year 116,151 audience members saw a show of ours: 44,607 at our 110-seater home on Upper Street and 71,544 elsewhere. At our home in Islington we had 774 performances last year of 95 different shows. We are committed to fighting prejudice through the work we stage, the artists and staff we work with and by producing work for minority audience groups. We believe in fair pay for all on the fringe and create accessible routes for early career artists to stage their work; work we are passionate about. Last year we announced the theatre is on the move. Subject to a fundraising campaign, the King's Head Theatre will move into a custom-built space in the heart of Islington Square, directly behind its current home securing the future of the venue for generations to come.


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