Richard Bratby

British sea power

Plus: if you’re not tempted to see our greatest living Wotan brandishing a truncheon and belting low Fs at a man in a frock, there’s probably no hope for you

The story so far: in 1986 English National Opera hired Jonathan Miller to direct Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Mikado. The result was so fresh and funny that it’s been a mainstay of the ENO schedule for more than three decades, to the indignation of hardcore opera fans who can’t understand why audiences keep flocking to hummable melodies and humour instead of, say, Berg’s Lulu.

Already a subscriber? Log in

Keep reading with a free trial

Subscribe and get your first month of online and app access for free. After that it’s just £1 a week.

There’s no commitment, you can cancel any time.


Unlock more articles



Don't miss out

Join the conversation with other Spectator readers. Subscribe to leave a comment.

Already a subscriber? Log in