THE TOWN OF TITIPU
(Comic Operetta in Two Acts)
Book by W. S. GILBERT
Music by ARTHUR SULLIVAN
Good Shepherd Parish House
June 7-8, 1955
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We are grateful to our many friends for their interest and cooperation in this production, especially: Mr. Paul Buxton, Johnson's Electric Supply, Nashua Building Contractors, Miss Natalie Roode, Mrs. Samuel Brackett, the Forrest Spaldings, WOTW, the Nashua Telegraph, Mr. Ralph Gould, Mr. Dwight Smith, Mr. Alfred Taylor.
Synopsis of Scenes
Act I - Scene: Courtyard of Ko-Ko's official residence in Titipu
Act II - Scene: Ko-Ko's Garden in Titipu
(The entire action takes place in Japan, the time - almost anytime)
Before the action of the opera begins, Nanki-Poo has fled from the court of his father, the Mikado of Japan, to escape marriage with an elderly and rather unattractive lady, named Katisha. Assuming the disguise of a wandering minstrel, he has on his travels fallen in love with a lovely maiden, Yum-Yum; but he has been prevented from marrying her by her guardian, Ko-Ko, who wishes to marry her himself. Ko-Ko, however, has been condemned to death for flirting. 'When Act I opens, Nanki-Poo is hastening to the court of Ko-Ko in Titipu to find out whether Yum-Yum is now free to marry him.
From Pooh-Bah (a corrupt and proud public official) and Pish-Tush (a nobleman), Nanki-Poo learns that Ko-Ko has escaped his sentence of death by being appointed Lord High Executioner, and is, therefore, free to marry Yum-Yum.
Everything seems to be going well for Ko-Ko, but suddenly a letter comes from the Mikado ordering him to execute somebody or else lose his exalted position. Ko-Ko, never having killed anything or anybody, is in dire despair when Nanki-Poo appears, bent upon suicide because he cannot marry Yum-Yum. By conceding to him the right to marry her for a month, Ko-Ko persuades Nanki-Poo to be the subject for the public execution when that month is up. There is rejoicing at this solution to the problem, marred only by the unexpected appearance of Katisha, in quest of her vanished lover, Nanki-Poo. She is driven away, but threatens to go to the Mikado about the matter.
Act II opens with Yum-Yum preparing for her marriage with Nanki-Poo. Her bliss quickly turns to consternation, however, when Ko-Ko arrives with the news that he has just discovered a law stating that when a married man is executed his wife must be buried alive. Solutions to this new problem are suggested and discarded. Finally a way out of the difficulty presents itself: Ko-Ko has Pooh-Bah make a false affidavit that Nanki-Poo has been executed, and bids the newlyweds to leave the country.
The entrance of the Mikado and his daughter-in-law-elect Katisha, in much pomp and circumstance, stops the proceedings for the moment. The Mikado has really come in search of his son, Nanki-Poo, but Ko-Ko thinks that the object of this visit is to see whether an execution has taken place. He accordingly produces the affidavit and describes with gusto the execution. The Mikado is greatly impressed until Katisha discovers that the man whose execution is being lauded was Nanki-Poo! Now Ko-Ko and his accomplices find themselves guilty of "compassing the death of the Heir Apparent," the punishment for which offense is something lingering, with boiling oil in it, or perhaps melted lead; the Mikado isn't quite sure. Their only hope is to admit the falsehood of the affidavit and produce Nanki-Poo alive. But, as Nanki-Poo has already married Yum-Yum and so cannot marry Katisha, Katisha will surely insist on the execution of both of them. Ko-Ko solves the problem by offering his hand to Katisha, and after he melts her heart with a touching air, she accepts him. The end of the opera comes as all join in the general rejoicing.