Toho Light Opera Scrapbook

assembled by  Megaera Lorenz and Malachi Pulte

Sketches from the First Toho All-Monster Light Opera Production: Gilbert and Sullivan's H.M.S. Pinafore and The Mikado

Drawing by Megaera Lorenz of Gigan as Josephine and Jet Jaguar as Ralph in the Pinafore.


Josephine (left) played by Gigan, and Ralph (right) portrayed by Jet Jaguar.

Gigan says, "I really loved playing Josephine. I mean, it's the dream role for all little monster girls. And boy, Jet Jaguar was so charming as Ralph Rackstraw. We may have played enemies in Godzilla versus Megalon, but that just shows what professional actors we all are."

Jet Jaguar says, "Getting to play Ralph was really an honor for me. When the director at Toho called me up and told me about the All-Monster Light Opera project and offered me the part of Ralph in HMS Pinafore, I couldn't believe it was true!"

Drawing of Megaera Lorenz of Smog Monster as Dick Deadeye, Anguirus as Buttercup and Godzilla as Captain Corcoran.



 
 
 

Dick Dead-Eye (left) played by Hedorah (a.k.a. Smog Monster), Buttercup (center) protrayed by Anguirus, and Captain Corcoran (right) played by Godzilla.

Godzilla says, "Not many people realize that my acting career got its start on the stage rather than on the big screen. Although this was my first acting role, I consider it to be one of my most fulfilling achievements in my career. Playing Captain Corcoran was my big breakthrough. It was in this production that I learned that I have a talent for dancing. It was nice to have people recognize that there is more to being a monster than stomping on buildings and shooting fire."

Anguirus says, "I felt silly playing Buttercup, but everyone said that with my countertenor voice, no monster was better qualified. We had lots of problems with my costume. I mean, lots of problems. Everytime I took it off, it got ripped to shreds on my spikes. Finally they put in a lot of grommets and velcro and it worked moderately well after that, as long as I didn't move around too much. This was my first acting job with Godzilla, and we became best friends. You wouldn't believe his gorgeous baritone voice!"

Hedorah says, "I did feel as if I had been type-cast in the role of Dick Dead-Eye. They always make me the bad guy, just because of my looks. But I did enjoy the part. I've always been mostly a character actor, and believe me, Dick Dead-Eye is quite a character. All-in-all, I'd say it was a very satisfying experience."

Anguirus as Nankypoo with Rodan as Yum-Yum



 
 
 
 
Anguirus as Nankypoo (right) and Rodan as Yum-Yum (left) in Toho Light Opera production of The Mikado. 

Anguirus says, "I'm so glad that I got the chance to play a male in this opera! The role of Nankypoo was very fulfilling for me. I enjoyed portraying the range of emotions: love, sorrow, rage, amusement, despair . . . I also enjoyed singing tenor instead of counter-tenor. Rodan was darling as Yum-Yum. I found myself falling in love with her for real! But you know, we actors have to maintain a professional relationship, and besides, Rodan is married." 

Rodan says, "This was my first, and I think one of my greatest roles. I had always wanted to play Yum-Yum since seeing the opera as a young monster. She gets to sing such beautiful songs, and wear such beautiful costumes. I think Gilbert and Sullivan's idea of what Japanese culture is like is a bit silly, though."

Biolante as Katisha


Biolante as Katisha in the Toho Light Opera production of The Mikado

Biolante says, "I was very flattered to be chosen for the role of Katisha. I have always felt that Katisha is one of the most complex characters in Gilbert and Sullivan. Although portrayed as a comic figure, she doesn't view herself in that light, and carries herself with true dignity. Her anguish over the supposed loss of Nankypoo is heartfelt, and the song she sings about her loss is one of the most moving pieces ever composed."

Drawing of Three Little Maids portrayed by three Kamakaruses.



 
 
The Kamakaruses as the little maids in the Toho Light Opera production of The Mikado 

The Kamakaruses say, "We were very honored to play the little maids, and we loved our songs. We all tried out for Yum-Yum, of course, but Rodan is very talented, and she really deserved the part. There is nothing more fun than being in a Gilbert and Sullivan production."


 
 
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Published 8/9/99.
Updated 3/10/01.
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