Carnegie Mellon University

Cooke Designs


The Schools of Drama and Music Collaborate To Present "The Mikado"

mikadocostumePeter Cooke, head of Carnegie Mellon’s School of Drama, is a renowned scenograpgher, a theater professional who not only designs the set of a theatrical production but also designs the costumes. Cooke recently used his distinguished expertise to design the costumes and the set for "The Mikado," an opera set in an imaginary Japanese society. Produced in collaboration with the School of Drama and School of Music, the opera follows the story of a wandering minstrel who happens to be the son of the Mikado (emperor) of Japan. When he falls for a girl who is already engaged, deals are struck and hilarity ensues in this light-hearted production penned by master satirists W.S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan.

"There is no more fun for a designer than re-imagining a classic like The Mikado," Cooke said. "Working with Gregory Lehane, Robert Page and the ensemble of wonderful young artists of the School of Music has added another layer to that fun. Gilbert and Sullivan were astonishingly clever. Their wit and skill remains a touchstone for us all."

"The Mikado" will take place in the Purnell Center’s Philip Chosky Theater Jan. 21–24. Musical direction of the show is by Robert Page, the Paul Mellon University Professor of Music and Director of Choral and Opera Studies. Gregory Lehane, professor of drama, is the stage director. Performances run nightly at 8 p.m. with a 2 p.m. matinee performance on Sunday, Jan. 24. For tickets, visit

Eric Sloss