Opera della Luna's, Versace-inspired The Mikado returns to Salford, starring three RNCM-trained singers as the ‘three little maids'. International soprano star Victoria Joyce (Yum-Yum) originally hails from Heald Green and studied at Stockport Grammar before beginning her training at Manchester's Royal Northern College of Music.

<i>The Mikado</i>
The Mikado
© Opera della Luna

Preston-born Nichola Jolley shines as Yum-Yum's 'sister' Pitti-Sing, and Louise Crane, who plays both Katisha and little maid number three (Peep-Bo), undertook post-graduate studies at the RNCM with internationally celebrated teacher, the late Barbara Robotham.

Set in the zany, flashy world of modern fashion houses, with costumes inspired by Versace and Jean-Paul Gaultier, The Mikado promises a riot of gorgeous and bizarre creations.

In 1885, Gilbert and Sullivan's London was fascinated by all things Japanese after trade routes opened in the late 19th Century and cult London fashion house Liberty began importing luxurious Japanese fabrics, making waves in the fashions of the time. The story goes that Gilbert was inspired to write The Mikado's libretto after visiting a popular Japanese arts and craft exhibition in Knightsbridge, and buying a huge sword that later fell suddenly from the wall of his study, igniting the spark of an idea to set a story in Japan.

Artistic Director Jeff Clarke Jeff hired designer Gabriella Csanyi-Wills to create costumes inspired by the experimental spirit of the great fashion houses Gianni Versace, Jean-Paul Gaultier and Christian La Croix.

Opera della Luna first visited The Lowry in 2008 and The Mikado was its debut production. The company has since brought Mozart's Don Giovanni, Johann Strauss's Die Fledermaus, plus two more Gilbert & Sullivan shows - HMS Pinafore and The Sorceror - to The Lowry with great success.

The Mikado is at the Lowry from 18 - 21 September.

- Glenn Meads