The Mikado, or The Town of Titipu, is a comic opera in two acts, with music by Arthur Sullivan and libretto by W. S. Gilbert, their ninth of fourteen operatic collaborations. It opened on March 14, 1885, in London, where it ran at the Savoy Theatre for 672 performances, which was unprecedented for musical theatre pieces, and one of the longest runs of any theatre piece up to that time. Before the end of 1885 it was estimated that, in Europe and America, at least 150 companies were producing the opera. The Mikado remains the most frequently performed Savoy Opera, and it is especially popular with amateur and school productions. Indeed, The Mikado is one of the most frequently played musical theatre pieces in history.
Setting the opera in Japan, an exotic locale far away from England, allowed Gilbert to satirize English politics and institutions more freely by disguising them as Japanese.