In The Mikado, or The Town of Titipu Nanki-Poo wanders as a minstrel, to escape marriage to Katisha. His beloved Yum-Yum is to marry the Lord High Executioner Ko-Ko, himself condemned to death. By a subterfuge the Emperor is satisfied by the mock execution of Nanki-Poo, the disguised son of the Emperor, the price exacted for marriage to Yum-Yum, secured with the assistance of Pooh-Bah.
Possibly the best known of the Gilbert and Sullivan operettas, The Mikado opens with a lively overture. Nanki-Poo introduces himself in A wandering minstrel I in a score that contains a number of songs well known to enthusiasts, Behold the Lord High Executioner, Taken from a country jail, Three little maids from school are we, The sun, whose rays are all ablaze and There is beauty in the bellow of the blast.