My seven year old daughter has watched this DVD about twenty five times, so the performance is etched in my brain.
It consists of fine, athletic acting and good singing, with fairly minimal sets. The orchestration has been tarted up, as some have noted, but it's not too bad. Richard MacMillan's entertaining Pooh-Bah sticks in the mind particularly, as does Gidon Saks' maniacal Mikado.
There are a few Canadian references which are fast becoming too topical even for natives of the North: wage and price controls ("six and five"), former Prime Minister Mulroney's pretty wife Mila (left off the little list), and even a brief digital salute to Pierre Trudeau from the irrepressible Pooh-Bah.
The CBC's production values are less than stunning. You get mediocre sound, no libretto, and the same tourist promotion video that is seen on other DVD's in the Stratford set. However, the wit and polish of the performance make up for any deficiencies.
Overall, a very worthwhile buy for anyone except a real sourpuss, and enjoyable even after the twenty fifth viewing.