This is a 1991 recording of a modern D'Oyly Carte Opera production of The Mikado. Although to me the ultimate version is the 1966-1967 film version starring John Reed, Donald Adams, Valerie Masterson and Phillip Potter, this is still a very enjoyable and excellent recording. Many have complained about the "modern" touch of adding new lyrics to Ko-Ko's "List Song". It is a different technique that can take away from the enjoyment of a classic light opera such as this one. But it still works for me. The Mikado is vintage Gilbert and Sullivan. Taking place in 1880's Japan, it is really a veiled satire of Victorian society. The plot revolves around Nanki Poo, the Mikado Emperor's son, and his love for Yum Yum. But since The Lord High Executioner Ko-Ko is in need of an execution, Nanki Poo volunteers with the condition that he is married to Yum Yum for a month. Further foils are Katisha, the elderly lady who wishes to marry Nanki Poo for herself and who vows revenge when she discovers betrayal. Being light opera, it has a happy ending for all the characters.
Eric Roberts is Ko-Ko in this recording, and along with other great names who have sung Ko-Ko, like John Reed and Richard Stuart, he is a great choice in the role. Debora Rees is a great Yum Yum, bright and bubbly, though nothing at all like the superior Valerie Masterson. Susan Gorton is a commanding and imperious Katisha, with a lot of fire in her voice and performance. Bonnaventura Bottone is Nanki Poo and does a good job. This is a great recording. I really enjoy this as a perfect compliment to the 1966 film version.