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4.3 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 10 1992)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Universal Music Canada
  • ASIN: B000003CXW
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #81,082 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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1. Chorus Of Nobles
2. Song And Chorus Nanki-Poo
3. Song Pish-Tush And Chorus
4. Song Pooh-Bah With Nanki-Poo And Pish-Tush
5. Recitative Nanki-Poo And Pooh-Bah
6. Chorus With Solo Ko-Ko
7. Song Ko-Ko With Chorus Of Nobles
8. Chorus Of Schoolgirls
9. Trio Yum-Yum, Peep-Bo And Pitti-Sing With Chorus Of Schoolgirls
10. The Mikado: Quartet -- Yum-Yum, Peep-Bo, Pitti-Sing, And Pooh-Bah With Chorus Of Schoolgirls
11. Duet Yum-Yum And Nanki-Poo
12. Trio Pooh-Bah, Ko-Ko And Pish-Tush
13. Finale, Act One
14. Solo Pitti-Sing And Chorus Of Schoolgirls
15. Song Yum-Yum
16. Madrigal Yum-Yum, Pitti-Sing, Nanki-Poo, And Pish-Tush
17. Trio Yum-Yum, Nanki-Poo, And Ko-Ko
18. Entrance Of Mikado And Katisha
19. Song Mikado And Chorus
20. Trio And Chorus Ko-Ko, Pitti-Sing, Pooh-Bah, And Chorus
See all 26 tracks on this disc

Product Description


Regarded by G & S fans as the best of the all the operettas, The Mikado is given a sizzling performance by Sir Charles Mackerras, who--by leaving off the overture (which isn't by Sullivan anyway)-- manages to squeeze the piece onto one CD. He also shortens the "list" song since Gilbert's original features a prominent use of the "N" word, which, not withstanding the fact that he's making fun of people who performed in black-face in the 19th century, isn't worth the trouble it would cause by leaving it in. The singers are real singers; that is, they treat the music with respect and make it sound great. Of course, it is. --David Hurwitz

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Format: Audio CD
This Telarc recording made in 1991 is conducted by the Brittish-born Sir Charles Mackerras and stars the English talents of the Welsh National Opera- Donald Adams (who was also a star of the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company) as the Mikado, Anthony Rolfe Johnson as Nanki Poo, Richard Stuart as Ko-Ko, Richard Van Allan as Poo-Bah, Marie McLaughlin as Yum Yum and Felicity Palmer as Katisha.
The Welsh National Opera, with its Chorus, are experienced in singing English vocal music. The Welsh have a fine tradition in singing beautifully in English and indeed they do deliver a superb performance. Nevertheless, they seem second best next to the talents of the original D'Oyly Carte Opera under the baton of conductor Sir Isidore Godfrey. The singers are not all giving their best- namely Richard Van Allan, Richard Stuart or Marie McLaughlin. The parts for Ko-Ko and Yum Yum should be star performances but Stuart and McLaughlin are mediocre. Stuart can never compare to John Reed, the ultimate Ko-Ko and legend in the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company. Valerie Masterson is the greatest soprano who ever sang Yum Yum. McLaughlin's voice is darker and deeper than the lighter, youthful, sweeter-voiced Valerie Masterson. The only good singers in this recording are Athony Rolfe Johnson as Nanki Poo and Felicity Palmer as Katisha.
The Mikado was launched successfully at the Savoy in 1885. Gilbert and Sullivan set the light opera in Japan, though they were masking English and Victorian society. The story revolves around Nanki Poo's plan to marry Yum Yum. Katisha, the commanding daughter-in-law elect of the Mikado Emperor, wants to have Nanki Poo for herself. Felicty Palmer delivers a sensational Katisha.
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Format: Audio CD
Conductor Sir Charles Mackerras has always been a champion of the music of Arthur Sullivan. In the early '90's, he began to record the Gilbert & Sullivan operettas with Telarc. Like the Sargent recordings of the '50's, Mackerras uses mostly opera singers--veterans of Covent Garden and of the English and Welsh National Operas--but he secured the services of two veteran Savoyards, Richard Suart and the late Donald Adams. Mackerras planned to record at least seven of the Savoy operas, perhaps more, but was forced to suspend the series--due to lack of funding as I understand. This fine recording of The Mikado, fortunately, was one of the four he was able to complete.
Musically, this is a superb album. It is good to have Adams' famous portrayal of the Mikado in a splendid digital recording, and Suart, D'Oyly Carte's "patter" specialist at that time, is a superb Ko-Ko. Anthony Rolfe Johnson is a marvelous Nanki-Poo, and the veteran Richard Van Allan is a capable Pooh-Bah. The other singers are less well-known, but generally very good. Nicholas Folwell stands out as Pish-Tush, with a ringing "Our great Mikado" and a rock-firm contribution to the "cheap and chippy chopper" trio. Mackerras conducts superbly, with generally brisk tempi, but able to relax the pace when the situation calls for it--e.g, in the last part of the "little list" song, where his pacing allows Suart to emphasize the "apologetic statesmen" segment.
None of the dialogue is included, and there are a few cuts to the score, most notably the second verse of the "little list." The less than memorable overture is also eliminated. The plus side of these cuts is that the entire operetta fits onto a single CD--an excellent value.
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Format: Audio CD
With this groundbreaking entry in the new Mackerras series, we are drawn into a new and fruitful era of Gilbert and Sullivan recordings. Mackerras devotes himself fully to the cause of Gilbert and Sullivan, and with a flick of his baton before the Welsh National Opera forces, he produces delicious results, even from his starry, inspired, first-rate singers. Donald Adams is on top form and in his element in his solid, satanic and memorably cheerfully-positive portrayal of the eponymous comical tyrannical autocrat. It is really amazing how he has managed to maintain his touch with the role since he recorded the role for D'Oyly Carte thirty years before contributing to this recording, because he still manages to maintain his inimitable style. As his son, Nanki-Poo, Anthony Rolfe Johnson uses his Lieder-singing experience to give a lyrical touch to the role and a romantic edge common in Marie McLaughlin's petite Yum-Yum. The rest of the major cast use their experience of English National Opera MIKADO days to shine themselves, with Richard Suart's Koko a defining highlight. Suart gives a delectably comical, dry-timbred and attractively humane portrayal of the Lord High Executioner, and the freshness in his voice manages to give John Reed a run for his money. (Remember that Suart was with D'Oyly Carte at the time, so he must have improved on his portrayal there.) Richard van Allan gives Pooh-bah a haughty edge, and Felicity Palmer's Katisha is commanding, comical and satirical. The minor cast is as supportive as the chorus, and Mackerras conducts with more delectable skill and wit than Godfrey, judging tempi perfectly except in the Little List song which is a little too slow.Read more ›
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