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Mikado
     

The Mikado

Director: Stuart Burge, Donald Adams, Valerie Masterson

Cast: Stuart Burge, Donald Adams, Valerie Masterson

 

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This TV adaptation of Gilbert and Sullivan's The Mikado was produced by British Home Entertainment in 1966 and released to American public television one year later. John Wood heads the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company in a virtually uncut version of the venerable comic opera. The story, set in an old Japan that never existed outside the imaginations of the authors,

Overview

This TV adaptation of Gilbert and Sullivan's The Mikado was produced by British Home Entertainment in 1966 and released to American public television one year later. John Wood heads the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company in a virtually uncut version of the venerable comic opera. The story, set in an old Japan that never existed outside the imaginations of the authors, concerns Koko (Wood), Lord High Executioner to the Mikado. The timorous Koko is in danger of losing his own head because he's never chopped off anyone else's. He finally selects a willing victim named Nanki-Poo--who unfortunately is the son of the Mikado. The songs, including "Tit Willow," "A Wandr'ing Minstrel I," "The Object Most Sublime" and "Three Little Maids From School," are consummately performed, but the stage directions seem forced and stilted, as if done once too often in rehearsal. A shorter but more cinematic version of The Mikado was filmed in 1939, again featuring the D'Oyle Carte (including the peerless Martyn Green) and starring American crooner Kenny Baker as Nanki-Poo.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Patrick Giles
The D'Oyly Carte Opera Company's splendid staging of Gilbert & Sullivan's comic opera The Mikado comes from the early days of the troupe's performance history. Made in 1966, it is not so much a cinematic re-creation as a brilliant operatic transcription. Many viewers' reactions to The Mikado may be colored by Mike Leigh's movie about its 1885 creation, Topsy-Turvy. That film quite effectively delineated the labor, love, and intrigue that helped make The Mikado one of G&S's greatest successes. Where this film works, however, is in its preservation of a wondrous musical performance: The D'Oyly Carte company was filled top to bottom with real, operatic-strength voices. What may now appear to be too-close camerawork no longer matters when the full company sings out one finale or another, or when the sheer, rapt beauty of Sullivan's melodies, scoring, and part-singing make one's TV speakers seem to glow. And when Valerie Masterson, who went on to sing grand opera with great success, lets her plangent high soprano soar through Yum-Yum's Act II "The sun whose rays," the only possible response is gratitude that this Mikado was preserved for posterity.

Product Details

Release Date:
09/30/2003
UPC:
0089948424796
Original Release:
1967
Rating:
NR
Source:
Video Artists Int'l
Region Code:
0
Sound:
[monaural]
Time:
2:02:00

Special Features

[None specified]

Cast & Crew

Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Opening Credits & Overture [1:40]
2. If You Want to Know Who We Are [3:04]
3. A Wandering Minstrel I [4:16]
4. Our Great Mikado, Virtuous Man [5:20]
5. Young Man, Despair [3:33]
6. Behold the Lord High Executioner [:50]
7. Taken From the County Jail [1:58]
8. They'll None of 'Em Be Missed [4:46]
9. Comes a Train of Little Ladies [2:11]
10. Three Little Maids From School Are We [4:15]
11. So Please You, Sir, We Must Regret [4:54]
12. Were You Not to Ko-Ko Plighted [5:24]
13. I Am So Proud [5:59]
14. With Aspect Stern and Gloomy Stride [2:10]
15. The Threatened Cloud Has Passed Away [3:39]
16. Oh Fool, That Fleest My Hallowed Joys! [1:58]
17. Away, Nor Prosecute Your Quest [1:10]
18. The Hour of Gladness Is Dead and Gone [4:48]
19. Braid the Raven Hair [4:06]
20. The Sun, Whose Rays Are All Ablaze [4:57]
21. Brightly Dawns Our Wedding Day [4:50]
22. Here's a How-De-Do! [6:17]
23. From Every Kind of Man Obedience I Expect [1:49]
24. A More Humane Mikado [5:14]
25. The Criminal Cried, as He Dropped Him Down [8:51]
26. See How the Fates Their Gifts Allot [4:23]
27. The Flowers That Bloom in the Spring [1:24]
28. Alone, and Yet Alive! [5:19]
29. Willow, Tit-Willow [3:12]
30. There Is Beauty in the Bellow of the Blast [4:23]
31. Finale: For He's Gone and Married Yum-Yum [1:57]
32. Closing Credits [:42]

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