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Gilbert & Sullivan - The Mikado / Donkin, Saks, Stratford Festival (1982)

Gidon Saks , Henry Ingram , Norman Campbell  |  NR |  DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)

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Gilbert & Sullivan - The Mikado / Donkin, Saks, Stratford Festival + The Pirates of Penzance + Gilbert & Sullivan - H.M.S. Pinafore / Trial By Jury - David Hobson, Anthony Warlow, Colette Mann, Tiffany Speight, John Bolton Wood, Richard Alexander, Opera Australia, State Theatre, The Arts Centre Melbourne
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Product Details

  • Actors: Gidon Saks, Henry Ingram, Eric Donkin, Richard McMillan, Allen Stewart-Coates
  • Directors: Norman Campbell
  • Writers: William S. Gilbert
  • Format: Classical, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Acorn Media
  • DVD Release Date: February 8, 2000
  • Run Time: 150 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 1569383464
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #75,340 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Gilbert & Sullivan - The Mikado / Donkin, Saks, Stratford Festival" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Chapter Indexing Of Songs
  • Two CBC News Documentaries About the Production
  • Text Alterations: Original and revised for those songs which were updated for this production
  • Glossary and Photographs of Historic Relevance
  • Sketches Of Our Town: Stratford, Ontario Video

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Described by critics as "scintillating," "exquisite," and "breathtaking," this version of the famous comic opera was a blockbuster hit at the world-renowned Stratford Festival. Cloaked in the guise of a Japanese musical drama, The Mikado is a spoof of Victorian English society. Centered on Ko-Ko (Eric Donkin), a lowly tailor, it chronicles his transformation from prisoner in a country jail to the rank of Lord Executioner. But Ko-Ko is plagued by a terrible quandary: the emperor (Gidon Saks) has instructed him to produce a head - or forfeit his own!

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
58 of 60 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The only Mikado on video worth watching! January 16, 1999
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
This is the version done at the Stratford Festival in the late 80s with Eric Donkin and Marie Baron. The staging is very sparse, but quite well done. This new version is not as high quality as the earlier (more expensive) version, but well worth the $17. Purists beware -- some of the songs have been gutted and the lyrics have been changed!
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53 of 55 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Stratford gives a fun-filled and energetic MIKADO June 30, 2003
While some Gilbert & Sullivan devotees may quibble with this Canadian version of their masterpiece, THE MIKADO, there's no denying this version's infectious energy and fun. This production by the Stratford Festival is awash with high-jinks antics, solid acting and a boldness rarely seen since the Kevin Kline/Linda Ronstadt version of THE PIRATES OF PENZANCE. Director Brian Macdonald directs this production with a sure hand and a fine sense of humor. Eric Donkin makes for a solid and delightfully uptight Ko-Ko, while the tall and very lanky Richard McMillan steals the show as the self important Pooh-Bah. Marie Baron's Yum-Yum is a pure delight, and Karen Wood is a delightful Pitti-Sing. Gidon Saks makes for a rather hammy, but delightfully fierce, Mikado. Henry Ingram seems a little old for the youthful Nanki-Poo, but he definitely gets into the spirit of this wonderfully broad production. Some fans may not appreciate the "modern" Canadian references nor the very slight liberties in the score, but this is probably the one production that doesn't treat the immortal work like a museum piece. This is definitely the best version on DVD to date and one that I would definitely recommend.
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45 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thoroughly entertaining! September 17, 1999
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape|Verified Purchase
My wife and I really enjoy G&S - not aficionados, just fans. The Stratford Festival's version of "The Mikado" was wonderful. While we are relatively new to the works of G&S, this production was by far the best we've seen. The Canadian "flare" in "They'll None of 'Em Be Missed" brought back many, many fond memories of the times we've spent in Canada and of our first exposure to "The Mikado" in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Stratford's cast will live forever in their lively and thoroughly entertaining "Mikado." We look forward to many more enjoyable evenings listening to and watching the banter between Ko-Ko and Pooh-Bah. Thanks to Stratford (and AMAZON.COM) we're anxiously awaiting delivery of "The Pirates of Penzance" and "Iolanthe." G&S lives! Tom & Carol Weber Chesterfield, MO, USA
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A very good, funny production! July 9, 2001
By Sean
This was a wonderful production from the Stratford Shakespeare Festival in Ontario, Canada.
The cast is very strong, and benefits from being actors, as opposed to singers. The weakest link in the cast (and I think any one will agree with me) is Henry Ingram as Nanki-Poo, who is not an actor, just a singer. He's not the young, handsome type that one would like to see in the role, nor is he even all that funny. Marie Baron as Yum-Yum is high spirited, bubbly, and funny. Also exceedinly comical is Richard McMillan's Pooh-Bah, who steals the show. Eric Donkin is a perfect Ko-Ko, of the D'Oyly Care breed. Pish-Tush (Allen Stewart-Coates) is generally a non-descript, but is of strong voice and personality here, and is left to be fairly memorable. Karen Wood is PERFECT for the adorable Pitti-Sing, and is cute and charming to boot! My least favorite presence in the cast, though, is Gidon Saks as The Mikado of Japan himself. Now, I love over the top performances, as you can tell from my praise of McMillan, but this one crosses the lines of what's bearable. I feel that a strong Mikado, next to being highly comical, should at least be somewhat intimidating. Saks just plays the Mikado as a big goofy man, that strikes fear into no one (except for the cast, for some strange reason).
The production was brilliantly and swiftly staged by Brian MacDonald, who keeps everything comical and at a swift pace.
(Incedentally, I did THE MIKADO myself this summer with the local G&S Society, a first-rate Summer Stock company. A Canadian tenor played Nanki-Poo, and he told me HORROR STORIES of what it was like for friends of his who have worked with Mr. MacDonald.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great rendition! Small flaws October 14, 2002
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
The video/DVD is of a staged Canadian production, filmed from the proscenium-audience point of view with some close-ups, in full costume and makeup appropriate to the G&S script and score. The score is very well sung although the songs are dubbed, you have to pay special attention to notice this. The lip-sync is very, very good and since they don't have to worry about singing perfectly "live" with the camera, they can do more acting while mouthing their parts, and it all works very well. Some wonderfully stylized performances make it fun, expecially from Pooh Bah who is the tallest actor I've ever seen in a G&S opera! Folks who are addicted to perfect-score singing will notice some deviations (not bad ones, just different) but overall its well-done and includes encores that are usually performed of the most popular numbers at high speed for an appreciative audience. I recommend this version to Mikado-lovers.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Good to follow along with dvd
Very good
Published 1 month ago by sunshine
5.0 out of 5 stars This is my favorite version of the Mikado and I have seen quite ...
This is my favorite version of the Mikado and I have seen quite a few, live and on tape. Most are a little boring(the one with the Monty Python "clan") and some are exactly... Read more
Published 1 month ago by bekfek
5.0 out of 5 stars easy to understand
Clever rendition...easy to understand, well sung". Bravo....
Published 1 month ago by Linda Labelson
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 3 months ago by Norman Chansky
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent.
Cannot add anything to the superlative reviews already published. /excellent in every respect.. The talent of these performers more than makes up for the sparse stage sets.
Published 5 months ago by Allen I. Weinstein
5.0 out of 5 stars Musically & artistically excellent!
voices & acting excellent! I'm a big G&S fan so I've heard many videos as well as live performances in Britain and Australia and Canada.
Published 7 months ago by Thomas W. Hodge
5.0 out of 5 stars Of all the "Mikado" i have, this is the best "Mikado"
The sets are superb, and the actors are the best. If you think Mikado is the best of Gilbert and Sullivan, then this is the best of Mikado. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Wichita
5.0 out of 5 stars Thanks!
I had looked for this for years and am so glad to have it. It is in perfect condition! I almost didn't buy it because it was listed as "acceptable" and I was concerned it... Read more
Published 9 months ago by Jennifer Sullivan
4.0 out of 5 stars Most enjoyable
I loved the music, the acting, the clear diction and the costumes. It was comparable with a wonderful production I attended at the Sydney Opera House. A few years ago.
Published 10 months ago by rosemary dillon
5.0 out of 5 stars A charming production
I'm not a great fan of operettas, but I saw this performance many years ago on TV , and was charmed and captivated by it. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Ela Green
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