6.2 C
New York
Monday, November 23, 2020
Advertisement

Gilbert and Sullivan: The Mikado [Opera Australia] Blu-ray Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080i/60
  • Audio Codec: PCM 2.0, DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
  • Subtitles: Italian, English, French, German, Spanish
  • Region: ABC (Region-Free)
  • Rating: Not Rated
  • Discs: 1
  • Studio: Opera Australia
  • Blu-ray Release Date: January 31, 2012
  • List Price: $39.99

[amazon-product region=”uk” tracking_id=”bluraydefinit-21″]B006CAXPAO[/amazon-product]

Purchase The Mikado on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:4/5]
The Performance
[Rating:4/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:3/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:1/5]

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

(Screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG  thus are meant as a general representation of the content and do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)

The Performance

[Rating:4/5]


The Mikado is the most popular of the Gilbert and Sullivan operettas and for good reason: great music, a raft of hit songs, and a story line that nearly makes sense. It has attained a comfortable familiarity with its frequent performances by amateur theater groups and, more recently, in director Mike Leigh’s delightful film, Topsy TurvyThe Mikado has had numerous video recordings but the only Blu-ray release is a so-so truncated 1939 version featuring some legendary D’Oyly Carte stars like Sir Martyn Green. This present Opera Australia production revives an original 1985 production and, in spite of relatively traditional Japanese-like sets and costumes, there are some naughtily updated lyrics. For starters, The Mikado should be great fun and this one most definitely is. The cast is first-rate with Mitchell Butel (Koko), Warwick Fyfe (Pooh-Bah) and Jacqueline Dark (Katisha) stealing the show right out from under the other principals, Kanen Breen (Nanki-Poo) and Taryn Fiebig (Yum-Yum). None of this would mean very much if the musical direction and videography were not tops and here we are in luck. Animated conductor Brian Castles-Onion (who is a delight to watch in the pit) wrings every last note out of his Orchestra Victoria forces while director Stuart Maunder captures the essence of Gilbert’s comedic timing.

Video Quality

[Rating:4/5]

The larger-than-life sets work quite well in setting the mood of this production. The costumes are a melange of traditional and modern cross-overs. The synergy between the staging, the music, and dramatic values is simply tremendous. Action is moved skilfully along by the videographers with an excellent balance of close ups and full stage shots.  There are some trade-offs in the close ups as their details occasionally reveal the wig mountings, and in the case of Fiebig’s Yum-Yum, a bit more age than the part of a young girl would suggest. Occasional motion artifacts occur which is surprising for an HD video.

Audio Quality

[Rating:4/5]

Gilbert and Sullivan operettas depend on perfect capture of the voices since so much of the audience experience lives in Gilbert’s witty lyrics. Here the audio engineers have brought this off superbly. With exception of some of the massed choral moments, you don’t need subtitles to understand every word from this articulate cast.  The orchestra, given its relatively small size, sounds much larger and the pit perspective is well represented.  The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track provides very modest ambience effects, but is much to be preferred over the rather flat 2.0 version.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:1/5]

Rather slim pickings here. There is a cast gallery and a brief entertaining feature on Jacqui Dark as she is being made up for this production’s Katisha.

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:4/5]

The Mikado has been literally done to death on audio recordings. However, this beloved operetta has not fared well in its video incarnations. The present Blu-ray has the obvious advantages of terrific sound and image. It is mostly well cast and superbly conducted by maestro Castles-Onion. However, in the spirit of full disclosure, there are some shortcomings. Vocally, Taryn Fiebig’s Yum Yum has some stressful moments, while Kanen Breen is occasionally wispy as Nanki-Poo. There is also a tendency to overplay some of the stage business and, perhaps, excessive zeal in contemporizing the spoken dialogue (references to Beyonce, Wikileaks, and Britney Spears among others). Those who believe that the essence of comedy resides in discreet understatement may not relish some of the current directorial decisions to “ham it up.” But these reservations should not dissuade you from adding this disc to your G&S library. Considering the competition, this Mikado is far better filmed and recorded than its predecessors. It is certainly one that I will return to for comic relief on an as needed basis.

Additional Screen Captures

[amazon-product region=”uk” tracking_id=”bluraydefinit-21″]B006CAXPAO[/amazon-product]

Purchase The Mikado on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:4/5]
The Performance
[Rating:4/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:3/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:1/5]

Join the Discussion on Our Forum

Advertisement

Related Articles

Chernobyl (4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Review)

The account of the 1986 Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant disaster in Ukraine, Soviet Union, and the subsequent health and political fallout is told in five gripping episodes.

2067 (Blu-ray Review)

With the world deforested and people dying from a deadly disease caused by synthetic oxygen, a quiet tunnel worker receives a message from the future and must save humanity in this uneven but watchable dystopian Aussie indie sci-fi thriller.

The Irishman (Criterion Collection) (Blu-ray Review)

Martin Scorsese's Academy Award-nominated (Best Director) late career crime world epic gets the Criterion Collection treatment it deserves.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Stay Connected

299FansLike
0FollowersFollow
0FollowersFollow
- Advertisement -

Notice of Compliance with FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION 16 CFR Part 255

In accordance with the Federal Trade Commission 16 CFR part 255 guidelines, this website hereby states that it receives free discs and other theatrical or home entertainment “screeners” and access to screening links from studios and/or PR firms, and is provided with consumer electronics devices on loan from hardware manufacturers and/or PR firms respectively for the purposes of evaluating the products and its content for editorial reviews. We receive no compensation from these companies for our opinions or for the writing of reviews or editorials.
Permission is sometimes granted to companies to quote our work and editorial reviews free of charge. Our website may contain affiliate marketing links, which means we may get paid commission on sales of those products or the services we write about. Our editorial content is not influenced by advertisers or affiliate partnerships. This disclosure is provided in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR § 255.5: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Latest Articles

Chernobyl (4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Review)

The account of the 1986 Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant disaster in Ukraine, Soviet Union, and the subsequent health and political fallout is told in five gripping episodes.

2067 (Blu-ray Review)

With the world deforested and people dying from a deadly disease caused by synthetic oxygen, a quiet tunnel worker receives a message from the future and must save humanity in this uneven but watchable dystopian Aussie indie sci-fi thriller.

The Irishman (Criterion Collection) (Blu-ray Review)

Martin Scorsese's Academy Award-nominated (Best Director) late career crime world epic gets the Criterion Collection treatment it deserves.

Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai (Criterion Collection) (Blu-ray Review)

Criterion gives us a brilliant new 4K restoration on Blu-ray of Jim Jarmusch's 1999's indie classic about a loner assassin who follows the way of the samurai.

Westworld: Season Three — The New World (4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Review)

The third season of HBO's flagship sci-fi series sends the Hosts into the real world for a somewhat disappointing eight episodes but a magnificent 4K Ultra HD release.
%d bloggers like this: