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Bill White
Fanfare, July 2012

Opera Australia imported this 1985 production from Sadler’s Wells…Now the Aussies have dusted it off and trotted it out again with a new cast and generally excellent results. Gilbert & Sullivan depends on comedic timing and delivery…to make an effect, and here two of the principals, the Ko-Ko of Mitchell Butel and the Nanki-Poo of Kanen Breen, are both very good and very funny (they both sing pretty well, too). The third male principal, Warwick Fyfe as Pooh-Bah, is not to the comedic manor born, but he turns in a solid performance, and Gilbert’s clever witticisms do most of the work for him. There are several other roles of relative importance in The Mikado and they are all performed very competently here. The sets and costumes just about steal the show; they are traditional, lavish, and colorful. Jugs and ewers of all types and sizes dominate the décor. Pooh-Bah seems to reside, or at least travel in, a large colorful wardrobe. It is all a bit silly, but great fun.

This Opera Australia release is a worthy successor to the D’Oyly Carte tradition; it is funny, highly entertaining, and captures the work in much better quality video and sound than previously, especially enjoyable on Blu-ray high definition. © 2012 Fanfare Read complete review

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