Watch at Home – The Mikado

By the way, for the most terrific versions of Ko-Ko’s “List” song available on Youtube, click here and join our expressions of glee 🙂

There’s definitely no shortage of “Mikado” home video versions, the most outstanding one being, in my very humble opinion, the one recently produced by Opera Australia (sorry if I have offended any purists). At £21 for the DVD and £30 for the Blu-Ray not exactly a bargain, but come on, it’s “The Mikado”, after all! Also, the edition has a wonderfully written booklet and subtitles in English, German, French, Spanish and Italian (and those rhyme, too – well, at least the German version, haven’t checked out the others).
If you do get a copy, don’t forget to check the regional compatibility of your player!
Perhaps this little list will win you over!

Apart from that, the National Gilbert and Sullivan Company is offering a few versions. Can’t say anything about the quality of their recordings, but went to see their “Mikado” production in 2016 in Windsor and it was one of the best things I’d ever seen at a theatre, so I would be really surprised if the quality is inadequate.

The D’Oyly Carte Company itself has also produced a recording, and so did Universal (1939) and, again, Opera Australia – in 1984. Oh, and there is this other US version from 1966, too. Again, rather pricey. The latter is also available in a box set with “Trial and Jury”, “HMS Pinafore”, “The Gondoliers” and “Patience”.

Oh, and there is also the one by the Carl Rosa Opera Company, available separately or in a set with “Iolanthe” and “Yeomen of the Guard”.

Other than that… well, there is always the frequently panned 1982 Brent Walker TV production, the entire 11 disc collection being priced only slightly higher than the single discs mentioned above. Personally, I do realise they have their shortcomings – I do. But it was those productions that I first discovered nearly all G&S operas with, and I do have quite fond memories of them.

There is also this ENO version from the eighties in Edwardian look starring Eric Idle as Ko-Ko, though it’s now only available through the Marketplace (i.e. second hand) and for 25 quid (at the time of writing). The show is not bad at all, though I didn’t think Idle was such a great candidate for the part – but his moustache was somehow bizarrely fitting (now, here’s a sentence I never thought I’d ever use).

If you don’t have any kind of budget for your Mikado needs, Ezra Donner, former music director of the University of Michigan Gilbert and Sullivan society, has put their 2016 show online:

For Kids: Silbert & Gullivan’s The Mikadoo
Presented Aug 21, 2015, at Hot August Night, Portland Puppet Museum, 906 SE Umatilla St, Portland, Oregon
This all-Panda parody of the Mikado is a work in progress featuring the wonderful Stratford Festival version distilled down to under one-half hour!