Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Clive Revill, Denis Dowling, Eric Shilling|
Gilbert & Sullivan: The Mikado (Complete); Iolanthe (Highlights)
Finally, a worthy recording of the Mikado!
Jason Hurd | San Francisco, California | 03/02/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It really does make a difference, when performing Gilbert and Sullivan, to use singers who can act rather than the other way round. Every soloist here utilizes a very forward, "in-the-mask" vocal placement, which not only reduces the need to force, but helps to render their diction crystal-clear. Sample Jean Allister's Katisha. No plummy, oratorio contralto tones for her. Here is all the waspish, incisive malevolence that is already there in the writing; she just reveals it by singing and pronouncing the texts in a light and unforced manner. This approach helps to restore the vim and vigor to an opera that can often seem tired and "played-out" to modern ears. If the recording has any weakness, it may possibly be found in the Yum-yum and Nanki-Poo. Marion Studholme is perhaps more shrill than is necessary, while John Wakefield seems to have wandered in from a performance of Dream of Gerontius. These are minor quibbles, however. The overall excellence of the performance quells any doubts, with Alexander Faris' conducting a model of transparent clarity. The Iolanthe excerpts are also well-done, but it's Mikado that is the jewel here. Don't hesitate; buy it today!"
Walter Paul | Glasgow, Scotland | 01/31/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Articulate - both in diction and in musical interpretation - this re-release of the 1960's Sadlers Wells recording of Gilbert and Sullivan's MIKADO is quite delightful. The care and loving detail, which were the keystones of SWO's productions of G & S and operettas in the 1960s onstage, are preserved here in Alexander Faris's splendidly gutsy interpretation of the most popular of all the Savoy Operas; if his speeds are at times too leisurely, all can be forgiven just to hear the superb soloists; the expert diction of Denis Dowling as Pooh-Bah; the heroic tones of John Wakefield as the Wandering Minstrel; Marion Studholme singing the best "Sun Whose Rays" you will ever here on disc; Jean Allister as a correctly dominating Katisha, (hurray - a real contralto!), with a superb glissando in "Beauty and the Bellow"; the glorious Pat Kern as Pitti-Sing making so much more of the traditional soubrette; John Heddle Nash giving a singing and acting lesson with Pish-Tush's only solo; and the droll Clive Revill so completely at ease in the comic role of Ko-Ko, (though it is strange that his running out of breath at the end of his verse in the Act Two trio was not corrected!) I have to say that this recording of THE MIKADO puts all other D'Oyly Carte and Glyndeboune recordings in the shade, and the inclusion of highlights from Sadlers Wells IOLANTHE from 1962 is just an added bonus - the overture in this is simply stunning, and how good to hear Eric Shilling, Heather Begg, and Elizabeth Harwood obviously enjoying themselves so much singing Sullivan's most musical of scores."
A Wonderful Performance
DFG | 03/31/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is an an authentic, accessible, entertaining, and deeply satisfying performance. Although I like all of the principal singers, my two favorite are Clive Revill as Ko-Ko and Jean Allister as Katisha. For me, the key to a successful Gilbert and Sullivan performance is that it is not only funny, but also touching. In my opinion, Revill and Allister score high in both departments. In their final scene together, they are both vulnerable and hilarious at the same time. One small detail about this recording that bothers me slightly is that the overture has been rewritten. It is a nice medley, but I miss the original. I understand that Sullivan did not write it, but it is based on his tunes and I've always liked it. But don't let that stop you from getting this recording. I consider it to be the best Mikado on record."