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11 people found this helpful
Colourful production - dismal experience
on 8 March 2012
At first glance this would appear to be a very colourful and attractive production, but it is in fact too gaudy. The makeup is all larger than life, quite tasteless - and some of the costumes very "busy" causing picture problems.
This opera gets off to a bad start with a totally re-written (and rather poor) overture. The conducting throughout is erratic in tempo and the chorus - as others have stated - is weak. Kanen Breen as Nanki-Poo has an adequate voice, but overacts, grinning manically throughout. Mitchell Butel as Ko-Ko is simply excruciating to watch - though much of this must rest with the producer who encourages him to indulge in all sorts of silliness. Again, his singing is adequate but no more. Forget the hype.
Taryn Fiebig as Yum-Yum is lovely in the part even though not all reviewers seem to agree. Best of all is Richard Alexander as the Mikado, singing very well and acting suitably. Jacqueline Dark as Katisha is certainly suitably fearsome and sings well.
I find the updating of the text unnecessary, irritating and (as in Ko-Ko's "List" song) downright crude and NOT funny.
I'm reviewing the Blu-ray version and (at least on my TV) the picture quality during any fast movement leaves something to be desired, causing some very odd blurring and fast flickering effects on the striped costumes and also sometimes on the scenery. Sample round about 10m 40s to see what I mean. I tried different resolutions on my player, but it made no difference.
Finally, there's the sound. I started off on DTS and immediately noticed the poor balance. Some of the brass seemed to be behind me so I can't imagine where the microphones were placed. As soon as the chorus starts singing, it's very obvious that the orchestra is too loud. After spending some time fiddling with the surround balance, I gave up and switched to the stereo track which was better.
Avoid this unless you know this production and particularly want it.