The Stratford Festival Mikado (1982)

The MikadoGidon Saks
Nanki-PooHenry Ingram
Ko-KoEric Donkin
Pooh-BahRichard McMillan
Pish-TushAlan Stewart-Coates
Yum-YumMarie Baron
Pitti-SingKaren Wood
Peep-BoKaren Skidmore
KatishaChristina James

Stratford Festival
Conductor: Berthold Carrière
Stage Director: Brian Madonald
Camera Director: Norman Campbell

Stratford Mikado Playbill
A 1983 Playbill from The Mikado at Stratford, Ontario's Avon Theatre
Acorn Media 2522
Acorn Media 2522

This video production is the first of three to emanate from Canada's Stratford Festival. All of the productions take extraordinary liberties with both the libretto and the orchestration. However, this was early in the Macdonald/Carrière era, and the Mikado we know and love is still very much in evidence.

The principals are accomplished professionals, and they attack their roles with passion and precision not usually seen in G&S productions. My only complaint is with Richard McMillan's Pooh-Bah, which is simply so over-exaggerated that all subtlety in the dialogue is completely lost.

Overall, you won't find a production more skillfully executed, so your opinion will come down to whether you find Macdonald's and Carrière's adaptation acceptable. It is a mixed bag, but I come down largely in favor of the production — a view that is bound to be controversial.

Stratford Video Cover
Stratford Video Cover

The DVD version includes, as extras, two CBC News documentaries about the production, the texts of both the original and revised lyrics, a glossary, photographs, and program notes. There is also a video tour of Stratford. Mel Moratti obtained a three-DVD package of the Stratford Pirates, Iolanthe, and Mikado. I have seen them sold separately on some websites, such as

Mel says that the advertising states that the DVDs have "CD quality sound," but he says that the sound quality is awful. Oddly, enough, for Iolanthe, Act I is in mono, and Act II is in stereo. The others are in mono throughout. Mel's summary: "In their current form I would feel uncomfortable recommending them to anyone."

Issue History
1986 Connaisseur NTSC VHS [no number]  
Canadian Broadcasting Corporation NTSC Videodisc [no number]
1998 Acorn Media VHS NTSC 2522
1999 Acorn Media DVD AMP3464
1999 Acorn Media DVD AMP3456 Three-disc set of the Stratford Pirates, Iolanthe, and Mikado.