Der Yiddisher Mikado (1994)

Der Mikado [The Mikado]Marty Fuller
Yanki-Pu [Nanki-Poo]Ron Broden
Phil Bennis
Khay-Shapy [Ko-Ko]Murray Nesbitt
Bernie Gluck
Shimir-Mir [Pooh-Bah]Joe Feldman
Bob Tartell
Mish-Mash [Pish-Tush]Bob Tartell
Al Grand
Tsipe-Tsviele [Yum-Yum]Gloria Montlack
Rickie Zibitt
Arlene Kane
Yentele [Pitti-Sing]Arlene Kane
Roberta Scoll
Rifkele [Peep-Bo]Rickie Zibitt
Khane-Pesl [Katisha]Roz Gertz
Sheila Schertzer

The Gilbert & Sullivan Yiddish Light Opera Company
Yiddish Lyrics by Miriam Walowitt and Al Grand
Adaptation by Al Grand and Bob Tartell
Accompanist: Elizabeth Latorre

Album Cover
Cassette Version
CD Cover
CD Version

This is one of three recordings by the Long Island-based Yiddish Light Opera Company, which has performed G&S operas in Yiddish everywhere from Florida to Toronto to London. The production is not a literal translation, but a free adaptation, with Jewish phrases liberally inserted (e.g. "Oh willow, tit-willow" becomes "Vey'z Mir, Oy Vey'z Mir"). Tempos are generally rather slow, so that every word will be clearly understood — assuming you speak the language.

The performers are amateurs. Not all are consistently up-to-snuff, and the chorus singing is rather poor. It is also somewhat irritating that most of the roles are shared amongst two or three singers. One misses a full orchestra, though the accompanist is quite good. This is a performance that aficionados of Yiddish humor will probably enjoy, but it is not of a high enough quality to be of general interest. If you'd be interested in sampling just one of the Yiddish recordings, Der Yiddisher Pinafore may be a better choice.

The selections, as given in the liner notes, are as follows:

  1. "Oyb Mir Zaynen Aykh Umbakant" ["If you want to know who we are"]
  2. "Ikh For Arum" ["A wandering minstrel I"]
  3. "Undzer Heyliger Mikado" ["Our great Mikado"]
  4. "S'iz Nit Far Aykh" ["Young man despair"]
  5. "Ikh Hob Arayngeshribn" ["I've got a little list"]
  6. "Dray Kleyne Meydlekh" ["Three little maids"]
  7. "Oyb Du Volst Geven A Fraye" ["Were you not to Ko-Ko Plighted"]
  8. "Ikh Bin A Getrayer" ["I am so proud"]
  9. "Zayt Ale Shtil, Une Ale Hert Zikh Tsu" ["Your revels cease, assist me all of you"]
  10. "Di Zun In Himl Varemt Undz" ["The sun whose rays are all ablaze"]
  11. "Likhtik Undzer Khupe Tog" ["Brightly dawns our wedding day"]
  12. "Oy A Veytig Mir" ["Here's a how-de-do"]
  13. "Khayem Borukh" ["Miya-Sama"]
  14. "A Keynig Zeyer Farshtendig" ["A more humane Mikado"]
  15. "A Groyser Vider Hoykher Geshrey" ["The criminal cried"]
  16. "Di Blumen Vos Blien in May" ["The flowers that bloom in the spring"]
  17. "Vey'z Mir, Oy Vey'z Mir, Oy Vey'z Mir" ["Tit-willow"]
  18. "Sheynkayt In Di Khvalyes" ["There's beauty in the bellow of the blast"]
  19. "Er Geyt Heyretn A Sheynem Blum" [Finale, Act II]

You can order this recording (on CD) from the G&S Yiddish Light Opera Company's website.

Issue History
1994 [none] Cassette YD-GSO-20C
ca. 1997 [none[ CD YD-GSO-20D