Now, those of you who know me well will understand that I do Movie Night. I don’t do the opera. That’s another chap entirely.
And perhaps we could leave it there. However, I actually love the opera. I can understand that this might have come as a shock, so I’ll give you a few minutes.
Okay, are you ready?
Usually easier to get to grips with is the comedy and verbal-precision of Gilbert and Sullivan operettas. And the version of The Mikado I grew up watching was from 1987 and was the one, as far as I could tell.
A tremendously Art Deco production, directed by Jonathan Miller, and starring Bonaventura Bottone, Lesley Garrett and Eric Idle, it’s incredible. I’ve just found it on YouTube. Ain’t technology grand?
It’s quite possible to watch the whole thing, but the best of the best is Eric Idle’s ‘I’ve Got A Little List’. Go, watch.
Frankly, even better – Lesley Garrett – Three Little Maids. The voice is tremendous but she’s so freaking small.
Now, all of us, at one time or another, have to concede that life was not as perfect as we thought it was. I have always loved this version of The Mikado, because I hadn’t actually seen it all. Now I have.
My mother, to her eternal credit, recorded over the first few minutes. I can only imagine she did so on the grounds of taste. (There’s some very disappointing eyelid-pulling right in the beginning, which is a great shame.)
My advice is this: jump over the first five minutes and change, and you’ll see what I thought life was thirty-two years ago.