The Gilbert and Sullivan Society of Sussex

The Gilbert and Sullivan Society of Sussex

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On Sunday 18th October 2015 at 2:45 pm

in the Birch Hotel
Lewes Road, Haywards Heath


The Gilbert and Sullivan Society of Sussex


Presented

“A Society Clown”


Words and music by George Grossmith and Gilbert and Sullivan


An afternoon of sheer delight and mirth


Featuring the well known Baritone

 

 Leon Berger
( E.N.O Covent Garden
Welsh and Scottish Opera )


accompanied by the accomplished pianist

Tim Smith


Followed by the AGM


George Grossmith (under the direction of W.S.Gilbert) created most of the famous patter roles in the Gilbert and Sullivan Operas, but in addition with his brother Weedon wrote the comic novel "The Diary of a Nobody" a book that has never been out of print. George was also a prolific writer of 18 Operettas, 100 musical sketches and 600 humorous songs and plays, the last of which included the song "See me Dance the Polka", (his royalty fee was apparently £1 for every 80 copies sold) which swept the dance halls here and America, with these songs he went on tour to great acclaim before and after becoming even more famous in the Gilbert and Sullivan Operas, it would appear the greater part of his income came from his songs and his fame from the association with Gilbert and Sullivan.


This day was the 100th birthday of Tom Round whose recording of “the Lost Chord” was played by Leon. When Sullivan composed this music at the bedside of his brother Frederick during his final illness he had pleaded that ‘it never be burlesqued’; this was ignored by both George and Leon as he proceeded to sing Grosmith’s “The Lost Key”.


Leon Berger is an expert on George Grossmith (he has made two CDs of the Grossmith songs) and sang many of these giving us an insight into this man’s remarkable career.


Among his further attainments, Leon has performed at the Royal Opera House, with English National Opera, Welsh National Opera, Scottish Opera, and Sadler's Wells, also many touring companies. There are over 100 operatic roles in his repertoire, including Don Pasquale, Falstaff, Figaro and Rigoletto. He has sung in most European countries, over the Atlantic in Barbados, Bermuda, New York and Boston; he has been in demand for world cruises by several companies.   


He is particularly well-known for the Gilbert & Sullivan repertoire, in both lyric and patter roles in all of the Savoy operas, he is a regular performer at the annual International G & S Festival now held in Harrogate and with many other companies.




1196-051 Tim Smith & Leon Berger

1196-055  Tim Smith &
                 Leon Berger

1196-052
     Leon Berger

1196-053  Tim Smith

1196-054  Leon Berger

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