Past Events

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  • 25th July


    Laurence Leng presents: The Mikado

    The Mikado

    On Sunday 25th July, immediately before our online Annual General Meeting, Laurence Leng gave us another of his forty-five minute romps, this time through The Mikado. Again, it was an abridged re-telling of the story, illustrated with well-chosen musical excerpts, and pictures to whet the appetite. Online, of course, but most enjoyable.

    Click here to watch his talk on YouTube

  • 16th May


    Laurence Leng presents: The Sorcerer

    The Sorcerer

    On Sunday 16th May 2021 we were able to enjoy another of Laurence Leng's forty-five minute online presentations. This time he focused on a single opera - The Sorcerer - which is his second favourite after Ruddigore.
    He told us the story, illustrated with sketches and photographs, and included favourite songs and arias sung by such well-known artists as Valerie Masterson, Donald Adams, and John Reed. A fine re-telling, though necessarily abridged.

    Click here to watch his talk on YouTube

  • 21st March


    'Strange Adventure' - The Story of Gilbert & Sullivan

    Laurence Leng

    On Sunday 21st March 2021 Laurence Leng gave us a splendid online presentation entitled 'Strange Adventure - the Story of Gilbert & Sullivan.' This was a forty-five minute romp through all the operas except Thespis, reminding us of significant aspects and events, and illustrated with well-chosen musical and pictorial illustrations.

    Written, devised and presented by Laurence, it was enjoyed not just by the Sussex membership but by members of the London, Eastbourne, Godalming, and Preston Societies, as well as by people in the USA and Australia.

    Click here to watch 'Strange Adventure' on YouTube

  • 23rd February


    9th Annual Lunch with Ian Gledhill

    Ian Gledhill

    Ian Gledhill is a thorough-going man of the theatre with a wealth of experience onstage and off. He is also an accomplished speaker, and spoke humorously of when he shared a house with three opera singers who roped him in as their accompanist on his harmonium (the only musical instrument between the four of them).

    Through them he was weaned onto G&S, stage management, set design and directing. He is now an accredited Arts Society lecturer, speaking on over 40 subjects and running lectures and study days.

  • 1st December


    Victorian Music Hall

    An entertaining concert arranged and accompanied by Christine Colbourne, with Alan Carter as our worthy Chairman. Romy McCabe sang four of her deliciously cheeky songs, Paul Welch sang 'O For the Arms of an Ape,' and there were star turns from Valerie Stevenson, Douglas Wragg, Bill Colbourne, Sylvia Nixon, Laurence Leng, Barbara Sayers, Diana Truscott, and Isabel Jay Trophy winner Jemima Byrne.

  • 13th October


    New London Opera Group returned

    New London Opera Group

    On this, their second visit to us, we were again enthralled by the same singers and a talented accompanist. Their programme was of course dominated by all but two of the 13 now available operas. Included too were Sullivan’s 'the Lost Chord', items from My Fair Lady, West Side Story etc.

  • 30th June


    Laurence Leng

    Laurence Leng

    Have you ever wondered why Strephon and the Duke don’t have solos in Iolanthe and Patience? Why doesn’t Wilfred sing until the Act 1 finale of Yeomen? Why did Robin have two songs in Act 2 of Ruddigore and sung neither of them? Laurence explained that a number of songs never made it to the final production or were cut within days or weeks of the opening night.

    Over the years some of these songs have been found or re-constructed from limited data and recorded as bonus tracks on, now, long deleted recordings. Laurence's musically illustrated talk played a number of these recordings of rarely heard songs and explained the history as to why they were dropped or lost in the first place.

  • 14th April


    Godalming Operatic

    Image description

    The twenty five Members of GOS entertained a full house (some who were late with their bookings had to be turned away) to a most enjoyable afternoon of G&S with the cast in lovely costumes and excellent voices.

    We were treated to excerpts from Trial By Jury then a full concert performance of HMS Pinafore, with Alec Evans as Sir Joseph Porter, Ian Henderson as Captain Corcoran, Katie Plummer (pictured) as Josephine, Richard Arthur as Dick Dead-Eye. Jean Stevens was superb as the piano accompanist, and the whole afternoon was ably stage managed by Jill O'Regan.

  • 7th October


    New London Opera Group

    New London Opera Group

    Five young performers - Helena Condrey, Victoria Mulley, Alexander Carpenter, Horacio Lopez Redondo and Michael Pandazis, all from the New London Opera Group, gave an extremely enjoyable afternoon of "Gems from the Savoy Operas and other shows". A cornucopia of superb solos, duets and quartets.