News Letter – May 2014

May 2014

Our Spring Concert was an interesting mix of familiar and unfamiliar. It was exciting to present such a range of music linked to the Church season of Holy Week.
Now we embark on something very different. The programme we present this summer will be a concert performance of The Pirates of Penzance by W.S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan.
Like “fish and chips”, the names of these two are forever linked. However, it was not always the case. Both men had had successful careers before they were introduced to each other in 1869. Gilbert had been making a name for himself first of through his amusing articles and short stories, and in particular his humorous Bab Ballads. He began writing for the stage, his family-friendly comic operas or “entertainments” doing much to restore the respectability of the theatre at the time. Sullivan, also, had been making a name for himself as a composer of classical music. The son of a band master, at the age of 14 he had been the first recipient of the Mendelssohn Scholarship to study at the Royal College of Music. Since then he had been building s reputation as one of Britain’s up-and-coming composers. His first comic opera, Cox and Box appeared in 1866 with the libretto by F.C.Burnand and received the critical attention of Gilbert, art that time drama critic for the magazine, Fun.
Their collaboration began with the resounding success of Trial by Jury which set the pattern for their subsequent creations. The Pirates of Penzance came out in 1879 and is typical in the way it turns the world of society topsy-turvey, poking fun at the conventions of family respectability and the notion of a liberal education among others. Though it was first performed in New York, it soon transferred to London and was a hit on both sides of the ocean. Indeed, it has never lost its popularity and is one of the most performed of the Gilbert and Sullivan repertoire. We look forward to welcoming everyone to The Festival Chorus rendition on Saturday 5th July.


Stop Press: Do you enjoy singing? Would you like to sing one of the greatest choral masterpieces?
Join us for our Winter Concert – a performance of Verdi’s Requiem.
Rehearsals start Monday 1st September, the concert will be Saturday 29th November.
We welcome singers of all abilities and experience – there are no auditions.
Information and contact through our website –


This term:
Summer 2014
Term starts Monday 7th April 2014
Concert Saturday 5th July, 7.30pm, St Luke’s Church, Ramsden Road
Saturday Rehearsals 17th May and 14th June
Gilbert and Sullivan: The Pirates of Penzance


AGM : Monday 7th July 8pm

Autumn 2014
Term starts Monday 1st September
Concert Saturday 29th November, 7.30pm, St Luke’s Church, Ramsden Road
Saturday Rehearsals 11th October (tbc) and 8th November (tbc)
Verdi: Requiem


Saturday 17th May – St Luke’s Church, Ramsden Road SW12, 7.30pm. St Luke’s Music Society: Michael Collins (clarinet) and Michael McHale (piano)

Saturday 17th May – All Saints’ Church, Lovelace Road, West Dulwich, SE21, 7.30pm Lambeth Orchestra. Puccini: Madame Butterfly (concert performance)

Sunday 18th May – Royal Albert Hall, 7.30pm – Wimbledon Choral Society with the Vivace Singers, conductor Jeremy Backhouse. Verdi: Requiem


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