Newsletter June 2014

Festival Chorus Newsletter


The sun is shining, the sea is calm and a bevy of beautiful girls (or are they?) are fluttering over the rocky seashore.. But who is this sitting disconsolately on the beach? It is the noble Major General in despair, while facing each other (hidden or not) are a band of dastardly pirates led by their king and some intrepid policemen. The scene is set – time for the curtain raiser to our concert performance of The Pirates of Penzance.

Pirates achieved instant popularity when first performed – a status it has retained. However, its creation was not completely straightforward. There was no problem with subject matter – romantic pirates were a staple of the 19th century novel – Scott (The Pirate) and James Fennimore Cooper ( The Red Rover) provided examples, while Sullivan had translated Les brigands, an operetta by Offenbach and Gilbert had used a brigand theme for Princess Toto (1876). Rather the problem was copyright piracy particularly in the States. In an attempt to combat this, Gilbert and Sullivan arranged for The Pirates of Penzance to have its official opening on Broadway before appearing in London. They also delayed the publication of the libretto and score to try to prevent illegal copying. Indeed, this not the only unusual element in the creation of this operetta. Sullivan, unusually, composed it starting with the final act. He intended to complete the whole from sketches of the First Act once he was in New York. Apparently arriving in America, he found he had forgotten to bring the sketches and had to reconstruct the opening music and choruses from memory.

Whatever the problems, the result was a success; a lively, not to say ridiculous, comic operetta full of great tunes. We hope that you will join us for this summer concert designed to put a smile on the face, a skip in the step and will have you leaving the concert humming the music

The concert is Saturday 5th July, St Luke’s Church, Ramsden Road SW12 at 7.30pm. Tickets will be available at the door, but can also be bought from Northcote Music, Northcote Road, SW11.


A.G.M. – The A.G.M with be held on Monday 7th July at 8pm. Our host is Jan Passey. the address, 12 Earlsfield Road, SW18 3DW.

For our next concert we will be performing Verdi’s Requiem. Please join us to sing this wonderful piece. We are a non-auditioning choir and welcome voices in all parts of all abilities. Look on our website for information or contact us via
We will start rehearsals Monday 1st September; the concert will be Saturday 29th November

This term:
Saturday 5th July 7.30 St Luke’s Church, Ramsden Road SW12 8RQ – The Pirates of Penzance

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

Spring 2015
Rehearsals start Monday 5th January
Concert Saturday 21st March
Saturday Rehearsals 7th February and 7th March
Handel: Israel in Egypt


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