Halifax Gilbert and Sullivan Society 50th Anniversary
When audiences gather in November for this year’s annual Halifax Gilbert and Sullivan Society production Utopia Ltd, they will become part of history.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the society which was conceived back in 1968 when Halifax GP Bernard Rosovske put a notice in the Courier asking if people were interested in forming a Gilbert and Sullivan Society in Halifax.
They were, and for the first three years the Society presented around six concert versions of the shows at Harrison House.
These were the equivalent of the Club Nights that the Society still holds - a number of which will take place over the few weeks for the birthday.
They also took part with other Societies in the Mayor’s annual concert at the Civic (now Victoria) Theatre.
Three years after its foundation, in 1971, Halifax G&S Society performed its first fully-staged show, HMS Pinafore, at Halifax Playhouse.
Interestingly the only musical accompanymemnt came from two pianos. Howeverfrom 1973 onwards shows have taken place with an orchestra
From 1971 to now productions have taken place at the Playhouse every autumn, with The Grand Duke in 2005 completing the full house of G&S operettas.
Among those taking part this year is Steven Greenwood a founder member who remains a prominent voice within the society today. But what is it that makes these Victorian pieces of work continue to attract audiences?
“For me it is the music,” says Steven. “Despite the passage of time it still has such enduring qualities.”
Dates for your diary
Tonight (May 25) 7.45pm - All Saints Church Hall Halifax. Performing Cox & Box and Trial by Jury, refreshments, free admission, retiring collection.
June 2, Summer Concert 7.30pm -St Bartholomew’s Church, Ripponden. Tickets £6, plus refreshments, pay on the door, or order from 01422 824375.
June 9, 7.30pm - St Jude’s Church, Halifax 50 Year Celebration Concert with guest performers. Tickets £7, with refreshments and a wine bar.Pay on the door, or order tickets from 01422 381931.