Golden Memories show to mark company’s 50th

Matt Clarke, Lisa Abbott and William Revels in Southwick Opera's 2011 performance of Die Fledermaus S18224H11
Matt Clarke, Lisa Abbott and William Revels in Southwick Opera's 2011 performance of Die Fledermaus S18224H11

SOUTHWICK Opera is celebrating 50 years of presenting operas, operettas, musical comedies and musicals at the Barn Theatre.

To commemorate this anniversary, the company is performing Golden Memories, a look back through many of the shows performed since its inception in 1965.

Following its inaugural performance, Southwick Opera has put on 97 productions of 66 different works, ranging from full blown grand opera such as La Traviata, William Tell, Aida and Carmen, to Broadway musicals such as Titanic, Follies, Sweeney Todd and Kiss Me Kate, as well as many Gilbert and Sullivan works, Viennese operettas and musical comedies.

Simon Gray, director and musical director, is hoping to include something from most of these shows in the programme – even if it is only a few bars.

Several former members have gone on to pursue professional careers as singers after performing with Southwick Opera. Tenor Michael Preston went on to join Welsh National Opera, soprano Susan Stacey has sung with opera companies all over the world, Fenton Gray has appeared in many West End musicals and is currently on the tour of The Producers, and baritone Jonathan Fisher has been singing with the Royal Opera Company for many years.

Golden Memories will be performed on May 14 and 15 at 7.30pm. A special reunion performance follows on Saturday, May 16, with singers from the past who have not performed with the company for many years.

The company would really like to hear from as many past members as possible and hope they will be able to attend the special performance

Sue Gotham

Spokesman Sue Gotham said: “Most of these performers now live out of the area and will be returning especially for the occasion.

“We are delighted to announce that among those returning to sing are soprano Jacqueline March, baritone Jonathan Fisher, tenor Tim Anscombe and baritone Philip Carter.

“The company would really like to hear from as many past members as possible and hope they will be able to attend the special performance on the Saturday, which starts at 6pm and will be followed by a reception in the Barn Theatre.”

Tickets are £10 for Thursday and Friday, £13 Saturday, from 01273 597094 or online from www.southwickcommunitycentre.org.uk