Uncategorized - Grosvenor Light Opera Company - Page 2

Our production of The Sorcerer is being brewed!

Rehearsals are now well underway.

We have a very strong cast, with these superb principles leading party:

J.W. Wells – Stoo Gill

Aline – Grace Watkins

Alexis – Andrew Hurst

Constance – Emma Rettie

Dr Daly – Phil Errington

Mrs Partlett – Ali Dixon

Lady Sangazure – Lesley Khatibi

Sir Marmaduke Pointdextre – James Chadburn

Notary – Jonathan Broad

Tickets will be online for sale very soon! Check back shortly to secure our early bird rate!

We can’t wait to start rehearsals for The Sorcerer!

We had our first, open rehearsal for our next production The Sorcerer last week and it was great to see so many new and returning faces!

If you’d still like to be involved in the show then it’s not too late. We are holding auditions this week (Wednesday 2nd March and Saturday 5th March) for principal roles – sign up for a slot by emailing a copy of this audition form to [email protected] as soon as you can to secure your spot.

If you’d like to be a member of the chorus there are no auditions – just turn up and give us a go! As in all Gilbert and Sullivan shows the chorus in The Sorcerer play a huge role in the action and it’s always great fun to be a part of.

We start our first rehearsal proper next Wednesday, 9th March, at 6:45pm at St. Gabriel’s Church Hall, Churchill Gardens, Pimlico, London SW1V 3AA, a 10 minute walk from Pimlico tube.

For more information about The Sorcerer – the dates, the details, the background of the show and our company – take a look at our handy Welcome Pack which has all the information you need.

We are also looking for help in our backstage team; whether it’s stage managing, lighting, props, costumes, set design, set-building, helping with ticket sales, or whatever other skill you can bring, we’d love to hear from you! Send us a quick note at [email protected] to say hi!

Want to join GLOC? Come to the Open Rehearsal for The Sorcerer!

Come and meet GLOC! Old timers and newbies are welcome alike. You’ll be able to meet the Directors, sing through some delights of score, and take part in a improv workshop to explore what it is to be a villager! 

When: Wednesday 23rd February 18:45 – 21:45

Where: St. Gabriel’s Church Hall, Churchill Gardens, Pimlico, London SW1V 3AA

You’ll be able to hear about the magical vision for The Sorcerer, learn the details on the practicalities of being involved in a GLOC production and learn about dates for auditions and rehearsals.

Everyone is welcome and there is no charge to attend. We will provide a welcome pack in advance detailing

  • What you can expect from Grosvenor Light Opera Company
  • Details of how to become a member, including details about membership fees
  • Rehearsal schedule and important dates
  • Audition details
  • Contact details

Look for the blue door for the hall entrance. We will be downstairs in a room named The Men’s Club. However, please check the noticeboard / signs as you go in, as the room is sometimes modified on the day.

For more information, please see our website: www.gloc.org, or email our Chair Laura, at [email protected] and sign up to our newsletter to receive a copy of the welcome pack.

We are excited to see you for our most magical year yet!

Grosvenor Light Opera Company is thrilled to announce our Creative Director, Jenna Augen! 

Jenna is a RADA graduate and most recently finished a run in The West End in Tom Stoppard’s Olivier-Award-Winning production of Leopoldstadt at the Wyndham’s Theatre. As well as an actress, Jenna is a violinist and acting coach! We are thrilled to have Jenna’s experience as both a performer and acting coach, on top of which she has a genuine passion for G&S! Jenna will be working closely with our experienced Musical Director, Chris Jacklin!

Jenna is brimming with inspirational ideas for The Sorcerer, and we can’t wait to reveal more at The Open Rehearsal on 23rd February, where Jenna will reveal her vision.

Directing Opportunity: The Sorcerer!

Grosvenor Light Opera Company is looking for a talented, enthusiastic director to bring its next production, The Sorcerer, to life!

This is an opportunity to direct a leading amateur Gilbert and Sullivan company with a large cast (50+) and full orchestra, performing sell-out shows in central London. Five performances of the opera, including a matinee, will be staged at the Bridewell Theatre, Blackfriars and Harrogate in August on the following dates:

Bridewell performances: 26th June – 2nd July 2022

Harrogate matinee:  Saturday 13th August

View Director’s Pack Here

Apply by Wednesday 12th Jan 2022. Please email applications to [email protected] or contacts us with any questions you may have.

Rehearsals: The weekly rehearsals are on Wednesday evenings from 18:45 – 21:45 in Pimlico, and will begin at the end of February.

We’d be eternally grateful if you would circulate this around to anyone else that may be interested in this exciting opportunity. Thanks very much!

We can’t wait to hear from you!

The Gondoliers Success!

Not only have these two Gondoliers been lucky in love capturing two beautiful maids, but we have too! What a wonderful cast and crew that helped make our performance of The Gondoliers so special!

With 5 wonderful performances at The Bridewell Theatre in Central London last week, and a full and fabulous audience each night, we have managed to pull off another roaring success for GLOC! Thank you to our cast and crew for all you do!

If you would like to get involved in next year’s show, please get in touch. We are especially looking for people to help with the roles of stage manager, lighting, props, costume and production. Please contact us here to find out more!

The Gondoliers: Tickets On Sale Now!

Book now

Come and see Leon Berger’s colourful update set in 20th century Venice with plenty of lovesick gondolieri and contadine, outrageous dukes and duchesses, a princess and her chauffeur (!) and all the wonderful music and dancing you can rely on from Gilbert and Sullivan and from GLOC!

The show will take place at the Bridewell Theatre, off Fleet Street in central London, from Wednesday 6th to Saturday 9th October 2021. Performances at 7.30pm each evening, with an additional Saturday matinee at 2.30pm.

Get your tickets here for a special early bird price of £14, available until 7 September. Don’t miss out!

About the Gondoliers

The Gondoliers; or, The King of Barataria is a comic opera with music by Sir Arthur Sullivan and libretto by W. S.Gilbert. It was their twelfth collaboration and their last major success, with an initial run of 554 performances. The plot concerns two newly-married Venetian gondoliers, one of whom turns out to be the King of the island of Barataria. The only trouble is that nobody can remember which of the two Gondoliers is the King, except for their old nursemaid, and she isn’t due to turn up until the end of Act II. To add to the complications, the newly-wed King (whichever he is) discovers he was also married in infancy to the daughter of the Duke of Plaza Toro, who has reluctantly arrived to claim her husband, despite really being in love with the Duke’s drummer boy. This relatively lightweight plot allows space for Gilbert to poke fun at, amongst other things, republican working monarchs and impoverished mercenary aristocrats, as well as allowing more space for Sullivan’s music, most notably in the extended opening scene.

Book now

Sam Everton – an obituary

GLOC regrets to announce that we were recently informed that Sam Everton, a GLOC member for over 50 years between 1950 and 2001, has died at the age of 99. The following obituary was written by Christopher Roberts, a fellow member for several of those years. Our thoughts are with his wife, Pam, at this time, and we are extremely grateful for all the considerable support they have given to GLOC over several decades.

Sam Everton as Antonio in The Gondoliers

SAM EVERTON – GLOC 1950-2001

Sam Everton, a Grosvenor member for over 50 years, died on 25th April at the age of 99.

When he arrived in England from Czechoslovakia in 1939, he had no previous experience of musical theatre or singing. Because at that time he was an artist, he was asked to design some stage sets for The Country Girl, but then he saw a production of HMS Pinafore and subsequently joined the chorus for a production of The Yeomen of the Guard. Thusstarted his lifetime’s enthusiasm for Gilbert and Sullivan.

When he saw the inaugural production of Iolanthe by the Grosvenor in 1950, he was so impressed with the high standard, that he joined up for their next production. He then appeared in every show for the next 50 years, thus becoming the longest serving member in the history of the company.

Despite having no previous musical training, he learned the chorus parts of every G and S comic opera and had the great advantage of a strong natural tenor voice and an infectious enthusiasm on stage.

In some operas he sang solo parts, notably Antonio and Francesco in The Gondoliers, Samuel (most appropriately!) in The Pirates of Penzance, and Sir Bailey Barre in Utopia Ltd. The latter opera given by GLOC in 1962 was a real rarity at that time, and this also applied to The Grand Duke in which Sam appeared in 1966. Between these two in 1964 Sam was also in the first amateur performance of Engaged (where Sullivan’s music was adapted to a play by Gilbert), presented by GLOC the year after the first professional performance.

Sam’s stage manner was of complete commitment and great enthusiasm and, of course, he had perfect recall of the text, music and production.

He also served on the committee as Publicity Officer for many years and, on the social side, he organised very enjoyable outings for the company to The Player’s Theatre at Charing Cross, which included much heckling of the chairman from Grosvenor members!

He was always welcoming to new recruits, and particularly encouraging to the young people in the company. In fact, he would dispense invaluable advice to young and old.

In 2000, he almost missed the production of Princess Ida when he required urgent cardiac surgery only a few weeks beforehand. However, that didn’t stop Sam and, amazingly, he was back at rehearsals marching up and down the stage as one of King Hildebrand’s soldiers just in time for the show.

He appeared in 63 productions altogether. His final show was The Yeomen of the Guard in 2001, in his eightieth year when, unbelievably, he reprised another solo part – the First Yeoman, this time very appropriately for his age and experience.

He met his wife, Pam, when she joined the company in the 1960s and they were married in 1972. Pam appeared in many productions herself and was a distinguished chairman of the company. Together known affectionately to us all as ‘Spam’, after they left the company they continued to support GLOC and enjoy a younger generation’s performances for a number of years.

In 2014, Sam’s great friend Terry Bygraves wrote a biography entitled Sam’s Song which covers all aspects of his incredible life. In my copy Sam has inscribed ‘With best wishes, In Friendship’s Name’, and friendship was the quality that he encouraged.

Old Grosvenor programmes used to display a crest with a quotation of five notes from The Sorcerer and the Latin inscription ‘Et Corde et Voce’ which encapsulates Sam’s contribution to The Grosvenor: ‘Et corde et voce’ – ‘With heart and with voice.’

At his funeral service on 21st May, after the Czech national anthem and music by Smetana and Elgar we heard ‘Take a Pair of Sparkling Eyes’ and what we and Sam regarded as the Grosvenor national anthem – ‘Hail Poetry’.

Chris Roberts

New proposed dates for The Gondoliers

Given the uncertainty surrounding the lifting of lockdown and loosening of social distancing requirements, the committee was increasingly nervous about our chances of putting on a June 2021 show in line with our usual practice. We’ve been in touch with the Bridewell Theatre and are really pleased to say that we have secured a week later in the year.

Accordingly, show week for our delayed 2020 production of The Gondoliers is now Sunday 3rd October – Saturday 9th October, with performances 6th – 9th October.

At the time of this post, we are currently contacting those involved in the production prior to the pandemic bringing everything to a halt to try and work out a rehearsal schedule which works for as many people as possible, given this is not our normal time of year to put on a performance.

If you are new and would like to get involved, please do contact us.