Welcome to the home of the
Leicester Gilbert and Sullivan Operatic Society
The Leicester G&SLighters.
this website you can keep up to date with everything that is happening
at the Leicester G&SLighters.
a look at some of the links on the left to find out more about us, but
if you still need more information, why not contact us:
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you are interested in being a playing member or patron, or being involved
back stage during the week of the show, please use our email
link to contact us, thank you!
A farewell message from our 'retiring' President, Dr. John Florance...
Very sadly, this is the last piece I shall write as President of the Society.
It has been a great pleasure over the years to see the Society in action, latterly in shows other than the Savoy Operas. We have witnessed a variety of styles of production from the traditional to the outlandish. They have not all appealed to everyone but I have thoroughly enjoyed the variety.
If the Savoy Operas really are the classics we all believe them to be they should be amenable to a variety of approaches and interpretations.
This has not been an easy time for the Society, not least because the popularity of the operas is at present not what it was. There are a variety of reasons for this, not least the virtual disappearance of school productions. But the Society are keeping the flame of G & S alive in Leicester and I am certain that there will always be a core of Savoyards who will continue to relish the wit of Gilbert’s lyrics and the splendid inventiveness of Sullivan’s music.
This year we are presenting the classic Broadway musical Oklahoma! which premiered in 1943. The show was Rodgers and Hammerstein’s first collaboration and it was a box-office smash running for an unprecedented 2,212 performances. Rodgers and Hammerstein won a special Pulitzer Prize for the show in 1944.
Oklahoma! brought a new sophistication to the lyric stage with the songs, dance sequences and book all driving a story which was far more realistic than the musical comedies which had filled the stage in previous years. Not G & S then, but a great show that the Society has thoroughly enjoyed working on and which, I am sure, you will enjoy.
Here’s to a long and successful future for the Leicester G & S Lighters! And a huge thank you to you, our faithful audience, which has supported us over the years.
A welcome message from our new President, Alan Freckingham...
With John Florance resigning from the role of President of the society due to leaving the area, I was delighted, surprised and honoured to be appointed to the position, one that was introduced in 1959.
I have been connected with the society from the beginning: my father, Bruce, was one of the catalysts and founder members of the Leicester G&S and he arranged for my mother, Joan, to take me to see the dress rehearsal of "The Gondoliers"; their first production in 1950. To date, I believe I am the only person to have seen every production from the start of the society to the present date. Despite not being able to remember a great deal of the first show, I can recall one scene from the second, namely "The Mikado". In 1955 I was invited to play the Midshipman in H.M.S. Pinafore alongside my father who was Captain Corcoran, unfortunately the production did not pass without problems when four days prior to opening night, the backstage area of the Little Theatre was destroyed by fire and the whole production was moved to another venue and duly opened on time. In the confusion, much to my disappointment, my name was missed off the programme.
My adult debut came about in the 1963/4 season with the "The Yeoman of the Guard". Again problems arose when the director walked out six weeks before the opening night, however the society were offered and accepted the services of an experienced local producer who volunteered to see the production through.
From 1963/64 until 1988 I performed with not only the G & S but with other musical groups and with the Leicester Drama Society in a variety of roles before leaving to pursue other activities. During that period the society produced all the G & S operas, a unique record for any group. Upon leaving I became a patron member and continued to perform with other companies.
Since 1988 I have helped with Front of House duties and prompted for the last two productions. In 1997 I was elected Vice-Chairman for two years and, more recently Chairman, for six years from 2005-2011.
In my opinion the society can succeed at almost anything for which they have unlimited enthusiasm.
LLast season's message from 2015/16 Chairman, Clive Carlin...
"SEASON STARTS WITH A BANG
After a very successful show with ‘Carousel’, the new season has taken an age in arriving! However we have not been idle during the closed season.
We have been busy performing a number of very successful concerts and also raising money for this season’s charity, The Alzeimer’s Society, by holding a pirate themed treasure hunt at two local galas. Both rewarding financially and not only helping to raise our profile amongst our core audience, but also bringing in some new exciting talent to our ranks!
However the main event that is Pirates of Penzance must remain our focus and so I have great pleasure in announcing the new production team. We welcome back two familiar faces here…………
Steve Bruce is our ‘Professional’ Director and James Stevens is our equally ‘Professional’ Musical Director.
The good news must have leaked out because our first rehearsal was the best attended I have known for a long time, if not ever!!
A great start, a great foundation on which to build! Let’s hope we’re still celebrating when we cut Frederic’s birthday cake on February 29th 2016."
Director, Stephen Bruce, and Chairman, Clive Carlin, cutting Frederick's birthday cake - 29th February, 2016!