City Grammar 1951 Choral Society
Let's Make An Opera - Benjamin Britten

Let's make an Opera

When we heard that the school was to produce Benjamin Britten's musical experiment, those of us who knew something about this "entertainment for children" feared that Mr. Taylor and Mrs. Bailey had been too ambitious.  As the opening night drew near, it became obvious that many others were interested in this, the first production in Sheffield.  Although few had been sold to our own pupils (perhaps because of the weird noises which had interrupted lessons on the top corridor) hundreds of tickets have been sold to other schools.

Every performance was given to a packed hall, and each audience included a large number of Sheffield notabilities.  At one performance we were honoured by the presence of the Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress, who "pink-pinked" along with the rest in obvious enjoyment.

Photo 01 - Kathleen Roberts (3rd. from right)

Mr Parsons gave an excellent portrayal of the brutal Sweep Master.  (Could he have been practising on his Latin pupils?)  He and Mr. J Fanthom formed an admirable comedy team.  The charming voices of Enid Hartle, Audrey Graham and Ann Darwin were well supported by those of the younger children.  Jack Morris played "Sammy" the little sweep. Thanks to Mr. Bailey, the lively acting of the first half drew well deserved laughter and applause, whilst Mr. Taylor skilfully carried out the difficult task of persuading the audience to join heartily in the choruses.

That our fears had been groundless was shown by the magnificent reception that the venture received.  It was a tribute richly deserved.

Jean Turner (6U)

Photo 02 - Back row left to right - 01 Kathleen Roberts - 02 Andrew Clark - 03 XXX - 04 Audrey Graham - 05 XXX
                  Kneeling - 06 Enid Hartle - 07 Marcus Davidson
                  Prostrate - 08 Ann Darwin

Photo 03 - Left to right - 01 Audrey Graham - 02 Maureen Biggins - 03 Marcus Davidson
04 Malcolm Fanthom - 05 Ann Darwin - 06 XXX - 07 XXX - 08 Andrew Clark - 09 Edgar Parsons - 10 Enid Hartle

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