Grantham G&S gala concert will boost town music groups

Helen Winter plays Mabel. Photo: Nicholas Dawkes
Helen Winter plays Mabel. Photo: Nicholas Dawkes

A gala production of The Pirates of Penzance is to be staged in Grantham to support local musical societies and choirs.

The famous Gilbert and Sullivan operetta is being staged by Paradox Operetta Productions at ChristChurch in Finkin Street on Saturday, June 7.

Elaine Bishop plays Ruth.

Elaine Bishop plays Ruth.

Artistic directors Elaine Bishop and Rob Edwards saw the possibility of raising funds for local groups by arranging large-scale events and this “Come and Sing Pirates” event is their first project.

Elaine said: “The concert promises to be a spectacular occasion as it provides a rare opportunity to hear this popular operetta sung by professional soloists and accompanied by a full orchestra. The soloists and orchestra will be ably supported by a large 35-strong community chorus made up of singers from across the region and beyond and the concert will be conducted by West-End musical director Richard Baker. A specially commissioned narration will take the audience through the twists and turns of the plot as it unfolds.”

The operetta will feature a number of professional soloists including Grantham alumnus Helen Winter (Scottish Opera, Opera Holland Park, English Pocket Opera) as Mabel, Caroline Sharpe (winner of the Mario Lanza Opera Prize 2009) as Edith, Robert-John Edwards (Carl Rosa Opera, Buxton Festival Opera, Co-Opera-Co) as the Pirate King, John Bispham (Royal Northern College of Music, Co-Opera-Co) as the Sergeant of Police, and Harry Bagnall (Royal Academy of Music, Opera Holland Park, Royal Shakespeare Company) as Frederic.

They will be supported by local favourites including Elaine (pictured left) and Adam Bishop as Ruth and Major-General Stanley and Charlotte Coggin as Kate.

Musical Director Richard Baker has recently finished musical directing the West End revival of ‘Finian’s Rainbow’ at the Charing Cross Theatre in London, and is currently one of the two musical directors of the award-

winning company Mischief Theatre, composing for productions including ‘Peter Pan Goes Wrong’ at the Islington Pleasance.

The proceeds from the concert are being split between four local musical societies and choirs, some of which are

liable to close over the next couple of years due to lack of funding. The groups that will benefit from the proceeds of the concert are The Grantham Singers, Grantham Operatic Society, The Belvoir Wassailers and Stamford G and S Players.

The concert starts at 7.30pm. Seats are unreserved and doors open at 7pm. Tickets cost £8 adults and £5 concessions. More details and tickets are available from the website at www.paradoxoperettaproductions.com and from Simmonds Music in Westgate, Grantham.