Since Grantham Operatic Society (GOS) was formed in 1957, it has become one of the longest-running amateur dramatic societies in Grantham and celebrated its sixtieth anniversary last year.
Throughout the decades, it has continued to produce professional and high quality performances with many of its members often going on to forge successful careers in the creative arts industry.
At its helm is chairman Roy Coleman, who has been a dedicated member of the society for the past 20 years, taking on the role and responsibility of chairman 10 years ago.
Despite ill health forcing him to take more of an advisory role within the society now, he is keen to boost the number of members and encourage more people to join what he describes as being one of the friendliest society’s in town. We caught up with Roy and his wife Sue, who is also a member of the society, at their home on Cottesmore Close, Grantham, earlier this week.
How did you get into GOS?
I have always taken part in shows since my last year at university. My family are regulars at the international Gilbert and Sullivan festival, one of the leading UK’s arts events. I have had stints with many of the amateur dramatic societies around town and joined GOS 20 years ago, along with my wife Sue and children, twins Hannah and James, now aged 30, who have always shared our interest in opera. Hannah now sings opera semi-professional.
What kind of shows does the society perform?
We like a mixture between the lighter, more modern musicals such as Sweeney Todd, Kiss Me Kate, Carousel and Fiddler on the Roof to light opera including The Merry Widow by composer Franz Lehár and operas by Gilbert and Sullivan including our performance this year - Patience.
Who can join?
We currently have over 30 members who all vary in age and ability. We like to encourage youngsters to join although the recent regulations regarding under-16s has proved difficult as they now need chaperones. We often attract teenagers aged between 16-18 years old before they go off to university and then we lose them, so it would be good to attract those who have already been through university or are at a similar age. However members of any age are very welcome. We appeal to anyone who has an interest in opera and in turn we can offer far more than just a stint on stage. We provide members with any musical help and guidance. Many of our younger members have gone on to make a career within the creative arts industry including acting, singing, directing, working in the theatre and many go on to attend drama or music college.
We help to broaden our members musical knowledge by teaching them the trade and push them to achieve their potential. There is a sense of comradeship within the society.
How do you compare to other amateur dramatic societies or musical groups in town?
As everyone has a different taste, we all have our place. We all like to help each other out with costumes and props.
n GOS rehearses at ChristChurch, Finkin Street every Thursday evening between 7.30 and 9.30pm.
If you are interested in becoming a member, please contact Roy on 01476 408579 or visit the Grantham Operatic Society’s Facebook page.