Saturday 13 June 2020
2022 production announced
Ware Operatic Society are pleased to announce our 2022 musical will be Evita, the fabulous and emotional story of Eva Peron.
Audiences can look forward to the show's iconic songs, such as 'Oh! What A Circus', 'Don't Cry for Me Argentina', 'Another Suitcase in Another Hall', 'Rainbow High', 'Buenos Aires', and 'On This Night of a Thousand Stars'.
But what's it all about?
Evita is based on the historical story of Maria Eva Duarte de Peron, a poor Argentinian girl who grows up to be the wife of the President of Argentina, worshipped by the people.
A young woman who longs for fame and fortune, Eva quickly learns that her feminine wiles hold power among a culture and a political system run by men.
As Eva's ambitions grow, she finds fame and power.
In the role of First Lady of Argentina, she aligns herself with the poor, winning herself and Peron (the President of Argentina) popularity among Argentinians. She becomes a hero to the poor and the working classes, but an enemy to the rich.
This blockbuster musical, made even more famous as a 1996 Hollywood film starring Madonna and Antonio Banderas, shows both the righteous determination and the ruthless power of Argentina’s 20th Century matriarch.
But before all that, we have our annual Summer Concert at Ware Drill Hall. We are excited to get singing again and this will be a performance not to be missed from your favourite entertainers. We will announce when tickets are available as soon as we can.
If you are interested in being a part of Ware Operatic and either of these fantastic productions, please contact us. We are yet to announce the beginning of the rehearsal period for either, but by contacting us you will be the first to know.
Remember you don't have to be a performing member to be a part of the fun. Our backstage crew and production team always offer a warm welcome to new people.
Monday 23 March 2020
Review: Anything Goes
Cathy Clark from Photogroupie reviews our recent production of Anything Goes at Hertford Theatre.
Nearly a century after Anything Goes premiered, it's still a show that endures. Some of the jokes and references may not have transferred to a modern audience, but the feel-good factor of a Cole Porter musical transcends time.
The big-scale Hollywood style show is something Ware Operatic have not really ventured into before, but with the passion director and choreographer Angie Frost has for the show, the company was in safe hands.
The tale of Billy Crocker who stows aboard a cruise ship to try and win the heart of debutante Hope Harcourt is perhaps a classic theatrical trope of boy meets girl. But put into the mix a couple of fugitive gangsters and a racy nightclub singer and the entire S.S American becomes a romp of mistaken identity and subterfuge, where anything goes in the attempt to secure true love.
The ensemble cast has been stripped back compared to what it usually is, but then there is not a huge amount of choral work in the score. Having fewer people on stage gives more space for several of the show's big dance numbers, which are expertly choreographed. It's a pity that better use wasn't made of the top deck rostra for the dance sequences. I can only imagine that this was down to blocking and logistical reasons, but even so, it would have given some of the numbers a different dynamic.
Although we don't really get the mighty sound from the chorus on this show, there were some stellar performances from the principals. James Reynolds gives an understated performance as Billy, but when up against some larger than life female leads, this is a wise directorial move. Andrew Frost as bungling gangster Moonface Martin, demonstrates terrific comedic timing. Mick Wilson is a stalwart of Ware Operatic and is once again on form as Lord Evelyn Oakleigh.
Although the entire cast gave typically solid performances, there's no doubt that the girls stole the show. Emma Cash as Hope has elegance and poise during her scenes with Billy. Sadie Cole as Erma is superb in every way, adding the right amount of sass and sparkle. She only gets one number but, Buddie Beware is one of the show's highlights. The brassy role of Reno is the cornerstone of the show and is expertly played by Abigail Lowman. Abigail handles the show's big numbers Blow, Gabriel, Blow and Anything Goes, with ease and is a joy to watch perform.
Ware Operatic may have taken the plunge and put on a musical outside their comfort zone, but Anything Goes, once again proves their high standards and versatility as a company.
Tuesday 12 March 2019
My Fair Lady was Truly Loverly
We have had a fantastic week performing My Fair Lady at Hertford Theatre as part of our 50th anniversary celebrations. With a strong cast and crew and excellent audience members, it was truly a show to remember.
Extracts of the reviews can be read below, and follow the links to read in full.
National Operatic & Dramatic Association Show Report
My Fair Lady was the perfect choice for Ware Operatic’s 50th Anniversary show ... This was a quality performance, thoroughly appreciated by the audience, given by a hard-working company under a dedicated production team. Read more
Ware Operatic are known for their consistently high-quality productions and their 50th-anniversary production of My Fair Lady is no exception ... Jilly Mabbitt plays the converted the role of Eliza. It's her first major role – but you'd never tell. Her performance captures the essence of Eliza perfectly ... Once again the strong ensemble is the backbone of the Ware's productions. They always produce a tremendous full sound in the crowd scenes that helps to keep the quality of Ware's productions exceptionally high.
My Fair Lady is another worthy addition to Ware Operatic's repertoire, especially as it marks their golden anniversary. With such a competent creative team and some very talented performers they should have no worries about making it through the next fifty – now wouldn't that be loverly.
Thank you to everyone who supported, either by taking part, watching the show, or working hard behind the scenes.
Tuesday 5 February 2019
Award Wins for Ware Operatic Members
We are delighted to announce that two of our members have recently won awards at the ‘NOSCARS’, amateur dramatics’ answer to the Oscars!
Members were nominated in three categories by the National Operatic and Dramatic Association (NODA), amateur theatre’s representing body. At a glamorous awards evening, Linda Dyne won Director of the Year and Natasha Easton was named for Best Female Performance in a Musical, both for their involvement in Ware Operatic’s 2018 production of Kiss Me, Kate at Hertford Theatre.
“We’re very proud of Linda and Natasha,” comments the society’s Chairman, Brian Worthington, “who are very deserving of their awards. It just goes to show that you don’t have to pay huge amounts to see shows in the West End when quality productions are happening on your doorstep.”
“So much hard work goes into bringing the shows together,” adds Brian, “and the fact that we are celebrating such an important anniversary just goes to show how dedicated our members are and how much they enjoy being a part of Ware Operatic.”
Saturday 3 November 2018
My Fair Lady 2019 Cast Announcement
After a fantastic set of auditions, and a very difficult decision for our panel, we are delighted to announce the cast for My Fair Lady in our 50th Anniversary year:
HIGGINS Mick Wilson
PICKERING David Ronco
DOOLITTLE. Paul St.James
FREDDY. Matt Lampitt
HARRY. Thomas Wornham
Tenor Servant. Steve Cooper
Bass Servant. Maurice Newman
Wouldn’t it be lovely quartet cockneys
Maurice Newman, Roger Green, John Allison and Stephen Cooper
ELIZA. Jilly Mabbitt
MRS HIGGINS. Mary Pick
MRS PEARCE. Jenny Reynolds
Soprano Servant Rebecca Lee
Soprano Servant Beverley Howard
Alto Servant Andrea Graves
MRS EYNSFORD HILL. Sue Mulligan
LADY BOXINGTON Liane Burnett
MRS HOPKINS. Deborah Rudgley
John Allison, Stephen Cooper, Brian Watson, Steve Wicks, Brian Worthington
John Christopher Bain, Martyn Broyd, Roger Green, Maurice Newman, Tom Wornham
Linda Budd, Emma Cash, Bev Howard, Rebecca Lee, Zoe Reader, Anne Marie Rizzi, Shirley Richardson, Deborah Ryan
Zoe Briggs, Liane Burnett, Sadie Cole, Andrea Graves, Claire Liu Yin, Abi Lowman, Sue Mulligan, Sandra Rowley, Deborah Rudgley, Eleanor Seager, Dorren Spielman, Amanda Walden
Wednesday 1 August 2018
An Evening With Legends NODA Show Report
This year’s ‘ An Evening with Legends ’ concert was jam packed with fantastic songs that absolutely thrilled the audience.
The company started the evening with a wonderful rendition of a 60’s Medley and then Steven Cooper followed this with ‘Nights in White Satin”, which was lovely.
The roller coaster continued as we lurched from this poignant and powerful song to the company singing “Skyfall”. For me the volume balance was not quite right but never the less the harmonies were great and then back to Hannah Juggins singing ‘ I Man Feel Like a Woman ’. Here I felt the dancers were a distraction.
Rebecca Joelle did an outstanding rendition of “Don’t Rain on My Parade”. Here we have a very talented performer in the making. I look forward to hearing more of this young lady.
The first half ended with Ware Operatic doing what they are well known for. Precise choral singing and it was great. Ave Verum Corpus by Mozart and Cachucha by Gilbert and Sullivan gave the audience just what they were used to and what they came to hear. A choral group with tight harmonies, perfect timing and a volume that resonates throughout the Drill Hall.
The second half the of programme started with the company involved in “America” from West Side Story. Alas, once again the dancing let the piece down. Some of the dancers were simply not up to some of the combination steps and this was such a shame.
Hannah Juggins and Tom Pigden sang from “The Phantom of the Opera really well and Hannah’s top notes were well placed and not at all forced or too long, good breath control displayed here. Well done.
The surprise of the evening was the “Earth Song” by Michael Jackson which was brilliantly executed, and I liked it very much.
However, for me, the show stopper was Hannah Joelle and Sophie Clark singing “Happy Days are Here Again/ Get Happy”. This was pure magic and I loved it.
Thank you Ware Operatic for another great performance, and for those I have not mentioned please be assured that I had a very enjoyable evening.
Thank you for your hospitality.
Reviewed by: Vicki Avery
Wednesday 13 June 2018
Grant Awarded for 50th Anniversary Celebrations
We are delighted to announce that Ware Town Council have awarded Ware Operatic a generous grant of £2,500 towards its 50th Anniversary celebrations in 2019. The society is planning a range of events to celebrate 50 years, which include introducing theatre and music to more people in the local area.
We are very grateful to the council for selecting us for this grant.
Tuesday 15 May 2018
An Evening with Legends Audition Results
We are delighted to announce the results of auditions for our Summer Concert 2018: An Evening With Legends:
Steven Cooper: Nights in White Satin
Matt Lampitt: You Took Advantage of Me
Eleanor Gage: O Mio Babbino Caro
Debbie Ryan, Linda Budd, Jenny Reynolds: Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy
Sophie Clark, Rebecca Murphy: Happy Days are Here Again
Rebecca Murphy: Don’t Rain on My Parade
Hannah Juggins: Man, I Feel Like a Woman
Hannah Juggins, Tom Pigden: Phantom of the Opera
Monday 9 October 2017
Cabaret and Kiss Me Kate Audition Results
We are thrilled to be able to annouce both our soloists for Cabaret 2017 and the cast for Kiss Me Kate, our main 2018 production.
Cabaret 2017 Solists
Kiss Me Kate Cast
Lili/Kate: Tracey Gwynne
Fred/Petruchio: Phillip Cable
Lois/Bianca: Natasha Easton
Bill/Lucentio: Stephen Wiley
Hattie: Abigail Lowman
Paul: Matthew Lampitt
Gremio: David Barton
Hortensio: Chris Lucas
General Howell: Stephen Cooper
Gangsters: Mick Wilson, Daniel Goode
Auditions for Genral Howell will take place in the next few days. We are still looking for two men to play the gangsters, who have the fantastic song Brush up on your Shakespeare. Please get in touch if you are interested in auditioning for these parts.
Congratulatoins to everyone and we look forward to both performances! Get your tickets for Cabaret 2017 here or keep up to date with all our events on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Tuesday 18 July 2017
Summer Concert 2017 NODA Report
West End Shows Past and Present by Ware Operatic, performed at Ware Drill Hall, was a compilation concert containing some all-time classic musical numbers from some well-loved musicals such as Les Miserables and Anything Goes, as well as from some lesser-known gems such as Jersey Boys.
The show contained excerpts from no less than 16 different musicals. The vast variety of songs appealed to all ages and tastes with many different themes proving to be an entertaining and enjoyable evening.
This was a very good musical compilation concert by the society. It was very well compered and the audience was definitely in for a treat.
The whole evening opened with an arrangement by Teena Chinn of “Another Op’nin’, Another Show.” It worked very well with superb vocals and good diction all round. This number set the standard for which the rest of the show continued from.
Throughout this first act we saw fabulous performances from many members of the company. Modern and different interpretations of songs were preformed adding to the comedy and enjoyment value for all. The first half ended with a compilation of Rodgers and Hammerstein on Broadway leaving the audience wanting more from the second act and providing the talking point for the break.
Act 2 then opened with songs from Miss Saigon arranged by Ed Lojeski.
After the superb vocals and harmonies that ended act one we thought it would be hard for the company to top this but how wrong we were.
There were some excellent solo performances and choral singing, led extremely well as always by M.D. David Ranford.
All the soloists performed very well, but highlights for me were Sara Shaw singing “So In Love“ from Kiss Me Kate, Joanna Tripp performing “One Hundred Easy Ways” and my particular favourite, the medley from Les Miserables, which came at the very end of the performance. Wow! There wasn’t a weak link in the company and the audience was very enthusiastic about all the performances.
Lighting was appropriate to the various moods of the music and, although there appeared to be fewer members in the choir this year, the positioning of the chairs was well spaced so that every member of the company could be seen.
As always, Barbara Manning was faultless at the piano and James Reynolds gave us some haunting moments on his saxophone.
Well done to the company for an excellent evening’s entertainment and thank you for your generous hospitality.