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The Gondoliers 1950

Thanks to Caroline Wareham for providing a newspaper Matlock Mercury from July 22nd, 1950 in which there was a piece entitled "St. Elphin's Schoolgirls Present "The Gondoliers". Anne Carson (3rd from left) was Caroline's Aunt.

Thanks to Joan Parsons-Wynne for providing photographs of the production of 'The Gondoliers' in 1950.

  • Image 1 of 4: LtoR: Marco (Anne Carson), Casilda (Joyce Scott), Duke (Jill Schanchieff), Duchess (Ruth Parsons), Giuseppe (Anne Widdows) on the stage in Bakewell Town Hall July 1950
  • Image 2 of 4: LtoR: The Grand Inquisitor (Mary Hopkins-Jones), Casilda (Joyce Scott), Luis (Patricia Hayward), Marco (Anne Carson) outside Bakewell Town Hall - July 1950
  • Image 3 of 4: The Gondoliers 1950
  • Image 4 of 4: LtoR: The Grand Inquisitor (?), Inez (?), Marco, Gianetta (Gabrielle Toke), Luis, Casilda, Guiseppi, Tessa (Margaret Edwards), Duke (?), Duchess (?) at Bakewell Town Hall - July 14th & 15th 1950

The following is taken from the 1951 school magazine:

"This year the School renewed the old tradition by producing yet another Gilbert and Sullivan opera, "The Gondoliers." Mrs. Williams was the producer and Mr. Brown the musical director. Miss Lane was responsible for the stage management and properties; and Miss Jones, Miss Pratt and Margaret Edwards for the costumes, only one of which, for a cast of over fifty, was hired.

The whole cast co-operated very ably, the Chorus giving excellent support to the principals. The Gondoliers were gay and gallant, and the Contadini charming. Marco (Anne Carson), and Giuseppe (Anne Widdows), sang very well and acted with great zest. The touch of melancholy in the one, and the light-hearted naivete of the other, made an amusing combination. Tessa (Margaret Edwards), and Gianetta (Gabrielle Tuke), were delightfully coquettish. The Grand Inquisitor (Mary Hopkins-Jones), was properly a person of great dignity, except when he relaxed to tell us how a Grand Inquisitor should never put himself into undignified positions. Casilda (Joyce Scott), bore her misfortunes with the dignity and grace befitting the daughter of a duke of ninety-five quarterings; and Luis (Patricia Hayward), loved and despaired and finally became king and married Casilda, in the right fairy-tale way. The Duchess (Ruth Parsons) was a model of conscious superiority.

The Duke (Jill Schanschieff), deserves a whole paragraph to himself. His acting was a masterpiece of comic incongruity, the grotesque and absurd mingling with real grave and dignity. This combination came out most humorously in the Gavotte. You will know how good it was by the fact that the audience wanted three encours.

How hard the producers had worked was shown by the ease, gaiety and spontaneity of the whole production. The colours of the costumes and the sweetness of the singing made the stage as gay as a summer garden. Two performances of the opera were given, in Bakewell Town Hall, and the proceeds were given to St. Helen's Church, Darley Dale.

Ann Daws, Lower VI."

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