Godalming Operatic Society is widely regarded as one of the country’s leading Gilbert and Sullivan Societies. The Society was founded in 1924 and had its first production, The Yeomen of the Guard, in 1925. Since then (excepting the war and Covid years) it has put on a major Gilbert and Sullivan production every year, including the more rarely performed works such as ‘The Grand Duke’ and ‘Utopia Ltd.’
Currently we perform a fully staged G&S opera every February, with a full 22+ piece professional orchestra under our Musical Director, David Wright.
In June or July we put on a smaller scale work, often at a smaller local venue such as the Wilfrid Noyce Centre in Godalming. Our previous summer productions range from a concert version of ‘Aida’ to ‘The Zoo’ by Arthur Sullivan and most recently our 2019 Summer concert ‘A Night at the Opera’ featuring a wonderful selection of grand opera arias, ensembles and chorus pieces.
- In 2005 the Society performed ‘Iolanthe’ at the International Gilbert and Sullivan Festival in Buxton and in 2007 performed ‘Utopia Limited’ at the Waterford International Festival of Light Opera in Ireland, gaining an award.
- Our 2011 production of ‘Patience’ was awarded an Accolade of Excellence from NODA
- In 2012 we returned to Buxton to perform ‘The Pirates of Penzance’.
- In 2014, we performed ‘Princess Ida’ at the International G&S festival in Harrogate, winning an award for ‘Best Costumes’. We also won the NODA ‘Trower Trophy’ cup for the best G&S show in the South-East region.
- In 2017, we were again awarded the NODA ‘Trower Trophy’ cup for our 2016 production of ‘The Grand Duke’.
We also have a very active social side to the group. We hold a wide range of social events and regularly organise trips to see other shows, supporting other amateur Operatic and Musical Theatre groups in the local area and further afield.
“The History of Godalming Operatic Society”
In this fascinating history, GOS member, Eddie Powlesland uncovers the story of the Society from its early inception to the present time. The book is illustrated with many inspiring photographs of productions, performers, people and places.
The book may be purchased from Amazon, priced £12 www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1480235873
A 2023 update, covering the years since publication of the book, may be downloaded here.