Winton Light Opera
to believe, but apart from its own theatre and three cinemas,
Winton once had its own opera!
The Winton and District Light Opera Society was
founded in the early sixties and staged a number of productions
through the decade.
Although pop music was the revolution of those years,
the Winton Light Opera went for the time honoured favourites penned
by Gilbert and Sullivan.
Productions included "The Gondoliers"
in 1962, "Iolanthe" in 1963, "The Pirates of Penzance"
in 1964, "The Mikado" in 1965 and "The Yeomen of
the Guard" in 1966. They broke with the Gilbert and Sullivan
tradition in 1967 and staged what is thought to be their last
production - the French comic opera "Les Cloches de Corneville".
Productions featured a full orchestra, good quality
leads and a large chorus. At least one of them was staged in the
then Palace Court Theatre.
The president of the society was Bournemouth Mayor
In 1967 talks had begun for collaboration with four
other local groups - Bournemouth Operatic Society, Bournemouth
and Boscombe Light Opera Society, Wessex Opera Company and the
Bournemouth Gilbert and Sullivan Society.
Here are a couple of images from the Winton productions.
Yeomen of the Guard
Les Cloches de Corneville
They obviously had a lot of fun and entertained
their audiences, but light opera was going out of fashion and
sadly, forty years on, nobody seems to remember anything about
the Winton and District Light Opera Society.