Dorothy Withers's blog

Merry Christmas and thank-you for a wonderful 2016!

  • Posted on: 18 December 2016
  • By: Dorothy Withers

Dear Supporters of Heber Opera,

As we approach the end of our first year under “new management” as it were we felt it appropriate to wrap up 2016 before moving on to our next production.

Pavilion

We have really appreciated all your support this year as we sought to take Heber forward under new management. In particular we would like to thank our new management team who have done sterling work without which we would not have been able to keep going.

So take a bow please:-

  • Chrissie Berridge – fantastic poster design, photography and blogging for the website, sourcing of props

  • Julie Emmerton – sourcing of material for and making of all costumes as well as personally tackling leaflet distribution

  • Sara Gardner – co-ordinating all front of house requirements and with husband Jon setting up seating at each venue and providing a raffle and refreshments

  • Jo Harper – setting up box office arrangements, updating e-mail listings and keeping supporters informed as well as being minute secretary for team meetings

  • John Hole – various press liaison, organising licenced bar facilities

  • Jenny Letton – Treasurer duties, organising printing of all advertising material, marketing and fund raising

  • Dave Roberts – for sourcing and booking all performance venues, managing and running the website

This is by no means a comprehensive list of what everyone does but we do sincerely thank them all.

The “Pearl Fishers” proved a huge success at the box office which was a delightful surprise and we really do appreciate everyone who bought tickets and came along.

It was not an easy piece and a hard sing for everyone but we hope you felt that we acquitted ourselves reasonable well.

Our soloists ( Sally Wilson, Nick Forest, Mike MacKenzie and Steve Hawksley ) are to be particularly congratulated on their individual performances.

We receive no funding or grant and everything we do is self-funded. All the singers pay a show levy and other vital funds are raised from various activities such as the recent “High Tea Concert”. This event was a sell-out three weeks before the concert and we had several people phoning up late in the day for tickets and being disappointed that they couldn’t get any. Obviously when we do a catered event we have to set a limit to the number of people we can accommodate so this just shows the importance of booking early!!

Other fund raising includes Craft Fayres ( organised by Jenny Letton ) and every December we are engaged by the Bluebell Railway to provide sessions of carol singing for their evening dinner train. This year we will have done 9 by Christmas Eve. Believe it or not some of us have been singing carols for the Bluebell Railway for approx 30 years now. It all started via a suggestion of Sara Gardner to the Bluebell catering team when the Christmas Dinner trains first started and has continued ever since.

Next year will soon be upon us and rehearsals for Faust start on January 8th.

If you have any active friends that sing and might be interested do ask them to get in touch – especially men!

Just because we had a virtual sell-out last year we are not complacent and will be working as hard if not harder to promote Faust so please do keep an eye on the website for details. Performances are the last two week-ends in May 2017 and booking opens in February.

Finally, we look forward to seeing as many of you as possible in 2017, hopefully at a performance of Faust or at one of our fund-raising events but meanwhile we wish you all a very Happy Christmas and sincere good wishes for a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year.

Michael & Dorothy Withers ( Music and Stage directors ) and all the Heber company.