Dear Heber members and supporters,
Looking back on 2018 we are pleased to report another musically successful year for Heber Opera. In particular our production of Verdi’s ‘Rigoletto’ in May was really well received by our audiences. It was by no means an easy sing for the soloists but they all acquitted themselves brilliantly both vocally and dramatically to bring off a memorable production. The chorus also seemed to enjoy the club setting which meant getting out their DJ’s and party frocks!
In September we presented a concert as the opening event for the Hurstpierpoint Festival and a large and appreciative audience came to hear us. Then earlier this month we made a repeat visit to Brighton’s Royal Pavilion to present a short Christmas programme there, again it was well received and the organisers are keen to have us back.
We finished our singing year with sessions of Carols for the Bluebell Railway who engage us to provide music for their customers on the special dining trains run throughout the Christmas period. We meet at Sheffield Park around 8.30pm and await the train which normally arrives between 8.45 & 9.00pm and then sing four part harmony carols for around 30 minutes. Diners get off the train to stretch their legs and often come and join in with the singing which makes for a lovely festive atmosphere. Many of us have been doing this for around 30 years in all sorts of weather but this year has probably been the mildest (and dampest).
Looking ahead to next year we start rehearsals in January for our production of ‘Norma’ by Bellini. The story deals with druids and Celts versus the invading Romans, and although the full opera is not done that often these days it contains one of operas most famous arias ‘Casta Diva’. We are planning an exciting production and hope we shall see you at one of the performances in May. Booking starts in February!
Thanks to all of you whether singers, admin, backstage, or audience we really appreciate your support of Heber over the years and hope it may continue for the future. With every good wish for Christmas and The New Year.
Michael & Dorothy Withers