MGSS and the Pandemic

Here’s a how-de-do!

For the first time in our almost 90 year history the Society had to curtail its season and delay holding our Annual General Meeting.

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected every aspect of our lives and, at the time of writing, we don’t have a clear sense of when we might return to anything approaching normality.

The lockdown has had a major impact on music and arts organisations and it looks as if it will be some time before concert halls and theatres will be up and running. This is particularly concerning for musicians and actors, most of whom work on a freelance basis.

Voluntary organisations such as ourselves face similar challenges about when we might be able to meet in person and ‘welcome (one another) to our hearts again’. Your Committee will continue to monitor the situation and follow Government guidance as to when that could be.

Optimistically, we have already made plans for the coming season but obviously have not been able to confirm precise dates as yet.

We hope the programme will include the postponed visit of our Vice-President, John Savournin – you may have heard him recently on Radio 3 in Gilbert and Cellier’s ‘The Mountebanks’. He will sing and share something of his life as a performer and a rising director of professional Gilbert & Sullivan productions.

We have invited soprano Phoebe Smith to entertain us alongside her father Neil, who will talk about the International Gilbert & Sullivan Festival held over 25 years in Buxton and, latterly, in Harrogate. Phoebe has this year graduated from the Royal Academy of Music and is about to start her post-graduate studies. We see the encouragement of younger singers to be one of the principal aims of our Society.

Our own member, Paul Taylor, has kindly agreed to give us another of his fascinating talks on one of the operas. This time it is The Gondoliers. As those of you who have enjoyed them before will know, Paul’s presentations always tell us something we didn’t know about the creation of the operas but also help to set them in the social history of their time with lots of music and ‘examples illustrative’.

It will also be a pleasure to welcome back our member Peter Crichton who will bring us an evening of live music with a group of fellow performers.

We are always keen to receive suggestions for future meetings from members so please do drop the secretary Jean Dufty a line with any ideas you might have.

We are always delighted when we welcome new members to the Society. If dear reader you or anyone you know would like to come to a meeting or two when we resume, enjoy an afternoon or evening of ‘innocent merriment’ with us and see if our meetings appeal to you, do get in touch. We normally meet from October to May, once a month at Cross Street Chapel, Cross Street, Manchester, some meetings on Tuesday evenings and some on Sunday afternoons.

The Committee sends our warmest greetings to you at what is a time of anxiety and isolation for so many and look forward to that day when we may be together again.

Meanwhile we are investigating having Zoom meetings with members.

Messages from Presidents and Vice Presidents of G&S Societies

Dear Friends and Fellow Members,

After reading the sympathetic message from our Patron, HRH The Duke of Gloucester, it occurred to me, as your President, that I should also send a few cheering words to you all.

It’s rather difficult to find anything upbeat to talk about just now, but I can at least hope that you all stay healthy in these troubled times.  Staying in isolation, as no doubt some of you are (me included)  is not an easy thing to endure.  If possible, the best way to get through it is to embark on some project which in normal times you just don’t have the time for.  With me it’s going to be painting, which I usually have difficulty fitting in with other chores and activities. Now time is the one commodity I shall have in abundance!

Can we find anything good about this current crisis?  I have to say yes- there is one heartwarming outcome:  we never realised that we have so many friends and neighbours anxious to help in any way they can.  Not a day goes by without a phone call or email to see if there’s anything we need.  Nothing seems to be too much trouble.  I hope you have all had similar experiences.

Let’s hope light appears at the end of the tunnel before too long.  And- what do you know- I can’t find a G&S quote to fit this situation! Now, there’s a project for you!

My love and best wishes to you all.

Cynthia

 

 

We send our best wishes to you and all our dear friends in The Gilbert and Sullivan Society and hope that we all live out this terrible virus. 

Valerie Masterson

 

 

 

I hope you are all coping with this extraordinary situation. Thank goodness I was able to get down to Manchester before it all started.  I pass on my best wishes to everyone and hope no-one has been too badly affected in any way.

 

 

I hope you are coping with this extraordinary situation. Thank goodness I was able to get down to Manchester before it all started.

 

I had a phone call from Muriel the other day; she seems well. I did ask her to pass on my best wishes to everyone but will now do this ‘officially’. I hope no-one has been affected in any way.

 

All best wishes, as ever.

 

David.

 

All best wishes, as ever.

 

David.

(Mackie)

 

Message from HRH The Duke of Gloucester, Royal Patron of the G&S Society 

Dear All

HRH The Duke of Gloucester, Royal Patron of the G&S Society has kindly sent all members of the G&S Society a message of support.

His Royal Highness The Duke of Gloucester has asked me to convey his best wishes to all your members, staff and volunteers while we enter this unprecedented period of uncertainty and worry.  He is very much aware of the concerns that your people will have at the moment as this pandemic develops and would want you to know that you are all very much in his mind.

 

Regards

Alastair

 

Alastair Todd | Private Secretary to TRH The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester |
Kensington Palace | London | W8 4PU