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Vol. XXIX No. 5
March 2005
~ Our saucy ship's a beauty ~

Sunday, March 20, 2-5 pm

In This Issue:

NEGASS Business

Meeting News

Member News

Performances and auditions
in NE and elsewhere











Last-Minute Light Opera PINAFORE
March 20, 2 PM

How to get there: The Park Avenue Congregational Church, Arlington, MA)

This is the American beta-test of the Broude Brothers’ new orchestral score and band parts. I'll be getting the orchestra parts and the vocal scores from Broude in about a week. All principals will be using Broude scores; more will be available for audience/chorus to use. There are still a couple of roles open for this gala sing-through with orchestra: Ralph Rackstraw (tenor) and Bob Becket, the Carpenter’s Mate (low bass). Email me (Program Chair Dave Leigh) at, or phone me at (781) 894-3009, if you want one of the roles. Here’s the cast list, as it stands currently:

Singing roles in PINAFORE:

Sir Joseph Porter

Tony Parkes

Captain Corcoran

Capt. Corcoran

Peter Cameron

Ralph Rackstraw

new! Ed Fell

Dick Deadeye

Dave Leigh

Bill Bobstay

Barry Hilton

Bob Becket

Bass - open


Cecelia Beyer


new! April Grant

Little Buttercup

Deb Sager

Tom Dawkins will play piano as a substitute for a full string section, but string players are still invited to come play. We still need a percussionist. David Larrick, of course, will conduct.


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RUDDIGORE: film at Newton Free Library, Jan. 16

Due to technical difficulties with the Buxton DVD (a problem which many people are reporting on SavoyNet), we were unable to show the planned professional performance of RUDDIGORE. However, we still watched a Buxton RUDDIGORE: an older tape of a Buxton SavoyNet production, featuring NEGASSer Sam Silvers as Robin. Instead of a professional group that had rehearsed, we were watching a group of amateurs who had met each other for the first time less than a week before the performance, and had minimal time to rehearse or even to familiarize themselves with the stage, set, and costumes - but they managed to pull together an exuberant, polished performance that everyone enjoyed!

The usual raffle was held, free of remarkable coincidences this year, and all went smoothly and agreeably. See you all next year!


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Even though the Last Minute Light Opera PINAFORE has yet to take place and we are still in the depths of Winter, it is not too soon to begin thinking about our June Meeting and the major reason for it - ELECTIONS. NEGASS has been fortunate in the past few years to be able to have new members like David Leigh and Skyler Wrench become active in the organization and join the Board. We need more.

When I agreed to serve another term as President two years ago, I indicated that I would not serve beyond that. Five years as President and 10 years on the Board has been most enjoyable and I wouldn't have traded it for anything. But any organization needs to have turnover and new people willing to assume some responsibilities for that organization to continue to develop. Thus, I hope that some of you will be willing to step forward to assume such responsibilities and institute such changes that some of you have indicated you would like to see.

The officers to be elected this year are:

  • President
  • Treasurer
  • Program Chair
  • two Members-at-Large

The Program Chair serves for one year, the others for two. If, as is likely, one of the current officers steps up to President, the vacated office would be filled for a year. [Note: based om recent discussion, this is likely to mean that you will have the opportunity to serve as Vice President for one year - mlc]

If you are interested, please drop me an e-mail to let me know (

I look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely, DON SMITH
President, NEGASS

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Tentative Meeting Schedule, 2004 - 2005

April 17 G&S Potpourri - TRIAL / Bab Ballads/ G without S
June 5 Elections/Fantasy meeting

Next Bray Copy Deadline: March 27, 2005

sticking close to a desk

NOTE from tsw: We put this in each Bray because YOU, the Members, are Our Writers! You are all encouraged to send in reviews, articles, cartoons, parodies, and other G&S material! Pseudonyms are permitted.

Next Bray Stuffing: April 3, 2005, 3 pm, at the home of Janice & Ron Dallas, 63 Everett St in Arlington, MA. Email for directions:


Welcome, Welcome We! new member new member David Mittel, who has not yet given Us any information about his connection to G&S. Tell us, tell us all about it!

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The Savoyard Light Opera Company held its Annual Meeting at 2pm on Feb. 27, 2005 at the First Religious Society of Carlisle. President Brian Harris mentioned the challenging "The Secret Garden" production that the group put on. It was the first time working with child leads, unique technical complexities, Yorkshire dialects and a very long search for a stage director. Fortunately, all turned out very well and the show received acclaim from critics and audiences. Corey Jackson (stage director) and Fred Frabotta (musical director) did a great job of pulling everything together.

Brian also gave credit to Bob Russell for conceiving and writing "5/29/1911: A Gilbert & Sullivan Fantasy", SLOC's special summer production.

This year, ticket manager Tina Zolla introduced a new online ticketing service, TicketStage, which allowed on-line customers to select their own seats and pay securely by credit card. This tripled on-line sales for the group.

A major donation to the groups' archives was received from member John Ostrowski. He's moving to Florida and, in the process of cleaning out his house, came across a lot of old posters, programs, and some audiotapes from the 1970's and 80's. Patty Lopoulos, SLOC's Archivist, was glad to receive them.

A major problem this year arose when the Carlisle School Board, because of over-crowding issues, decided that this would be the last year that SLOC could use Corey Auditorium. Thanks to community support in campaigning for SLOC, and the help of new school Superintendent Marie Doyle, SLOC will be using the auditorium again for next year.

Brian announced that for the next season, their 35th, the group will present HMS Pinafore, the show that launched the Savoyards in 1971. Directors will be Donna DeWitt and Fred Frabotta.

Treasurer Tedford Armistead gave the Treasurer's report. This year SLOC made a profit.

Next up was the election of Officers. Larry Milner, Sandra Bourdeau, and Phil Drew were elected to replace the three Board Members whose terms were up - Tedford Armistead, Susan Schmidt, and Rollin Jeglum.

Finally, it was announced by Craig Howard, Vice President, that Larry Milner was selected to join SLOC's "Gallery of Ancestors". Congratulations to Larry with hopes that he'll continue being of great service to the group for many years to come.


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Last issue We reported with sorrow the unexpected death, in his sleep, of curator Jim Farron on November 20. Now we are happy to announce that Associate Curator Paul Howarth has stepped up to take the reins.

He wrote on SavoyNet:
I am pleased to be able to announce that the Gilbert and Sullivan Archive is now back in business - and that I have now been confirmed as the new curator.

I am only too aware that it will be very hard to follow on from Jim - we worked quite closely together during the last fifteen months of his life, during which period he taught me a lot, but I know I still have a lot to learn.

There is - as always - a backlog of material to be posted, so please be patient if you've sent me something over the last three months.

My initial plans are to carry on with the task Jim and I started in the last month or two of his life: namely to improve the quality of our "core content" - namely the Gilbert and Sullivan Operas. We got as far as "Trial by Jury" together. "Patience" - for which, surprisingly, there is no Web Opera on the Archive is almost complete. Another task which Jim started, but didn't get very far with, was putting the Bab Ballads on to the Archive as Web pages - and they should also be available soon.


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Looking for the reviews in this issue? Visit our review page.

Looking for the Calendar section, featuring local auditions and performances? Visit our Calendar page

INDEX TO RECENT ON-LINE BRAYS There are no links yet to the out-of-date calendar pages - but the articles are now available. Enjoy! - mlc

Note: Very old issues of The Trumpet Bray are still available in The G & S Archives.

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IN-PROGRESS PDF BRAY ARCHIVE We've been posting PDF versions of recent Brays on the web. What does this mean? It means that if you have a (free and easily accessible) copy of Adobe Acrobat Reader on your computer, you can print out a copy of the issue you want, looking pretty much the same as the copy you received in the mail - in case you lost your old copy, or want to give a copy to someone else. Ultimately, We hope to create a more nearly complete archive of old Brays in PDF format.



All contributions are welcome, of course - but, strictly speaking, only activities and articles relating to G&S ought to be published. (…although an occasional Yes We Know It's Not slips by when the subject relates to a promising activity presented by long-standing and active member of NEGASS.)

  1. E-mail is the best way to send things! - is the best path. (Actually, anything else will also get here, eventually...)
  2. The US Postal Service (aka "snail mail") is fine, too - send letters, preferably typed, or hand-written very clearly so that We can read and correctly reproduce names, dates, etc. - to NEGASS, PO Box 367, Arlington, MA 02476-0004.
  3. The Telephone is a very last choice: Editor T. Skyler Wrench can be reached at 617-924-5303. Note: spellings of names and specifics of dates are awfully hard to be sure of when delivered by Word of Mouth (Oricular or otherwise), and We rarely have time to phone people back to check details. Please use the phone only if you have no other choice!

 -- mlc   

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