Sunday October 7 at 2:00 PM
Jonathan is well known to NEGASSers as a G&S scholar. He is also the compiler of the music for a very fine version of THESPIS, setting Gilbert's words to Sullivan's music from other works - and a similar version of Gilbert's The Gentleman in Black, replacing the lost score by Frederic Clay. AND he has been involved with editions of other works, including the production of DUKE planned by VLO this November.
That said, how does Jonathan Strong spend his days? Why, teaching at Tufts University. Jonathan would like to share with us his experiences introducing college freshman to the Canon - the standard works, as well as the more obscure, like DUKE. Given the fears many have expressed that G&S will die, unfriended, unprotected and alone, as the new generation arises, We think this opportunity to see the groundlessness of those fears will be a pleasure to all!
AUGUST MEETING: ANNUAL PICNIC PLUS PINAFORE SING The Freedmans were pleasantly surprised as, for the first time, their plans for a party were greeted by fine weather. Not too many took advantage of the opportunity to swim, but everybody enjoyed the outdoors until called in for the singing. The hosts realized rather belatedly that people would be coming to barbecue, and -- Richard generally not the outdoors type -- they had no barbecue grill! A late message to the NEGASS board provided a solution, as the Dallases managed to pack up their fine propane grill and bring it.
Very few had conveyed to Casting Director Carl Weggel their requests for parts. On learning of the opening, Richard grabbed the part of Captain Corcoran. Peter Cameron had requested the role of Sir Joseph. Dave Leigh had reserved Dick Deadeye. Janice Dallas accepted the role of Josephine, though she had another engagement and had to leave after the first act. Ilana Freedman volunteered for Little Buttercup. Tony Parkes accepted the role of Bob Becket. Carl Weggel sang the role of Ralph Rackstraw in the first act, with occasional assists from Juliet Cunningham, who took over Josephine for the second act. Left unassigned, and filled in by various members of the audience -- mostly Juliet Cunningham, who all this time was also providing a most skilled piano accompaniment! -- were Bill Bobstay and Cousin Hebe.
Despite the fine weather, the attendance was a little below our customary numbers for the picnic. Was it just coincidental that a number of people had other commitments, or is there something else we (the Board) can do to make the picnic more popular in the future? Let us know.
[We, personally, had other commitments - two conflicting ones, in fact! Is late August too much of a vacation time of year, or a preparation-for-fall time of year, for a picnic? Should we hold it in July instead? - mlc]
RENEW YOUR MEMBERSHIP - IT'S ACADEMIC! Membership Chair Janice Dallas, costumed as Lady Blanche in a long, dignified academic robe, declaims:
"Attention, while I read to you NEGASS's list of punishments. The first is mlc - she's expelled!"
…but her plea is in vain. She must, as must we all, renew her membership. Don't delay!
Tentative Meeting Schedule, 2001-2002
Welcome, Welcome, Welcome We New Members Tom Dawkins and Harry Brill. Tom is a fine bass-baritone who enlivened our Election/Fantasy meeting in June with comic songs unceasing, and also delighted everyone at Juliet Cunningham's June G&S sing-through sessions with a series of well-acted as well as well-sung roles, tenor as well as baritone. Glad to have you here, Tom!
Tom writes: I will be a senior at Brandeis in the fall, and I have a magnificently over-busy schedule, being a vocalist, pianist, percussionist and early wind player. When I saw an opportunity to sing G&S, I jumped on it, as I love those roles and know most of them by heart anyway. (I'm not quite John Reed or Kenneth Sandford, but I have been told I have a good voice for it). I often do G&S at our monthly "lobby concerts" including a Nightmare Scene and the two Dr. Daly arias to a great amount of laughter (yes, I accompanied myself on a pseudo-flageolet). It's wonderful being a member of the Society now, especially for Juliet's Summer Sings!
No news from Harry - - Tell Us, Tell Us All About It! Hearty Greeting Offer We!
G&S BOOKS ON THE WEB Book Dealer (and NEGASS Member) Wilfrid de Freitas has updated his web site with lots of new Gilbert and Sullivan items.
He no longer issues paper catalogs.
HAPPY 100TH BIRTHDAY, LESLIE MOORE! Leslie Moore, a tenor of great charm, was born Oct 5, 1901 in Trowbridge England, a small town near Bath. He was raised in a three-sided stone canal house until the age of 7 when he and his mother, Alice, followed his father, Ernest, to Utica, NY. Ernest worked as an engineer in the Utica mills and the Moores were members of the Salvation Army. As a result, Les knew all the hymns of the day and learned to harmonize. He entered Hamilton College on a scholarship and shoveled coal in the mill weekends and summer vacations to pay his way. (We're not sure yet, but he may be the oldest Hamilton grad.) After graduation, he worked in NYC at the YMCA, teaching French at Groton, at the New Haven paper and finally joined the staff at the Worcester Telegram where he settled for good, eventually becoming executive editor. While in Worcester, he had a weekly radio program, helped found the Bohemian Society, and sang with the Worcester Chorus with Bud Patterson. Professionally, he did journalism stints on fellowships in post-war Germany and in South Africa, and helped found the Society of Editorial Writers.
In 1966, he "retired" to his next career on Cape Cod as head of the Cape Cod Conservatory. He led that organization through unprecedented growth and change, supervising the building of a new campus, the re-organization of the Cape Cod Symphony, and the use of Highfield Theater as a venue for G & S. Upon "retiring" in 1986, Les began public relations for the symphony and spent much time on the first board of the Mass Council for the Arts and the Alfred Nash Patterson Foundation. All the while, Les wrote editorials and limericks for the Cape Cod Standard Times and other papers, and continued writing until 1996.
In 1991, Les and his wife Aznev took advantage of the new living arrangements available at Heatherwood in Yarmouthport and lived there until coming to Providence in 1999, the town where they were married on Christmas Eve, in 1941. Les met Aznev at an audition with the Worcester Light Opera Society (which Les helped found of course) when someone came up to him and said, "There's a little Armenian girl out there who's going to knock your socks off!" Aznev became the leading lyric/coloratura for the group and romance bloomed despite their age difference of 13 years. Together, they sang all the G&S repertoire wherever they could put a group together, and son Dan remembers learning the music while playing underneath the grand piano in their living room.
Les, Warren Colson, and others dreamed up NEGASS and Les published The Trumpet Bray for many years. He still enjoys getting his newsletter and listening to G&S.
One of the first editions of The Trumpet Bray has the first four lines of a limerick especially penned for G&S fans. Maybe it might be fun to re-print it? (Vol II; #5)
A lady of ambition frantic
I could find no finished versions so it's up for grabs.
Nancy further tells Us: He has moved here to Providence, to Hallworth House and lives there with his young bride of 87, Aznev. Dad has had a stroke but has come back quite strong and still vocalizes with a surprisingly full voice.
LET'S SERENADE LES MOORE! Program Chair Carl Weggel asks, Who else from NEGASS (besides me) would be interested in traveling to Providence to serenade Les Moore for his birthday with G & S selections?
-- to which Nancy Moore replies: What a splendid idea! We would all love it! Our date is October 6, mid-day, to avoid problems with Sunday service commitments by musician friends and to capitalize on the most alert time of the day for Les.
Phone Carl Weggel at (978) 474-0396 or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org if you'd like to take part in this serenade! [We hope to make one in this adventure Ourself - mlc ]
TAKE ONE AWAY - It is with sorrow that I inform you that Connie Thompson [long-time NEGASS member and one of the initiators, with Peter Zavon, of the Harvard G&S clipping collection discussed in recent Brays] passed away on August 27th. She lived a full life and in her later days those of you she met and talked with on the computer brought new joy to her life and I am sure her knowledge and humour brought joy to all of yours.
There was no public memorial service and she left no relatives. Any memorial gifts should be sent to the University of California at Berkeley - Bancroft Library or to San Francisco Opera Guild. If you have any further questions please email me at email@example.com.
Was Connie a Charter Member of NEGASS? - there has been confusion on the topic. Can anyone enlighten Us?
A LETTER FROM DEAN EDMONDS My very dear Marion: Can these things be, and overcome us as a summer's cloud, without our special wonder? Yes, I know it isn't, it's Shakespeare, but never, never mind! More importantly, Yes, yes, I am a Charter Member! [Insert entire chorus here… mlc] And I remember those great days when Warren Colson himself presided, when my late wife Mary Louise directed shows in Room 12 at Boston University, and Juliet Cunningham starred in various productions of the then thriving Boston University Savoyards. Moreover I remember being NEGASS's first treasurer and rushing to get people's checks deposited so that they wouldn't suffer that bane of all check-writers -- outstanding checks! Those were the days that were -- that never will be more ---. But the fact is that today's days aren't all that bad.
I think your ideas for a 25th anniversary celebration are great. I don't have any really new ideas, as those mentioned in Vol. XXVI, No. 1 of the Bray seem to cover the possibilities quite thoroughly. Personally I favor a bit of a combination, say an all-day sing-through in a place where NEGASS and especially Warren Colson memorabilia can be exhibited, followed by a banquet if not a dance but certainly more than a plate of macaroni and a rusk.
I would like not only to attend but perhaps to sponsor such an event, but in that case I would hope you could avoid the week beginning September 6 [no danger!!! - mlc], (Hope to set small plane record flying to and from Arizona), ten days beginning September 28 when I will be racing the Jaguar V?12 in Nova Scotia, the week beginning October 10 (Aviation meeting in Alabama), the weekend of November 2 (Licia Albanese dinner in New York), and about a week around November 7, when Wendy and I will be celebrating our 8th wedding anniversary.
Do keep in touch, for I think a celebration of our 25th is very much in order, and I would like both to be there and to contribute. Moreover, I much appreciate the Board's vote to grant Honorary Membership to rescue such a one as I from his unfortunate [sic!] position. Nevertheless, as I wish to continue as a Buck and/or Blade, I think it only right to enclose the pertinent form and check. I am in hopes that you can transmit them forthwith to Treasurer Richard and Membership Officer Janice. With which moral I drop my theorbo (Browning). All the best always
ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION SUGGESTIONS Ideas for a suitable 25th-Anniversary celebration, to be held later this season, are pouring in:
Bob Cumming of CT G&S suggests: A Tribute to Warren Colson, also sending a delegation to see the Connecticut G&S production of IDA [planned for 11/16-18]. He says "We'd be honored to introduce you in the pre-perf. announcements. We'll gladly give you a congrat ad in our program. How would you like it to read?" [Contact Program Chair Carl Weggel if you'd like to take part in such an outing.]
Wilfrid M. de Freitas suggests: Perhaps a special edition of the Bray? Maybe in a booklet form (ok, ok, I know that means more cost + work!) including selections from first Bray issue + controversial issues (which might now seem trite - or even be still controversial!). [Specific suggestions for contents for such an opus would be quite welcome! Company Promoter Linda Silverstein has offered to help format such a booklet - but choosing and editing the content would be a big task - mlc]
Fred Hughes suggests: …a weekend in Vermont or New Hampshire, including speakers, door prizes, and an evening consisting of members bringing their G&S (or Sullivan) recordings to be played for the enjoyment of all.
Lee Patterson suggests a summer meeting in Maine. [This might fit in with Fred's suggestion - see above --]
Peter Zavon comments: Any anniversary event would probably have to be rather spectacular before I would attend, given that I am 7 hours' drive away. However, if the event were scheduled for mid-May, my presence is more likely because I'll be attending the Second Ever Reunion of the BU Savoyards, which will be 17-19 May 2002.
Carl Weggel responds: I myself attended the previous, First Ever Reunion of the BU Savoyards on May 21-23, 1999. Due to Roberta Gilbert's and Robert Cantebury's skill and tireless effort, the reunion was SUPERB!!! The highlight of the reunion was a three-hour-long G&S sing-along (with orchestra!). [Carl further suggests that we tie our celebration in with the BU celebration.]
THE NEGASS MANDATE One way to celebrate our 25th anniversary would be to come to understand better what NEGASS really means to the NE G&S community. Are we succeeding in our goal of supporting and publicizing G&S in NE? Any thoughts on how NEGASS can better help any particular local G&S performing organization would be welcome - We'd love to print ideas in future Brays, and the Board would love to implement them.
Jen Morris writes: I believe NEGASS needs a renewed sense of mission, in order to maintain vitality as a non-producing organization.
One idea to consider is a program to encourage youth or high-school productions of G&S. We have materials and expertise that could support educators who haven't attempted this. Productions that involve young people are audience-development tools - there may even be funds we could apply for to support our own efforts. Perhaps we could help develop and publicize a workshop aimed at younger groups, to build interest in the canon. In the long run, this is a way to promote membership in NEGASS itself, and to pass on its founders' enthusiasm.
Good thought! The problem, as always, is manpower. Who would like to take part in such a project? - Let Us know!
OTHER NOTABLE ANNIVERSARIES:
The Savoy Company of Philadelphia, PA is celebrating its 100th anniversary with a concert on 9/22 - see our Calendar for more information.
The BU Savoyards are planning their Second Ever Reunion on 5/17-19. [Can anyone give Us any contact information?! - mlc]
AUDITION MATERIALS FOR A YOUNG SINGER …hope u can help me. I have a great-niece, 15 yrs old, who is rightly a talented and accomplished coloratura soprano and has already sung serious opera parts in Seattle.
She has to audition for a scholarship at a music school, and they have required her to sing at audition, of all things, 3 G&S numbers!!
She already has done PIRATES and knows Poor Wand'ring One, and has asked me to recommend two more such songs....I can think only of Sun & I from MIKADO......can u recommend two others, please??
-- ALLEN COHEN
We replied: Congratulations on your talented niece!
Coloratura arias from G&S? - that's easy! - Poor Wandr'ing One, of course - then, I cannot tell what this love may be from PATIENCE. And I personally would include Oh, happy young heart, Aline's Act I aria from SORCERER- it's easy to interpolate a short cadenza up to a high Q at the end.
If she wants to go hunting for something unusual, find 'Neath my lattice from Sullivan's The Rose of Persia - it's not strictly speaking G and S, but it is S. It's very florid, and it is in English, which is probably what they want to hear.
But if she's singing for an audition, they will probably want to be offered a variety of pieces, not just coloratura - they will want to judge her lyric, dramatic and/or comic abilities as well. The sun whose rays from MIKADO would be perfect to show off lyricism - so would Patience's Act II aria, Love is a plaintive song, which also shows some emotional depth.
If you want to show off her comic ability, have her try Rose Maybud's If somebody there chanced to be from RUDDIGORE - it's vocally just right for a light soprano, and can be very funny in a way that's perfect for an audition.
A YOUNG SAVOYARD WRITES: As many of you know, I have converted many of the G&S libretti to a format which can be read on Palm handheld computers. (If you weren't aware of this, the project's web page is at http://www.mit.edu/~goodmanj/palm-pirates/) I call the project "Palm Pirates", and therein lies the problem.
I've received several letters from Palm, Inc, claiming that my use of the word "Palm" violates their copyright. I ignored the polite requests, but they're beginning to become less polite.
I'm now (rather regretfully) trying to think of a new name, and would like any suggestions you might have. I'd prefer a clever pun, or a G&S inside joke.
A VERY YOUNG SAVOYARD'S CREED [Gleaned from SavoyNet by Janice Dallas, who explains that it's a response to news that a newlywed G&S performing couple were about to provide their child, aged approximately minus-one, with its stage debut.]
D'OYLY CARTE ARCHIVAL INFO I am pleased to announce that the first version of the Who Was Who in the D'Oyly Carte web site (a tribute to the original D'Oyly Carte Opera Company), is now on line as a part of the G&S Archive .
It's still very much a work in progress, but I hope folks will find it useful. I have hundreds more bios to write and hope to add many more photos to the 690+ already posted.
[NB - David has chosen to concentrate on the years 1875-1982, feeling, as he does, that the New D'Oyly Carte has not really proven itself to be a direct continuation of the Tradition. And there's certainly enough material within his chosen boundaries!]
HRG&SP PIRATES REVIEW SEARCH Joel Derfner wrote last month asking for a copy of a review of the Harvard G&SP's 1991 production of PIRATES. We've received a response:
I looked thorough my files of Brays, intending to send you a photocopy of the review of the Harvard PIRATES Fall 1991 (actually Dec) but there was no review. (Allon Percus did one of the Spring UTOPIA in June-July '92)
IOLANTHE AT THE ROXBURY LATIN AND WINDSOR SCHOOLS These two local high schools (peers and peri, resp.) have a reputation for wasting a lot of time (successfully) on math, English, etc., non-theatrical studies; this cuts heavily into rehearsal time, but it does not show in the end product, which would have been a credit to any good amateur group. This production of IOLANTHE , under the direction of David Frank (himself a most honourable Judge, elsewhere, several years ago) was excellent, judged by any standards, without allowance for age.
Starting with the program (which named all the participants, a Gilbert omission) and the supertitles ("for the Britishly impaired") the whole production was excellent, and a lot of fun. I was particularly impressed by the Lord Chancellor, the choreography in general, the ensemble acting of earls of Mountararat and Tolloller, the costumes and the singing. A general admirer in the audience commented on Pvt. Willis looking as though he'd stepped right off the bottle (after a nip of the contents; he snapped at the manager of the supertitles, getting them briefly snapped off). The Queen, (I am informed, a freshperson, thus available three more times) despite a flowing robe and a young athlete's shoulders, physically connotes more a pretty young woman than the standard G&S contralto ("I have no objection to stoutness, in moderation"). Iolanthe herself emerges from the swamp in high heels... The production is in the spirit of putting on a G&S play, with a few liberties (now traditional), not a farce based on G&S.
This play is now history. The two schools will put on another play (it undoubtedly won't be; they take breaks from G&S) around Mayday of 2002. Judging by this IOLANTHE and previous successes, and at a tab much too light to be deemed an insult, I highly recommend putting it on your personal calendar.
IN-PROGRESS PDF BRAY ARCHIVE We've started a new project: We're 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 lend a copy to someone else. Ultimately, We hope to create a more nearly complete archive of old Brays in PDF format.
Visit http://leedscarroll.com/GSEnsembles.html for a list of G&S ensembles suitable for excerpt programs - mlc
Send electronic contributions to our e-mail address:pooh-bah at negass dot org
contact current webmaster mlc for more information