CARMARTHEN AMATEUR OPERATIC SOCIETY SO FAR!!
1891 – Present
The Society was founded in 1891. The first performance was HMS Pinafore which was performed in December that year at the Assembly Rooms, Carmarthen, now known as the Lyric Theatre.
During those years, the Society performed in various venues around the town including St David’s Memorial Hall – (now the Quins Rugby Club) and St Peters Civic Hall. One of it’s longest serving members provided excellent information on the early years and his family have kindly donated numerous items of memorabilia including photographs, posters and programmes some of which date back as far as 1912.
The Society was forced to take a break during both World Wars. In 1951 they reformed under the umbrella of Carmarthen Arts Club. That year the Society performed The Mikado, celebrating the Festival of Britain. In the following years the Society went on to perform many shows including The Pirates of Penzance, The Gondoliers, A Country Girl, HMS Pinafore and A Waltz Dream; all of which delighted the audiences of the town and surrounding district.
In 1959 the Society branched out on its own and successfully performed Maritza. The popularity of this show lead to it being presented in the first ever light Opera Festival in Waterford, Ireland. In total the society was then invited to attend this festival on five separate occasions’ where they received many awards from best production to outstanding individual performances.
In 1964, due to the need for a larger venue; the Society moved to St Peters Civic Hall where the first successful production was performed in 1965. It was here in 1991, that the society celebrated it’s centenary year. The performance was the return to Gilbert and Sullivan’s Mikado which was supported by a visit, from the great Sir Geraint Evans who was the evening Chairman.
The start of the New Millennium year found the Society returning to it roots at the Lyric Theatre where they performed Fiddler on the Roof. This proved so successful that the society are still performing there; giving their members the opportunity to experience performing in a professional theatrical environment.
In 2011; the 120 years celebrations took place with a Grand Ball, a Musical Celebrations Concert and a performance of ‘Annie’.
The Society is well supported with a hard working committee who together with a Social committee work tirelessly throughout the year to ensure that the best possible performances are presented to its audiences. Members continue to meet all challenges with enthusiasm to ensure the success of the society. Its heritage is well worth preserving and this is born by many of its performers developing successful careers in the world of theatre and television.
We hope, with your support, that we may continue for many years to come. Without this support and the hard work of all it’s members; the society would fail to exist.