Waiheke Island Choral Society Newsletter December 2003

Hi everyone!

Well here is the last newsletter of the year. We are counting down to Christmas and the Summer holidays! Let’s hope we get some sun. I do hope that you have everything organised for a stress free holiday. Try not to indulge too much of the festive fare, especially with all the Christmas parties taking place. Remember – two minutes in the mouth, two months on the hips!

Trial by Jury : the director’s cut. Wendy and I are writing this newsletter together, because I missed an important part of the choir’s activities, mainly the show. Many thanks to Philip for his tireless energy in selling the tickets and to all the workers behind the scenes of Trial by Jury : the director’s cut. I have seen the good photographs and am very sorry to have missed being part of it.

The show came off, not without its problems, but it was ready on time. A letter to the editor of the Gulf News congratulated us on producing a ‘bit of culture’. Another letter praised Brenda’s ‘clever direction and adaptation’. Members involved heartily agreed and really enjoyed working with her.

Our special thanks to Dulcie, whose flawless playing on the piano and willingness to help the soloists who flocked for her help in every break, left us amazed. We really value having her on board.

The end-of-year Dinner was a great success. It was good to have time to sit back and talk. It was a good occasion for the enjoyable items also. With a presentation, we offered our congratulations to Richard on his tenth anniversary with the choir. He has given us many fine musical moments over the years. Our thanks to Mary who has lent him to us every week and who has herself been an integral part of some major works.

Our President Graham Pullan died on November 24th. He was a fine person, always helping out quietly, whenever he was needed. He was like that in every organisation to which he belonged. Graham loved boating and sailing. He had been Commodore, and was a life member and patron of the Manukau Yacht and Motor Boat Club, which is based at Mangere Bridge. He had a lifelong love of singing and choirs, being a member of the Te Atatu Men’s Choir before coming to the island.

This choir (now known as the Waitakere Men’s Choir) went to Manurewa to sing two songs at Graham’s funeral. More than twenty people went from here. A bus had been arranged to meet the ferry, take us to Manurewa, then to the Boat Club and back to the ferry. The church was packed with Graham’s and Janet’s family and friends for a wonderful celebration of a good life. Later he travelled to Gisborne for interment with his family. He touched many lives and our love goes out to Janet and the family.

Our AGM will be held in March. Jeanne, our Vice-president, has agreed to be Acting President until then. We shall be looking for new committee members and Executive.

Venues : Auckland City Council has raised substantially the rents for its halls, making it no longer viable to continue using them. All hall users are in the same position so there may be a scramble to find new affordable venues. The search is on, so that in the New Year we shall have a new home.

Next Year : Waiheke has changed over recent years with more people coming to live here and wanting more entertainment. It is easy to get to the city with bigger theatres and professional companies with more money to spend on productions. We must come up to bigger and better expectations. We want the show to be the best that the island can do. With a pantomime likely in December and frequent sickness in July and August, we shall do our show mid-June. After advertising for cast and holding auditions for the parts we shall start rehearsals late in February, giving us just a little longer than last time. We shall be needing singers, actors, dancers – not necessarily all in the same person! Later in the year we shall do some choral work for performance late October / early November, which still leaves time for Christmas music.

Your committee has spent two meetings discussing how to do things better and to decide on our next show. Brenda – our writer extraordinaire – has agreed to another adaptation for us. The original has beautiful music, a good number of parts and is very funny.

Brenda writes....The following synopsis outlines the plot of the original Orpheus in the Underworld. The plot will be changed during the process of adaptation and rewriting to become Orpheus in the Britomart. This work will be completed before choir resumes in 2004 and a revised synopsis will be available then.

Eurydice is bored with her composer husband Orpheus and is having an affair with a local shepherd. Although Orpheus is equally bored with her, he sets a trap for her during one of these assignations and she dies. She discovers that her shepherd is Pluto in disguise and is taken to Hades. Orpheus is delighted, but Public Opinion decress he should appeal to the Gods to reclaim her. The Gods are bored with Olympus, and Juno (Mrs Jupiter) is bored with her husband’s constant philandering. However, Jupiter gives Orpheus and Public Opinion permission to go to Hell to look for Eurydice and then decides to go and supervise the action, taking all the other Gods with him, much to their delight.

Eurydice is equally bored with her life in Hell, although Pluto is an improvement on Orpheus. Things look up when Jupiter seduces her disguised as a fly (in order to get through the keyhole of her locked room). The remaining Gods arrive and find that the flesh pots of Hell are much more fun than endless days in paradise. Orpheus and Public Opinion arrive in Hell and Jupiter allows Eurydice, against her wishes, to return to normal life if she follows Orpheus and he does not look back at her. However, he does and she gratefully returns to a life of debauchery in Hell.

And you thought Gilbert and Sullivan plots were silly........

Birthday greetings to Kit Nelson and Richard Melville. Happy birthday to all December and January birthday people. I hope you had / will have a lovely day.

If you are into the Christmas thing, Merry Christmas from your committee. To everyone, a Happy new Year.

Happy holidays, Jeanne Mellamphy.

Special Dates : Next committee meeting : Tuesday 27 January 2004 at 7 pm at Pat’s place, 8 Wharf Road.

First rehearsal (for those wanting to know more about the production, meeting and greeting new people and hearing what is involved in an audition) : Tuesday 10 February, time and venue to be advised.

Thought for the day : The mind can absorb only what the rear end can endure.