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Souvenir Brochure

A message from the Chairman


On behalf of the Belfast Operatic Company, may I welcome you to what promises to be another spectacular production in this beautiful theatre, The Grand Opera House. Just last year we were honoured to be on this very stage performing our centenary production of Titanic The Musical to packed houses, and wondering how we would follow that - Im sure those who attended the show would agree! This year we have taken on one of Dickens most famous pieces in A Christmas Carol, and are delighted to have been working with the BAFTA nominated local animation studio Black North to bring some spectacular visuals to the stage - something new to musical companies across the province. With lavish music from renowned Disney composer Alan Menken, the show was the perfect match for our awardwinning chorus. I am delighted to have taken the role of Chairman at a time when the Company is at their strongest, having settled into their own purpose built premises in East Belfast, and continuing the tradition of performing annually in this theatre. The Company are a group of friends and colleagues from all walks of life, brought together by their love of theatre and music - and in a sense have become a family through their love of performing together. Each individual on stage works as part of a greater ensemble to bring you the show you will see tonight, and have contributed a lot of hard work and dedication to maintain a professional standard, as well as their day jobs and family lives. I would like to take this opportunity to thank every member of the Company for their time, energy and dedication to the show - for making rehearsals fun and exciting - and extend a special thanks to the huge support network which you dont see on stage, from the Committee who have supported me this year, to the various teams who work tirelessly behind the scenes to make every aspect of the show reflect our Directors vision. Last but by no means least, I would like to thank you, our audience, for your continuing support of the Belfast Operatic Company. I invite you to sit back, relax and enjoy tonights performance; and if you are interested in learning more about the company, forthcoming shows and concerts, or how you can get involved, please contact us via e-mail (secretary@belfastoperatic.co.uk), follow us at facebook.com/belfastoperatic or you can Tweet us @belfastoperatic or on Twitter.com/ belfastoperatic - We would love to hear from you!
James Huish
COMPANY CHAIRMAN

T H E E N C H A N T I N G M U S I C A L S P E C TAC U L A R
James Huish Chairman

Tue 20 - Sat 24 May 2014


th th
FUNDER
PRINCIPAL

Box Office: 028 9024 1919 or book online at www.goh.co.uk

Book and Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II, Music by Richard Rodgers


Adapted for the Stage by Tom Briggs From the Teleplay by Robert L. Freedman

Directed by Wilfie Pyper, Choreography by Jennifer Rooney, Musical Direction by Colin Scott An amateur production by arrangement with Rodgers and Hammerstein Theatricals Ltd.

A word from the President


One of the many problems which an amateur operatic or musical Company in Belfast has to face each year is finding a suitable show to perform at the Grand Opera House. Not only has a chosen work to provide a suitable and enjoyable challenge for our membership and production team but it must also be an attractive draw for our patrons and theatregoers. With four other societies similar to ourselves in the city it is therefore vital to choose wisely. This year we have been granted the rights to perform A Christmas Carol and this week will be the first time in Ireland it has been performed by an amateur company. The musical is based on Charles Dickens well known novel of the same name. Since May 2013, the Company commenced musical rehearsals under Musical Director Colin Scott assisted by Accompanist Anne Gillespie and since late August, Director Wilfie Pyper and Choreographer Michael Evans have been working with the full company at least twice a week. Tonight you will be able to judge whether or not their labours have been in vain. So, sit back and enjoy Belfast Operatic Companys twenty-fifth production at the Grand Opera House. Thank you for your continued and valued support.

Plot Synopsis
Christmas Eve at the Royal Exchange sees the customers enjoying some last minute business before closing time. Scrooge enters with Bob Cratchit to be confronted by a debtor and his daughter asking for an extension on a lone in order to bury his wife, which Scrooge refuses. Begrudgingly giving Cratchit Christmas Day off, Scrooge makes his way home and has his first encounters with the three ghosts of Christmas in their real-world guises as a lamplighter (Past), a charity show barker (Present), and a blind beggar woman (Future). Scrooges long-suffering employee Bob Cratchit buys a Christmas chicken with his son Tiny Tim and joins the thronging streets of London. On arriving at his house Scrooge is confronted by the ghost of his old colleague Jacob Marley which he quickly dismisses as a figment of his imagination and makes his way into his house and a meagre supper prepared by Mrs Potts his housekeeper. After falling asleep in his chair he his confronted once again by the ghost of Marley who, along with a host of other spectres bound by their greed, informs Scrooge of the impending visit of the three Ghosts. On her arrival the rather genial ghost of Christmas Past takes Scrooge on a whirlwind visit to his past, revealing the debtors trial of his father, a 12 year old Scrooge in a shoe factory and happier times as an employee at Fizziwigs bank. Here he is also reminded of his only love Emily. We then encounter Scrooge in shared employment with Jacob Marley where his increasingly avaricious and mean character forces Emily to break off their engagement. The first Act climaxes when a progressively sinister Ghost of Christmas Past and the shadows of the characters he has already met, force Scrooge to encounter the Lights of Long Ago. Act 2 starts with the arrival of the hugely benevolent and jolly Ghost of Christmas Present, who with the help of some very attractive Christmas Elves, makes the point that Christmas is a time for celebration, generosity and fellowship. The former takes place at a fantastical version of the charity show he was seen promoting on Christmas Eve and the latter whisks Scrooge on a tour of London that includes the homes of his nephew Fred and his clerk Bob Cratchit. Before the departure of the Ghost of Christmas Present, Scrooge is forced to encounter the results of his own mean spirit at the top of the show in the guise of Londons poor. Alone in a graveyard, Scrooge is visited by the Ghost of Christmas Future and glimpses his afterlife and the derision with which he is viewed. The alarming events in the graveyard and the evening encounters force him into a state of repentance for his past. Christmas morning and Scrooge is awakened to find the nightmare of the previous evening over and a reformed Scrooge sets out to make amends to those he has hurt. To the amazement of passersby he releases Mr Smythe from his debt and takes the largest turkey in London to the home of his employee Bob Cratchit. Astonished crowds witness Scrooge reconciled with his nephew Fred and family. As snowflakes fall, the musical climaxes with Tiny Tim being hoisted on to the shoulders of Scrooge to proclaim to one and all a final God Bless Us Everyone.

Thompson Steele President

Remember....

...the lights of long ago

See the sorry spirits who were once like you...

...dragging chains of all that we aquired

Charles Dickens in Belfast


Charles Dickens was one of the most popular novelists in the Victorian era and his works are still familiar to readers and film directors today. During his writing career he did much to raise awareness of the appalling living and working conditions experienced by children of the poor and the working class in the slums of London and cities throughout the length and breadth of the land. In 1921 Hugh A MacCartan published a slim volume entitled The Glamour of Belfast. One of its chapters was headed Ulster Hall, Charles Dickens. The famous author visited Belfast on three occasions. On his first visit on the 27th August 1858 he performed to a thronged Victoria Hall in May Street, where his reading of A Christmas Carol received more than an enthusiastic response from the delighted audience. The following day, after walking to Carrickfergus and back, (a distance of sixteen miles) he spoke in the afternoon to another large gathering. On this occasion he read to them from Dombey and Son and followed this up by an evening of readings from The Poor Traveller, The Boots at the Hollytree Inn and the Mrs Gamp episode from Martin Chuzzlewit. Dickens returned to Belfast in 1867 and on this occasion the venue was the new Ulster Hall which in those days had a capacity for 2000 people. The huge audience heard him read from Dr Marigold as well as an excerpt from Pickwick Papers. His third tour in 1869 was billed as the last that will ever be given by Mr Dickens in this country. The Ulster Hall audience on this occasion heard Dickens give a really effective performed public reading. The works from which he chose to entertain his patrons were David Copperfield, Pickwick Papers and A Christmas Carol. In the opinion of Charles Dickens, Belfast was a fine place with a rough people. Clearly he was delighted with his receptions in Belfast and doubtless he would have been extremely impressed by the fact that there had been in existence in the city since 1744, a Charitable Institution in Clifton Street, commonly referred to as The Poor House. This was in addition to a new Workhouse (1841) on the Lisburn Road to which the new Union Hospital was added in 1845.

Food and friendship...

...Wine and song!

james huish
&friends
Box Office - 028 9024 1919 or Book Online at www.goh.co.uk

proudly presents...

APRIL
2014

Tue 8th - Sat 12th

Christmas Spectacular
Sunday 15 December, 7.30pm
FUNDER
PRINCIPAL

ISLAND HALL, LISBURN

TICKETS AVAILABLE FROM

www.tickets.lisburncity.gov.uk

028 9250 9254

As a result of the success of the collaboration of The Association of Irish Musicals Societies (AIMS) with last Christmass No.1 single, Tiny Dancer by A Song for LilyMae, AIMS is delighted to announce its 2014 plan to release a charity single in aid of The Childrens Medical and Research Foundation, and an album of show tunes to help raise the funds necessary for AIMS to continue its work developing and supporting Musical Theatre in Ireland. The album will feature many of your favourite show songs performed by choirs of AIMS members, over 1,000 of them, from Musical Societies from all over the island of Ireland. The charity single will feature over 100 children and 1,000 adults performing When I Grow Up from the West End and Broadway smash hit, Matilda, by Tim Minchin. AIMS needs past and present society members to get involved by singing on the album and for you, our legions of supporters and lovers of Musical Theatre, to support the album and the single when they are released in 2014. For more information, you can find us on the web at www.musicbyaims.org, on facebook at www.facebook. com/musicbyaims, on twitter @musicbyaims and by email at info@musicbyaims. Join us in A Celebration of Chorus in 2014.

FUSION THEATRE present the award-winning tour de force...

A Christmas present with a difference!


Direction & Musical Direction by IAN MILFORD Choreography by REBECCA LEONARD
Additional lyrics by RICHARD STILGOE Book by RICHARD STILGOE & ANDREW LLOYD WEBBER Based on the novel Le Fantme de lOpra by GASTON LEROUX

Music by ANDREW LLOYD WEBBER Lyrics by CHARLES HART

Belfast Operatic Company,


proud members of the Association of Irish Musical Societies.

The Island Hall, Lisburn


Tickets Tues/Wed 10; Wed/Thurs 12, and Fri/Sat 14

4 - 8 FEBRUARY 2014

Available from the Box Office on 028 9250 9250 or online - www.tickets.lisburncity.gov.uk

Fiddler 136x190 Belfast_Layout 1 22/10/2013 14:22 Page 1


Music & Lyrics in association with the Mayflower Theatre, Southampton present

PAUL MICHAEL GLASER


as Tevye

Starring

heartfelt and passionate


Sunday Express

HHHH

A must see!

Whatsonstage

Sholem Aleichem Stories Arnold Perl


By Special Permission of

Based on the

Directed and Choreographed by

CRAIG REVEL HORWOOD


Book by JOSEPH

STEIN

Music by JERRY

BOCK

Lyrics by SHELDON

HARNICK

Original New York Stage Production Directed and Choreographed by JEROME


Mr Robbins Original Direction and Choreography reproduced by CRAIG

Produced on the New York Stage by

HAROLD PRINCE

ROBBINS

REVEL HORWOOD

This production presented by permission of JOSEF WEINBERGER LIMITED on behalf of MUSIC THEATRE INTERNATIONAL of New York

Tue 11th - Sat 15th Feb 2014


www.fiddlerontheroof.co.uk PPBS 136x190 Belfast_Layout 1 22/10/2013 13:17 Page 1

(028) 9024 1919 www.goh.co.uk

Brand new live show!

Friday 2 - Sunday 4 May

Tickets: 13.50 - 16.50 (Family Ticket 54.00) Box Office: 028 9024 1919 www.goh.co.uk

www.peppapiglive.com
Peppa Pig Astley Baker Davies Ltd / Entertainment One UK Ltd 2003

For full 2013 & 2014 tour visit

The Cast
Scrooge Mr Smythe Bob Cratchit Mrs Cratchit Fred Anderson Ghost of Christmas Past Old Hag Mrs Mops Marley Scrooges Dad Scrooges Mother Mr Fezziwig Mrs Fezziwig Emily Beadle Charity Men Poulter Judge Mr Hawkins Sally Anderson Undertakers Old Joe Woman 1 Woman 2 Harry Pantomime Girl Granny Chuzzlewit Junior Clerk Cook Creditor Transform. Ghost of Future Fishmonger Ghost of Christmas Present Tiny Tim Jonathan Grace Smythe Fan Young Scrooge (Age 12) Colin Boyd Ian McMaster Mark Leeman Sinead Coll Keith Pyper Alice Johnston Heather McCloskey Frona Clarke Samuel Moore Gary Redpath Shirley Adair Wilfie Pyper Laura Kerr Ellen Mawhinney David Hassard Jamie Clements, Hall Graham, David Young Simon McGowan Richard Couser Iain Mercer Anna Nelson David Magowan, Ian McMaster Gary Redpath Claire McRoberts Laura Johnston Ken Hamilton Jennie McRoberts Laura Johnston Peter Bowden Sarah Morrow Sean Roe Jill Morrow David Mehaffey Brian Trainor Michael Nevin Jack Berry Holly Topping Jo Lyttle Oliver Havlin Middle Class Ladies/Friendly Tarts Helen Hunter, Miriam King, Jill Morrow, Aisling Owens, Gemma Quigley, Susan Taylor Bankers/Businessmen David Magowan, Iain Mercer, Simon McGowan, David Robinson Rich Women Kerri Anderson, Natalie Cooke, Emma Dawson, Linda Hopley, Joy Kerr, Valerie Maxwell, Tina McVeigh, Heather Millar, Katherine Nevin, Diane Richardson Charwomen Laura Johnston, Wendi Kane, Mairead Rooney Lower Class Ladies Rachel Bown, Mairead Rooney Salvation Army Alice Johnston, Laura Kerr, Jackie Brown Dancers Heather Berry, Amy Chambers, Jane Clarke, Julie Harper, Alice Johnston, Laura Livingstone, Jennie McRoberts, Hannah McVeigh, Kelly Milliken, Aisling Owens, Gemma Quigley, Ally Walker, Rachael Walker, Jenn Woods, Shane Berger, Chris Girvin, Adam McIlveen, Brian Trainor Children Maddy Anderson, Ellie Bamford, Gemma Carlisle, Sarah Coulter Lucy Elliott, Lucy Hall, Emily Hall, Isobel Henderson, Sasha Martin, Amy Murray, Tamzin Murray, Anna Neagle, Caitlin Stitt, Erin Tomlinson, Georgia Wells, Caitlin Wilson, Lewis Atcheson, Sam Johnston, Adam Smyth, Luke Walford From the Belfast School of Performing Arts

The Orchestra
Leader Dervlagh Cooper 1st Violin Kathleen McCrudden 2nd Violin Una Donnelly Cathy Magee Coleen McMullan Viola David Campbell Joel Lowry Cello David McCann Kerry Bryson Double Bass Martina Masterson Flute / Piccolo Colin Irvine Oboe / Cor Anglais Paul McCrisken Clarinet / Saxaphone Gillian McCutcheon Clarinet / Flute /Saxaphone David Mayes Bassoon Patrick McEarlean Trumpets Al Wallace Jim Taylor Phillip Ferguson Horn Charlie Doherty Trombone Jimmy Kitchen Bass Trombone David Johnston Timpani & Percussion Colin Place Drums Brian Rice Keyboard 1 Anne Gillespie Keyboard 2 Andrew Robinson Orchestra Conducted by Colin Scott

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See Facebook pages for special offers and event

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Belfast: 02890 448 213 Bangor: 02891 272 330

www.hillmount.co.uk

Belfast: 02890 448 213 Bangor: 02891 272 330

The Cast
Colin Boyd EBENEEZER SCROOGE Colin Boyd Colins musical theatre credits with Belfast Operatic Company include Henry Etches and The Major in Titanic the Musical, Cogsworth in Beauty and the Beast, Buffalo Bill Cody in Annie Get Your Gun, Horace Vandergelder in Hello Dolly and Harrison Howell in Kiss Me Kate. He has made guest appearances as Wild Bill Hickok in Calamity Jane, Elijah J Whitney in Anything Goes, and Widow Twankey in the pantomime Aladdin with Lisnagarvey Operatic Society and as Jigger Craigan in Carousel with Bangor Operatic Society. Away from the musical stage Colin has recently played the role of Councillor Albert Parker in J B Priestleys farce When We Are Married, as part of Lambeg Players 2013 Summer Season. A lifelong member of Lambeg Players, Colin has played most of the comedy lead roles in plays by local playwright Sam Cree. He has also appeared as Jack Worthing in The Importance of being Ernest by Oscar Wilde for Belmont Drama Group, a role he ranks as one of his favourites. In 2007, Colin co-wrote, co-produced and co-directed a Gala concert entitled Fleur de Lis at the Waterfront Hall, featuring Belfast Operatic Company and starring Peter Corry, to celebrate the Centenary of the Scout Association. Married to celebrated soprano Elizabeth Ross, Colin has become heavily involved in the Production of Elizabeths one woman show The Other Side of Me, which has been staged at the Opera House, twice, and other venues throughout the province. The role of Ebeneezer Scrooge was a perfect match for Colin in the eyes of some folk who should know. His children maintain he has diligently played the role for most of their lives! BOB CRATCHITT Mark Leeman Mark has been a member of Belfast Operatic Company since 2008. He has performed in many concerts across the country with BOC and more recently has performed on a number of occasions at specially themed evenings at Titanic Belfast. Mark has held a number of principal roles at the Grand Opera House since joining BOC, including Barnaby Tucker in Hello Dolly, Lefou in Disneys Beauty and the Beast and Jim Farrell in Titanic the Musical; including a special late-night centenary performance. Mark is delighted to be returning to the Grand Opera House Stage to take on the role of Bob Cratchit in A Christmas Carol. MRS. CRATCHITT Sinead Coll Sinead is delighted to return to the GOH with Belfast Operatic Company for the first time since playing Kate McGowan in the award winning Irish Premiere of Titanic the Musical in 2005. She has also appeared in Annie Get Your Gun, Kiss Me Kate and HMS Pinafore with the company as well as ensemble and solo concert performances. Sinead has also appeared in Rock the Musicals 2 [Ulster Operatic Company, Belfast], Jekyll and Hyde [Blue Fish Theatrical, Brisbane], Showstoppers [Ignatians Theatre, Brisbane] and was privileged to play the role of Siren / ensemble in a rehearsed reading of the new musical Hell and Highwater [Brisbane] in 2010. Sinead is also a singersongwriter and has recently performed at The John Hewitt, The Black Box, The Lagan Sessions [all Belfast] and the Bluegrass Festival [Omagh]. She was also a finalist in the 2013 Clonmany Festival Singer-songwriter competition. Find out more at www.facebook.com/ sineadcollmusic Mark Leeman Keith Pyper

FRED ANDERSON Keith Pyper This is Keiths second show with Belfast Operatic Company. Last year he took the role of Pitman in Titanic the Musical. Keith is the son of Director Wilfie Pyper. Outside of theatre Keith is very involved with the Salvation Army where he runs youth events and takes the choir. Keiths other main interest is rugby and having retired from playing, he now coaches at Cooke RFC.

Sinead Coll

Alice Johnston

GHOST OF CHRISTMAS PAST Alice Johnston Since joining Belfast Operatic in 2006, Alice has become avidly involved in the life of the company. She has appeared on the Grand Opera House Stage in several principal roles including Cupid, Orpheus in the Underworld, Minnie Fay, Hello Dolly, Belle in the Companys 50th Anniversary performance of the Disney classic Beauty and the Beast, Calamity, Calamity Jane and last year as Caroline Neville in the Centenary production of Titanic the Musical. On a daily basis Alice is kept very busy working as a Primary 2 teacher in a local Belfast school, which she absolutely loves! Out of the classroom, and off stage, Alice actively participates in childrens work within her church the Salvation Army, where she leads the childrens choir and assists with musical productions, dance and drama activities within childrens church. Alice is certainly getting into the Christmas spirit in her role as the Ghost of Christmas Past and cannot wait for audiences to feel the same as they enjoy this wonderful production of A Christmas Carol.

OLD HAG Heather McCloskey Heather has been a member of the Company since its Gilbert and Sullivan days and has taken part in a wide range of productions having also sung with Opera Northern Ireland and Castleward Opera as well as representing the Company in AIMS concerts for many years. She has played many Principal roles including Casilda, The Gondoliers, Yum Yum, The Mikado, Gabrielle, La Vie Parisienne and Golde, Fiddler on the Roof on stage and in concert. Last year she undertook the part of Mrs Widener a millionaires wife in Titanic the Musical for the third time and is delighted to be taking on such a different role this year. JACOB MARLEY Samuel Moore Samuel is 21, from Newtownabbey and utterly delighted to be playing the dual role of Marley and his ghost in this marvellous production of A Christmas Carol. Samuels first role in musical theatre while in High School was understudy to Joseph, going on to play Grantaire in a youth production of Les Miserables. Having discovered his love of musicals during school, Samuel has gone on to play a wide variety of roles, such as Caiaphas in Jesus Christ Superstar, Charles in Belfast Operatic Companys production of Titanic the Musical, flamboyant theatre director Roger DeBris in The Producers and most recently Richard Hannay in Kandu Theatres The 39 Steps. Samuel would like to thank his family for their continued support of his theatrical pursuits

Heather McCloskey

Samuel Moore

Laura Kerr

MRS FEZZIWIG Laura Kerr Laura is delighted to be playing the part of Mrs Fezziwig alongside Wilfie Pyper and has thoroughly enjoyed the fun at rehearsals leading up to this week. Recently she also shared the stage with Colin Boyd in the JB Priestly play When we are married, when she played the feisty Clara Soppitt. The next few months will be busy for her. She has started rehearsals for her role as Miss Hannigan in the upcoming musical Annie which will be in The National Concert Hall, Dublin, after Christmas. Then in January she moves straight into Pantomime in Lisburns Island Centre with The Lambeg Players. She plays Penny, the Fairy Godmothers apprentice in the ever popular Cinderella. YOUNG SCROOGE Jamie Clements Following his compelling portrayal of the forlorn radiooperator Harold Bride in Belfast Operatic Companys award-winning Titanic the Musical, Jamie is delighted to be returning to the Grand Opera House stage as Young Scrooge in this festive Dickens classic. In his spare time, Jamie is an avid sportsman and can regularly be found negotiating the magnificent links of Royal Portrush or training with Invictus Swimming Club. As a medical student, Jamie has developed a proclivity for a very different type of theatre, winning the RCSEd National Students Surgical Skills Competition 2012/2013. Presently, he is completing an intercalated Masters of Research at Queens University Belfast and is embracing the challenges of Translational Medicine. Under the tutelage of vocal coach Ashley Fulton, Jamie has successfully attained his Licentiate Diploma in Musical Theatre with the London College of Music and has performed with an array of choirs and companies across the world. However this week, he is hoping to make the Grand Opera House A Place Called Home. EMILY Ellen Mawhinney Ellen is 17 and studying for her A levels at Ballyclare High School. She plays piano, flute, violin and organ up to grade 8 and is working towards her diploma in voice. She would like to continue her passion and study music at University. Ellen has performed on stage in Her Majestys Theatre and last year was in N Irelands first school production of the Phantom of The Opera playing the lead role of Christine Daa. Recently Ellen played Maria in The Sound of Music at the Theatre at the Mill which proved to be a sell-out success. As a member of the Ulster Youth Choir, Ellen has been asked to join the Rudolphus Choir, London, where she will perform in their anniversary concert on New Years Eve. She has been a member of the Belfast Operatic Company for over a year and is delighted to be performing with them on the stage of the Grand Opera House.

Jamie Clements

GHOST OF CHRISTMAS PRESENT Brian Trainor In the last couple of years Brian has appeared as Irish dancing priest Fr. ODonnell in Boys in the Photograph, radio host Bert Healy in Annie, Captain Von Trapp in The Sound of Music and as Tevye in the Grand Opera House production of Fiddler on the Roof. Notable roles include; Henry Higgins, My Fair Lady, Bill Snibson, Me & My Girl, Pirate King, Pirates of Penzance, Frank Butler, Annie Get your Gun, Bernardo, West Side Story, Billy Lawlor, 42nd Street and Lumiere, Beauty and the Beast. Brian has nominations and awards in the categories of Best Actor, [AIMS and NIFLO], Best Comedian, [AIMS] and Best Supporting Actor, [AIMS] and currently holds the Best Actor Award [AIMS] for his portrayal of Tevye in Fiddler on The Roof. A self-confessed lover of the festive season Brian is delighted to perform with Belfast Operatic Company as the Indulgent Ghost of Christmas Present. Merry Christmas everyone! TINY TIM Michael Nevin Michael is 8 years old and attends St. Josephs Primary, Carryduff. He has been a pupil at Belfast School of Performing Arts for over two years and taken part in several musical showcases and productions including The Wiz and Seussical the Musical. In school Michael has played the roles of St. Patrick, The Prodigal Son and Joseph. Michael appeared as an extra in TG4/BBC2NIs drama Scp. He is currently learning to play the piano and trombone, as well as learning tap and Irish dancing with Bright Lights. Recently Michael has become a probationer with Schola Cantorum in St. Peters Cathedral, Belfast. Michael loves all aspects of musical theatre and his ambition is to one day write his own musicals and direct shows. Michael played the role of Jack Thayer in Belfast Operatic Companys production of Titanic the Musical in 2012. He is very excited to be returning to the company as Tiny Tim and hopes everyone enjoys the show.

Production Team
Brian Trainor

Director Wilfie Pyper Musical Director Colin Scott Choreographer Michael Evans Production Manager James Huish Stage Manager Clare Donnelly Production Assistant Claire Mcroberts Accompanist Anne Gillespie Set Design Wilfie Pyper, David Robinson Set Building Encore Projection Designs Evelyn McGrath & Kris Kelly Black North Lighting Design Alastair Kerr ACK Productions Ltd

Projection Tech Alastair Kerr Sound Design Tim Dougherty Sound Equipment Loft Sound Performer Flying Adam Searle Ltd Costumes Triple C Wardrobe Mistresses Maureen Steele, Margaret Mehaffey Wardrobe Team Laura Cushley, Catherine Harvey, Mary Hewitt, June Kirkpatrick, Anne Preston, Maree Robinson, Elsie Spoerri, Evelyn Stainer Properties Jane McKee,Dot Fee, Valerie Greenlee, Mo Hattrick, Sarah Leeman, Hazel Robinson Make-Up Artiste Shelly Blair

Make-Up Assistants Siobhan Edgar, Annette Hesketh, Caitlin Lendrum, Jade McCooke, Connie McGrath, Caroline Reynolds, Aisling Toner Wigs Dauphines of Bristol Wig Mistress Sandra Byrne Stage Crew Mairtin Bradley, Chris Cahoon, James Huish, Niall Laverty, John Maxwell, Marcus Morrow, Andy McKnight, Chris McRoberts, Colin McRoberts, Jonny McRoberts, Richard Patterson, Gary Rice, Chris Thompson Childrens Chaperones Head: Carol Sykes, Debbie Faulkner, Ruth Ferguson, Nicola Hastings, Mary Hewitt, Barbara Johnston, Debbie Johnston, Muriel Mayne, Jenni Mayne, Diane Nevin, Melissa Patton, Nicole Smyth, Karen Topping, Martine Vitty

Cover Design Darren Robinson Programme Design Gary Redpath Editorial Karen Glass, Thompson Steele Programme Photography David Scott Marketing Team Pamela Todd, Gary Redpath, Natalie Cooke, Cathy Ewing , Linda Hopley, Heather Millar, Iain Mercer, Front of House Liz Boyd, Sandra Benson, Anne Kennedy, Cathy Ewing, Emma Lawrence Jane Lawrence, Anne Morrow, Margaret McCrory, Anne Stevenson, Audrey Stewart, Marion Taylor, Pamela Todd, Debbie West, John Dallas, Errol Preston, Thompie Steele, Props Transport Coastways Removals

Michael Nevin

Ellen Mawhinney

Produced by PC Productions in association with Belfast Waterfront

Join Peter Corry & The Music Box Company


in a heart-warming journey through a sparkling array of Christmas music gems, past and present.

To book:

Tel: 028 9033 4455 Visit: www.waterfront.co.uk


Credit and debit card charges apply.

With Special Guests:


Linda John-Pierre from the Broadway cast of "Chicago' and Jeff Anderson from ITV's "Superstar"

The Production Team


Wilfie Pyper DIRECTOR WILFIE PYPER Director Wilfie Pyper is delighted to be working again with Belfast Operatic Company on this premier production of A Christmas Carol. He has spent a lifetime in theatre and is regarded as one of Northern Irelands leading musical theatre directors. Wilfie has been resident director with Belfast Operatic Company for some 27 years. His catalogue of productions for them at The Grand Opera House include Oklahoma, The Pirates Of Penzance (Broadway and traditional), Show Boat, Brigadoon, The Mikado, Kiss Me Kate, Hello Dolly [twice], Annie Get Your Gun, Calamity Jane, Fiddler on The Roof and Orpheus in the Underworld Titanic the Musical (twice) and Beauty and the Beast. Included in these was the highly acclaimed Irish premiere of Titanic the Musical. The show swept the boards at the annual awards ceremony hosted by the Association of Irish Music Societies, gaining for Wilfie a Best Director Award. This organization recently recognized his work with another Best Director award for his highly acclaimed Grand Opera House production of Beauty and the Beast. In 2012 he was awarded a further Best Director award for his Centenary production of Titanic the Musical, a year which also saw a Best Director award for The Sound of Music. This made him the first person in Northern Ireland to gain best director awards in both tiers of AIMS in the same year and the first in Ireland for seventeen years. Wilfie has had the pleasure of directing Rush Musical Society in God bless Archie Dean, Anything Goes and earlier this year following a Dublin run of Mac and Mabel he travelled with them on a tour to Sweden. For a number of years he has also directed the Lisnagarvey Operatic and Dramatic Society in the Island Centre, Lisburn and productions there include Guys and Dolls, Oklahoma, Me and My Girl, My Fair Lady, Calamity Jane, Carousel, Pirates of Penzance, Fiddler on the Roof, The Merry Widow, Annie Get Your Gun and The Sound of Music. He was also delighted to direct the N.I. premier of Meet Me in St Louis for the Fortwilliam Society at the Waterfront Hall, Belfast. As well as being head of drama at the Belfast School of Performing Arts, Wilfie directs for schools throughout the province including St Marys College, Wellington College, Stranmillis PS, Sullivan Upper and this year makes his debut with Belfast High Schools production of Little Shop of Horrors. This year Wilfie had the pleasure of making his directorial debut with the Lambeg Players in their successful summer tour production of J B Priestleys classic, When we are Married. Wilfie is regularly in demand as a performer, adjudicator and compere. In 2009 he received a Best Male Performer nomination in the multi award winning Dublin based Festival Production Companys Gondoliers at the prestigious international Gilbert and Sullivan festival in Buxton. MUSICAL DIRECTOR COLIN SCOTT Colin Scott is probably one of the youngest Musical Directors on the amateur operatic scene in Ireland. Since our Company was founded in 1960 it has always had a reputation for outstanding choral singing and Colin has ensured that this fine quality has been well and truly maintained. In 2006 Colin took up the baton for the first time at a very prestigious concert the Company had been asked to perform for the Northern Ireland Tourist Board at the old Harland & Wolff Drawing Office, the exact spot where the Titanic was designed. The programme provided for their enjoyment was excerpts from Titanic The Musical which had been a huge Broadway hit in 1995 and the Companys 2005 production. In late 2007 after the departure of our M.D. the Committee asked Colin to step onto the rostrum. Since his primary school days he has perfected his musical education with a particular aptitude for playing brass instruments. He was fortunate to attend a high school where Jacqui Vance, Head of Music was an expert repetateur and musical director. This sowed a seed which caused him to pursue a career as a professional musician. He was enabled to do this when he won a scholarship to Trinity College, London. Throughout his time at college he worked extensively as a performer with All Souls Symphony Orchestra, Paddington Brass Ensemble, London Festival Orchestra and Spittlefield Opera House. Unfortunately Colins professional career came to a swift halt in 2000 when an innate serious eye problem manifested itself. This brought him home to Belfast where he was accepted as a student nurse at Queens University, Belfast. After 3 years study he qualified as a State Registered Nurse and now works at the Royal Victoria Hospital. The Company has been very fortunate to be able to capitalise on what may have at first appeared to be a great misfortune for Colin. His family are thrilled that all his highly promising musical talent has not been wasted but rather exposed to theatre goers and concert patrons. Undoubtedly one of his greatest challenges with the Company was the musical programme for 2010. This was the year the Company celebrated its 50th Birthday in the Grand Opera House and Ulster hall. Colin was delighted when BOC won the Best Chorus at the AIMS Seminar for Beauty and the Beast, and also with the outstanding ovation received by the Company at the Ulster Hall - and since, in the centenary production of Titanic The Musical. He has also recently founded the Belfast Pops Orchestra, a charitable orchestra made of professional musicians, who performed with the Belfast Operatic Company last year in their Christmas Concert in the Ulster Hall, and is looking forward to their next concert featuring James Huish and friends. Colin Scott Michael Evans

CHOREOGRAPHER Michael Evans A native of Dublin, Michael began his dance training in 1976 at the age of 10 with the Carmel Carpenter School of Dance and over the next 12 years he studied virtually every genre of dance from ballroom to ballet and beyond. Michael has been teaching dance since the age of 17 when he led freestyle dance troop Opus 31 to International acclaim. He has had the great fortune of choreographing for many musical societies in Ireland. Shows include Brigadoon, The New Pirates of Penzance, Hello Dolly, Annie Get Your Gun, My Fair Lady, Andy Capp, Mack and Mabel and Anything Goes. In 2012 Mercy College, Coolock engaged Michael to direct and choreograph their very successful school production of The Wiz. His greatest memory as a choreographer was working on Titanic the Musical with Belfast Operatic Company for the centenary in 2012. Michael will most likely be recognised in musical theatre for his own performances on stage. Previous roles include Leo Bloom in The Producers [Gaiety Theatre Dublin], Billy Crocker in Anything Goes [NCH Dublin], Jimmy in Thoroughly Modern Millie [Civic Theatre Dublin], Don Lockwood in Singing in the Rain [Theatre Royal Waterford], Tony/Stephen in Copacabana [Belfast Opera House], The Emcee in Cabaret [Dublin & Waterford], Nanky Poo in The Hot Mikado [Rupert Guinness Theatre Dublin], Bobby Child in Crazy For You [Rupert Guinness Theatre Dublin], Junior in On Your Toes [Rupert Guinness Theatre Dublin], Pippin in Pippin [Dublin], Molina in Kiss Of The Spider Woman [Dublin], Scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz [NCH Dublin], Cornelius Hackl in Hello Dolly [NCH Dublin], Rooster/ Ralph Mudge in Annie [NCH Dublin] and Bob Cratchet in A Christmas Carol [NCH Dublin], Koko in The Mikado [NCH Dublin], Harold Hill in The Music Man [Draiocht, Dublin]. In April last year Michael played the part of Cornelius Hackl alongside west end star Rebecca Storm in Rathmines and Rathgars production of Hello Dolly at the Gaiety theatre, Dublin. At Christmas Michael will revisit his role of Rooster/ Ralph Mudge in Annie at the Concert Hall, Dublin with Festival Productions and in March next year he will play Lieutenant Frank Cioffi in Curtains the musical with Rush Musical Society at the Mill Theatre, Rush. Special thanks to Wilfie & Ella for everything. X

ACCOMPANIST Anne Gillespie Anne began playing the piano at the age of six under the tutelage of Phyllis Boyd in her home town of Ballycastle. She continued her musical studies at Ballycastle High School and was privileged to also study under Sister Colista at Cross and Passion College. Anne later went on to study Music and Education at Stranmillis College, Belfast where she completed her Grades in pianoforte from Trinity College, London and also studied for the performance diploma L.T.C.L. with Beatrice McGimpsey. Upon Graduation Anne was appointed music specialist at Mossgrove Primary School, well noted for its musical productions, which she enjoys directing and accompanying. She is a mother of two, and took a long break from professional playing whilst her daughters Laura and Gemma were growing up. Having raised her family, Anne returned to work as a professional accompanist in 2009. Her first major show was Hello, Dolly! and since then Anne has worked extensively as accompanist with both company and non-company members. She is also accompanist for Belfast School of Performing Arts. Anne has thoroughly enjoyed working with the company on A Christmas Carol and is delighted to be taking part in this spectacular Christmas show with the company.

Anne Gillespie

Acknowledgements
Belfast Operatic Company gratefully acknowledges the support of the following Browns Funeral Parlour Media Design and Print Claire Millar from BBC Newsline Davy Scott Photography for Production Photography Gary Redpath for Design of this brochure Andrew Hill and the Staff of the Grand Opera House Alistair Kerr for his technical advice

Committee
President Chairman Vice-chair Secretary Treasurer Friends Secretary Thompson Steele James Huish Richard Couser Tina McVeigh Liz Boyd Joy Kerr

Maureen Steele
Belfast Operatic Company has been most privileged for the last 23 years to have Mrs Maureen Steele as its Wardrobe Mistress.
In her time at the helm of the costume team she has produced many sailors, Victorian ladies and gents, all classes and crew of RMS Titanic and possibly most memorably, a whole canteen of dancing cutlery and crockery in Disneys Beauty and the Beast. She has rescued many Company members over the years from turning an elegant Edwardian tableau or Can Can dance into a most inappropriately revealing scene with the hasty application of her needle and thread.

Committee Members Linda Hopley, Gary Redpath, Keith Pyper, Iain Mercer, Hall Graham, Jennie McRoberts Company Auditor AIMS Reps Hilary Morrow Gary Redpath Maureen Steele Thompson Steele

Librarian - David Young & Diane Richardson

Undoubtedly, Belfast Operatic Companys shows would have been very much the poorer if it were not for Maureens tenacity and resourcefulness in conjuring up the most wonderful costumes from all over the country in a frantic day or two before every show. It is therefore with sadness that we learned that Maureen has decided to step back from leading the team, passing the reins to her able assistant, Margaret Mehaffey. We thank Maureen from the bottom of our hearts for all her years of unstinting, uncomplaining, unlimited, always smiling service and are glad to know that she will still be around in the background, supporting the new team in the future.

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