Strathpeffer Social

Strathpeffer Community Collage
The founders of SAOS are included in this photograph.  Col. Olaf Macleod on right and Mrs Hester Macleod on left.

Olaf and Hester Macleod


1959  The Mikado
1960  HMS Pinafore
1961  The Gondoliers
1962  Iolanthe
1963  Princess Ida
1964  The Yeomen of the Guard
1965  The Mikado
1966  The Gondoliers
1967  Patience
1968  Pirates of Penzance
1969  Iolanthe
1970  Ruddigore
1971  The Yeomen of the Guard
1972  The Merry Widow
1973  The Maid of the Mountains
1974  The Mikado
1975  Die Fledermaus
1976  Gipsy Queen
1977  The Pirates of Penzance
1978  White Horse Inn
1979  Glorious Gilbert and Sullivan
1980  Lilac Time
1981  The Merry Widow
1982  La Vie Parisienne


The Social Life of Strathpeffer

Strathpeffer Amateur Operatic Society 1959-1982


The Chairman of the Strathpeffer Amateur Operatic Society, John M.M. Fleck, in his Foreword to the programme of 'The Yeoman of the Guard' (1971) wrote -

The Strathpeffer Amateur Operatic Society began in 1958, and ever since has been delighting audiences with its performances of Gilbert and Sullivan Operas.  Its reputation has been achieved by much hard work and co-operation, but three people stand out as those most responsible for its high standards.

Lt. Col. Olaf Macleod, was the Society's founder and Chairman until 1970. The magnificent costumes and scenery which characterize our productions have been designed, and in many cases made, by him. He has directed the Society's affairs with great wisdom and energy, and its members fully realise how much they owe him and his wife.

The heavy responsibilities of these twelve years have taken their toll of time and health, and for the time being Colonel and Mrs Macleod are taking a rest from active participation in the Society.

We are fortunate in still having Mr Fred Henson who has been Musical Director from the beginning. His quiet but thorough training of the singers has given great pleasure to both members and audiences. This year he achieves his ambition of having an Orchestra to bring out the beauties of Sullivan's fine score.  Next year for the first time we shall be tackling a non-Gilbert and Sullivan Opera.

If you would like to take part in this production and are not at present a member of the Society, please complete the tear-out portion on page 5 and hand in to the Box Office as you leave the hall.

Elizabeth Burns recalled in January 2002 the following -

Col. Olaf Macleod (founder member and Chairman) designed, and, with some assistance, physically made the sets for the G. and S. operas.  Being employed by the Hydro Electric he had available large stocks of strong cardboard (the cartons in which cookers, fridges, etc. were packed). He himself painted the back-cloths. He also designed all the costumes for G. & S. and these were made by the company.  At the AGMs Olaf would show us a minature set painted in a shoe box with full backcloth and wings and one or two cardboard cutout figures in costume.

After 1970 costumes were designed by Elizabeth Burns, Esther Jones and Ruth Gilvray. Sets were (mainly) by John Crawford.

John Fleck, who produced most of the later Viennese and other operettas, organised the moves he wanted the cast to make, with a supply of pennies and halfpennies, labelled with the letter or number of each chorus member. These he moved about on his table and wrote down the resulting positions for instruction of the chorus.

To view photographs and details please click on the production. 

Iolanthe (1962)

The Merry Widow (1972)

Die Fledermaus (1975)

Gypsy Queen (1976)

Glorious Gilbert and Sullivan (1979)

Lilac Time (1980)

The Merry Widow (1981)

La Vie Parisienne (1982)

Return to home page
Terms & Conditions     © Ross and Cromarty Heritage