Introduction

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.

Col Olaf and Mrs Hester Macleod

Attribution: unknown

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.

Act 1 photo 2

Attribution: unknown

Productions

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 Yeomen of the Guard - photo 1

Attribution: unknown

View photographs from some of the productions

We have received some photographs from some of the productions which we have included in albums on this page.  We also have further details of a couple of the productions, so please do visit the pages for more information.

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Strathpeffer » Strathpeffer Social » Strathpeffer Operatic Society » Strathpeffer The Merry Widow 1972

Strathpeffer The Merry Widow 1972

Dingwall Town Hall was the scene for this production. There is no text to accompany the photographs.
The Merry Widow (1972)
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Strathpeffer » Strathpeffer Social » Strathpeffer Operatic Society » Strathpeffer Die Fledermaus 1975
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Strathpeffer » Strathpeffer Social » Strathpeffer Operatic Society » Strathpeffer Glorious Gilbert and Sullivan

Strathpeffer Glorious Gilbert and Sullivan

Glorious Gilbert and Sullivan (1979) - a 21st Anniversary selection of nine operettas.
Unknown Operetta - photo 5
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Strathpeffer » Strathpeffer Social » Strathpeffer Operatic Society » Strathpeffer Lilac Time 1980
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Strathpeffer » Strathpeffer Social » Strathpeffer Operatic Society » Strathpeffer The Merry Widow 1981

Strathpeffer The Merry Widow 1981

On Thursday 12th & Friday 13th March 1981 The Strathpeffer Amateur Operatic Society presented 'The Merry Widow' in Eden Court Theatre. The following content is taken from the programme while the photographs were taken prior to the dress rehearsal.
Irene Brown
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Strathpeffer » Strathpeffer Social » Strathpeffer Operatic Society » Strathpeffer La Vie Parisienne (1982)

Strathpeffer La Vie Parisienne (1982)

On Friday 23rd and Saturday 24th April, 1982, the Strathpeffer Amateur Operatic Society gave their last performances. The chosen opera was Offenbach's 'La Vie Parisienne' and, by all accounts, it was an astounding finale.
Programme Cover

Unknown Productions

While creating this website we found some photos from the Operatic Society which weren’t associated with any production.  If anyone knows which production any of these photos belongs to, please contact us and let us know.

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Strathpeffer » Strathpeffer Social » Strathpeffer Operatic Society » Strathpeffer Operatic Society Unknown Production