Bristol opera society ready to return

August 31 2021

HMS Pinafore will return to Bristol stages in 2022 thanks to the generosity of their supporters
Just two weeks before the curtain rose, the pandemic forced Bristol Gilbert and Sullivan Operatic Society (BGSOS) to cancel their 2020 production. The Society was faced with the combined financial loss of refunding tickets whilst still needing to pay the theatre and orchestra, and for a while the future of the society was seriously in doubt. Thankfully, a swell of support from BGSOS friends and members means the society can go on, and they will be returning to the stage in 2022.
 The Society had nearly sold out its four-night run of Yeomen of the Guard when the government announced the first lockdown. “It was a massive blow to our members,” explained Society Chair, Hannah Coleman.
“They faced the disappointment of not getting to perform as well as the uncertainty of what could happen next. It's a small thing in the context of a global pandemic, but BGSOS means a lot to its members.”
 The Society put out an SOS to its members and supporters, who responded warmly. Many ticket holders kindly chose to donate the value of their tickets rather than accept a refund, and several orchestra members offered their fees to the society. After just a few months, supporters had donated enough to cover the losses from the show.
“It was amazing. We went from facing closure to being able to fully support our members. Now we’re going to be staging HMS Pinafore in April 2022, and we can’t wait!” said Hannah.
BGSOS members range from children to the retired, and some of its members live alone. “As well as music, many of our members depend on the Society for community and social activities,” Hannah explains. During the pandemic, BGSOS was able to offer a regular service hosting online quizzes and phoning isolated members, so that this community was kept alive.
 BGSOS welcomes new members to join for its 2022 production of HMS Pinafore. Rehearsals begin in September at St Teresa’s Community Centre in Filton, on a Tuesday evening. BGSOS is looking for performing members, scenery builders, costume developers and technical volunteers.  You can also support them as a society friend, if volunteering is not for you.  For details about all our roles, please email secretary@bristolgsos.co.uk
For more information see the website: www.bristolgsos.co.uk or visit the facebook page, @BristolGSOS.