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Our Story

Here is our history of performances. Additional photographs and other material is available in GALLERY which you will also find under the MORE tab above. Just scroll down the years and enjoy!

1952

The earliest records we have of Alloa Amateur Operatic Society come from photograph albums started by David Dewar of Alloa and continued by his son Alan, who has kindly supplied many photographs. There are photographs of some of the founder members performing with "Dollar Operatic" in various operettas. Alloa Operatic Society was, they say, re-formed following the end of World War 2, although we cannot find any reference to its pre-war existence.


The President in 1952 was Victor E Cuthbert. David Dewar was a committee member. A concert was given that year in Alloa Town Hall with songs from members and featuring Victor E Cuthbert at the Town Hall Organ. (The rear wall of the stage was in those days home to an impressive pipe organ). We have a photograph of participants in our Gallery. (Scroll down to 1952!)


There was no production in this first year but rehearsals began for the first post-war production, HMS Pinafore.


Here are names of performers remembered from the 1950s (some of them have signed the first programme below!): David Dewar, Jean Kirkwood, Grant Horne, Margaret Laidlaw, Emma McClements, Elizabeth Mudie, Molly Michie, Gordon & Maureen McFarlane, Alice Binnie, Arthur Muddiman, Sandy Smith, Bob and Bess McFarlane and David Hunter (pictured right) – who remained an active member until his death in 2018. 

1953

Hon. President                       A. R. Proctor esq.

President                               Victor E Cuthbert esq.

Chairman                               Mr William G. McLeod

Hon. Secretary & Treasurer   Mr Jack Allan

Hon. Assistant Secretary       Miss J. Wilson


The company performed:


HMS Pinafore


Music                                     Arthur Sullivan

Lyrics                                     W S Gilbert


Producer                              James Mercer

Musical Director                   John Hunter McBain

Accompanist                        Mrs James (Dorothy) Allan

1954

President                          Victor E Cuthbert


This year’s show was:


Pirates of Penzance


Music                              Arthur Sullivan

Lyrics                              W S Gilbert


Producer                         Marion Locke

Musical Director             John Hunter McBain


In 2014, 60 years later, AMP gave a revival of this Victorian classic – with a few modern twists! 

1955

President                       Victor E Cuthbert


The Mikado


Music                            Arthur Sullivan

Lyrics                            W S Gilbert


Producer                       Ian Stewart

Musical Director           John Hunter McBain


You can see that Gilbert and Sullivan operettas were in vogue!

Here are David Dewar, William McEwan, Helen McLean, Margaret Laidlaw, and Jean Kirkwood.


There are more images in Gallery (scroll to 1955)

1956

President                         Victor E Cuthbert


The Gondoliers


Music                              Arthur Sullivan

Lyrics                              W S Gilbert


Producer                         Ian Stewart

Musical Director              John Hunter McBain

1957

President                       Victor E Cuthbert


Alloa Amateur Operatic Society breaks away from G&S!


A Country Girl


Music                           Lionel Monckton


Lyrics                           Adrian Ross & Percy Greenbank


Producer Margaret Eadie

Musical Director John Hunter McBain

There's a picture from the show in Gallery

1958

Back to G&S!


President                 Victor E Cuthbert


Iolanthe


Producer                 Margaret Eadie

Musical Director     John Hunter McBain


Picture from the Alloa production - David Dewar far right.


We thought you might be interested in checking out some local advertisers in the 1958 programme in Gallery

1959

President Victor E Cuthbert


Quaker Girl


Music                             Lionel Monkton

Lyrics                             Adrian Ross and Percy Greenbank

Book                              James T Tanner


Producer                        Margaret Eadie

Musical Director            John Hunter McBain


Peek inside the programme in Gallery (Scroll down to 1959)

1960

President                             Victor E Cuthbert


Another Edwardian operetta:


Veronique


Music                                   Andre Messager

Lyrics in English by              Henry Hamilton


Producer                              Margaret Eadie

Musical Director                   Arthur Muddiman


Picture from the Alloa production - pretty sure that's the only time a donkey has appeared on the Town Hall stage!


In Gallery you will find some of the Programme content - scroll down to 1960

1961

President                   Victor E Cuthbert


And back to Gilbert & Sullivan


HMS Pinafore & Trial by Jury


Music Arthur Sullivan

Lyrics W S Gilbert


Producer                  Muriel Brown

                                This was Muriel's first show with us


                                She directed 20!


Musical Director      John Hunter McBain


There are two cast photographs, one from each piece, in Gallery 1961

1962

A new President          Grant P Horne


And a very sudden leap forward into shows of the 1950s and the magic of Rogers & Hammerstein's Carousel (April 1945, Broadway). This is not an Operetta - it's a Musical! Hello USA ...


Carousel


Music                         Richard Rogers

Lyrics                         Oscar Hammerstein ll


Producer                    Muriel Brown

Musical Director         John Hunter McBain

The part of Louise was played in this production by Linda Ormiston, daughter of Producer Muriel Brown. Linda went on to perform with Scottish Opera and Saddlers Wells!


See a few pics from the programme in Gallery

1963

President                      Grant P Horne


Loving our Rogers & Hammerstein ….


Oklahoma


Oklahoma (March 1943 on Broadway) is one of a handful of turning-point musicals that changed the direction of musical theatre ... a real break-away from operetta and music hall into an integrated production - songs, dance and story as a seamless whole. And these are musicals that became motion pictures ...


Music Richard Rogers

Lyrics Oscar Hammerstein ll

Book Green Grow the Lilacs by Lynn Riggs


Producer Muriel Brown

Musical Director Robert Younger

1964

President                  Grant P Horne


And back to operetta …


White Horse Inn


Music                       Ralph Benatzky & Robert Stoltz

Lyrics                       Hans Muller-Einigen


Producer                 Muriel Brown

Musical Director      Robert Younger


We have one photograph of this production in Gallery

1965

President             Grant P Horne


Castles in Spain


Music                   Harry Fragson

Lyrics                   Eustace Ponsonby

Book                    Cosmo Hamilton


Producer              Muriel Brown

Musical Director  Robert Younger

Ballet Mistress Jessie Murray


This was the year Jessie Murray became a long-serving choreographer with AAOS - to be succeeded by her daughter Barbara in the 1980s.


We have a cast photo from the Programme in Gallery

1966

President                                     Grant P Horne


We select from the 1920s …


The Desert Song


Music                                          Sigmund Romberg

Lyrics                                          Otto Harbach, Oscar Hammerstein II &

Frank Mundell


Producer                                    Muriel Brown

Musical Director                         Robert Younger

Sets by                                      George McIntosh

There are pictures in Gallery

1967

President                          Grant P Horne


We move forward to the 40s and discover Lerner & Lowe …

and Scotland as you never knew it!


Brigadoon


Music                               Frederick Lowe

Lyrics                               Alan Jay Lerner


Producer                          Muriel Brown

Musical Director               Robert Younger


See highlights of the Programme in Gallery

1968

President                       Grant P Horne


And back to operetta – the best – Offenbach! Yes – the one with the Can Can!


Orpheus in the Underworld


Music                          Jacques Offenbach

Lyrics                          Hector Cremieux & Ludovic Halevy

Producer                    Muriel Brown

Musical Director         Robert Younger


Here is Tom Forsyth as Orpheus

Sadly President Grant Horne died suddenly, later this year, at the early age of 49.

1969

President                  David M Dewar


A new President this year. He remained President for many years and David was honoured by the Society in 1978 ...


The Gypsy Baron


Music                       Johann Strauss II

Lyrics                       Phil Park


Producer                  Muriel Brown

Musical Director       Robert Younger


Here's a photo in Gallery (scroll down to 1969)

1970

President                            David M Dewar


Still with operetta with the finest of scores – this time Franz Lehar.


The Merry Widow


Producer                             Muriel Brown

Musical Director                  Robert Younger


Photos of principals in Gallery (scroll down to 1970)

1971

President                   David M Dewar


The 1950s reassert themselves with this blockbuster …


My Fair Lady


Music                       Frederick Lowe

Lyrics                       Alan Jay Lerner


Book Based on the Pygmalion tale immortalised by George Bernard Shaw


Producer                 Muriel Brown

Musical Director      Robert Younger


There are a few cast photographs in Gallery - click through and scroll down to 1971


Interestingly in this year an Arts Guild was established so that subscribers could support the arts in Clackmannanshire. Alloa Amateur Operatic Society was listed along with many of the other performing groups.


Possibly even more interesting - a bomb scare during the final performance! Link is to a newspaper cutting of the audience that night - packed house!

1972

President                          David M Dewar


Then we time travel back to Victorian and the frothiest G&S - performed by the company for the second time. (See 1956)


The Gondoliers


Music                               Arthur Sullivan

Lyrics                               W S Gilbert


Producer                          Muriel Brown

Musical Director               Robert Younger

Ballet Mistress                 Jessie Murray

Piano Accompanist          Archie Ewing


Pictures in Gallery show some well-known and much loved Clackmannanshire performers from this era. Click through and scroll down to 1972.

1973

21st Anniversary Year


President                       David M Dewar


And back to the 1950s and the outstanding partnership of Rogers & Hammerstein


The King and I


Music                             Richard Rogers

Lyrics                             Oscar Hammerstein ll

Book                              Margaret Langdon:

                                      Anna and the King of Siam


Producer                       Muriel Brown

Musical Director            Robert Stein

Ballet Mistress              Jessie Murray

Piano Accompanist       Archie Ewing


And the company also performed a concert:


Songs from the Shows


Musical Director            Robert Stein (his first year with us)

Producer                       Muriel Brown

Accompanist                 Archie Ewing


There are some photos from this year in Gallery


The company also performed "Songs from the Shows" in Alloa Town Hall in December 1973. We note the programme price was 5p.

1974

President                         David M Dewar


Back to operetta – still the very best with this adaptation of "Die Fledermaus" by Johann Strauss


Pink Champagne


Producer                         Muriel Brown

Musical Director              Robert Stein

1975

President                          David M Dewar


A contemporary blockbuster ….


Hello Dolly


Music & Lyrics Jerry Herman

Book Based on The Matchmaker by Thornton Wilder


Producer                         Muriel Brown

Musical Director              Bob Stein

Choreographer               Jessie Murray


Songs from the Shows (concert)


Producer                         Muriel Brown

Musical Director              Bob Stein


There are some pics in our Gallery

1976

President                            David M Dewar


Our first Irving Berlin!


Call me Madam


Music                                  Irving Berlin

Lyrics                                  Howard Lindsay & Russell Crouse


Producer                             Muriel Brown

Musical Director                  Bob Stein

There are some more photos in Gallery

1977

President                   David M Dewar


Oklahoma!


Music Richard Rogers

Lyrics Oscar Hammerstein ll


This ground-breaking 1943 musical, building on the innovations of the earlier Show Boat, epitomized the development of the "book musical", a musical play where the songs and dances are fully integrated into a well-made story with serious dramatic goals that are able to evoke genuine emotions other than laughter. The company first performed it in 1963 - it has and will continue to stand the test of time ....


Book Green Grow the Lilacs by Lynn Riggs


Producer                    Muriel Brown

Musical Director         Bob Stein

Choreographer          Jessie Murray

There are some photographs in Gallery


The Company also performed:

Jubilee Songs from the Shows (concert)

1978/9

We have a new:


President                           Peter Harrower


King’s Rhapsody