Napier Operatic Society
|Legal status||Incorporated Society|
Napier Operatic Society (often abbreviated as NOS) is an amateur theatre society based in Napier, New Zealand. Established in 1887, Napier Operatic Society is the second oldest-existing theatrical society in New Zealand, and is nationally renowned for its critically acclaimed professional-quality productions.
The society is based at The Tabard Theatre, which underwent extensive renovations completed in April 1994 – an extended rehearsal room, wardrobe hire, workshop, and restaurant-theatre complex were completed during the 5-year project. The Napier Operatic Society produces multiple productions a year, and has done a major stage-show every year since 1887, with the exception of several years throughout the 20th century during overseas conflict and the aftermath of natural disaster.
The earliest known theatre company in Napier was the Napier Theatre Co., which in 1883, along with the Napier Musical Society and the Napier Amateur Drama Club combined to create the Theatre Royal. The Theatre Royal made its debut with the musical Trial by Jury, and out of this the Napier Operatic Society was born.
Most of the early productions were Gilbert and Sullivan plays, with the first production at the new Napier Municipal Theatre being A Greek Slave in 1912. The 1800 capacity of the Napier Municipal Theatre was noted to have been "frequently taxed to the uttermost", especially by people who drive in from the country areas. Due to the onset of World War I, The Blue Moon was the last production by Napier Operatic Society until 1921.
The 1931 Napier earthquake caused significant damage to the Napier Municipal Theatre, contributing to Napier Operatic's hiatus until 1937. A Special General Meeting was held on 14 October 1937 where it was unanimously decided to revive the society. The first production in over 7 years, Rio Rita, was performed at the newly built Napier Municipal Theatre. Since then, with the exception of during World War II until 1953, there has been at least one production put on by Napier Operatic Society every year.
Napier Operatic Society has staged many hit musicals in recent years, including Les Misérables, 42nd Street, Chicago, Cats, Beauty and the Beast, Miss Saigon, The Phantom of the Opera, Mamma Mia!, and Evita. Napier Operatic Society have since begun staging larger productions that typically would be seen at the Napier Municipal Theatre at the Tabard Theatre, such as Evita, Jesus Christ Superstar, and Blood Brothers.
|1887||The Sorcerer||1888||No production.||1889||The Mikado
|1890||Rip Van Winkle|
|1892||No production.||1893||Rip Van Winkle
Les Cloches de Cornville
|1908||The Gondoliers||1909||The Mikado||1910||The Geisha||1911||The Runaway Girl|
|1912||A Greek Slave||1913||Toreador||1914||Miss Hook of Holland||1915||The Blue Moon|
|1916–1920||No productions.||1921||The Geisha||1922||No production.||1923||A Country Girl|
|1924||Florodora||1925–1927||No productions.||1928||The Arcadians||1929||The Sunshine Girl|
|1930||Our Miss Gibbs||1931–1937||No productions.||1938||Rio Rita||1939||The Belle of New York|
|1940||Boots and All||1941–1953||No productions.|
|1954||Chu Chin Chow||1955||Desert Song|
|1956||The New Moon||1957||Oklahoma!||1958||Love from Judy||1959||The Vegabond King|
|1960||White Horse Inn||1961||Kismet||1962||The Music Man||1963||Where's Charley|
The Merry Widow
|1964||The Maid of the Mountains||1965||Annie Get Your Gun||1966||Amahal and the Night Visitors||1967||Little Mary Sunshine|
|1968||The Sound of Music||1969||Camelot||1970||Pink Champagne||1971||South Pacific|
|1972||Oliver!||1973||Fiddler on the Roof||1974||My Fair Lady||1975||Man of La Mancha|
|1976||Pirates of Penzance
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat
|1978||Oh, What a Lovely War!||1979||The Great Waltz|
|1980||Jesus Christ Superstar||1981||HMS Pinafore
Hans Christian Andersen
|1984||Man of La Mancha||1985||The Gingerbread Man
|1986||Mack and Mabel||1987||The Sorcerer|
An Evening with Gershwin
Stepping Out, directed by Tessa-May Brown.
42nd Street, directed by Gillian Davies, QSM.
The Pirates of Penzance, directed by Tessa-May Brown.
HMS Pinafore, directed by Tessa-May Brown.
Dinner with the Duke
Grease, directed by William Waitoa.
Sister Act, directed by Wendy Revell.
Society presidents: 1890–present
|1890 J. D. Ormand||1893 J. W. Carlile||1910 W. Simm||1924–1929 Dr. R. I. Sutton||1930–1938 J. W. Cargill|
|1939–1954 J. Harris||1955 K. Douglas||1956 A. E. Herniman||1957–1958 J. S. Henney||1959–1961 E. A. G. Collier|
|1962–1966 P. Cox||1967 R. A. Clement||1968–1970 W. Tolhurst||1971 H. N. Unsworth||1972–1973 J. Collier|
|1974 H. Unsworth||1975–1983 W. O. Beckett||1984–1987 Mr. F.T. Twyford||1988–1991 Mr. P. F. Shepherd||1992–1995 Mr. J. A. Briggs|
|1996–1999 Mr. N.L. Page||2000-2005 Mrs. L.F. Reid||2006–2009 Mrs. L.D. Reid||2010–2012 Mrs. S.R. Pardoe||2012–2016 Mr. M. Collier|
|2017–2018 Mrs. T. Brown||2019–20 Mrs. A. Oldershaw||2020– Mrs. S.J. Ericksen|
Honorary life members
|Mr. C.W. White*||Mr. P. Sorrell*||Mrs. M. Sorrell*||Mr. E.C. Collier*|
|Mrs. H. Collier*||Mr. R.B. Wright*||Mrs. W. Quarry*||Mr. R. Houston*|
|Mr. J. Collier*||Mr. C. Pritchard*||Mrs. D. Unsworth||Mr. A. Jones|
|Mr. D. Hurley||Mr. F. Twyford||Mr. B. Browne||Mrs. L. Browne|
|Mrs. R. van de Ven*||Mr. L. Robertson||Mr. C. Allen||Mr. B. Nathan*|
|Mr. I. Reid||Mr. P. Shepherd||Mr. G. Ace*||Mr. J. Briggs|
|Miss G. Davies QSM||Mrs. L. Reefman||Mr. P. Eade||Mr. J. Matthews*|
|Mr. J. Morgan*||Mrs. L. Reid||Mrs. L. Jones||Mrs. A. L. Davies|
|Mrs. T. M. Brown||Mrs. S. D. Aifai||Mr. N. L. Page*||Mrs. S. J. Page|
|Mrs. C. R. Kenah|
"*" denotes deceased
The Napier Operatic Society Theatre School (often abbreviated as NOS Theatre School) was one of the first youth theatre programmes to have been established by an existing amateur musical theatre society in New Zealand. Under the direction of Sonya Aifai since 2000, the theatre school has trained aspiring actors by casting them in yearly productions.
The Napier Operatic Society Theatre School has been nationally recognised, including in 2017 when it was awarded the Excellence in Acting award at the Junior Theatre Celebration in Auckland. Subsequently, in both 2018 and 2019, theatre school alumnus Jackson Stone was awarded Outstanding Male Performer two years in a row for his roles as Donkey in Shrek Jr., and as Don Lockwood in Singin' in the Rain Jr.. Stone, alongside of other notable theatre school members Marcus Allan, Maia Driver, and Renee Seymour, represented NOS and New Zealand at the Junior Theatre Festival in Atlanta in 2020.
Founding members of the Theatre School have gone on to perform directing roles on a local and national level; including Alice Pardoe in stage management for Taki Rua, Anne Aifai in choreography, Rachael McKinnon in directing, and Anthony Collier in directing and the establishment of Napier Theatre Company.
Theatre School productions: 2000–present
|2000||Establishment of Theatre School.||2001||Little Red Rockin' Hood, directed by Sonya Aifai.||2002||The Halfmen of O, directed by Jenny Wake.||2003||Peter Pan – The Crock Rock Musical, directed by Sonya Aifai.|
|2004||The Snow Queen, directed by Jenny Wake.||2005||Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat, directed by Sonya Aifai.||2006||The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, directed by Jenny Wake.||2007||Aladdin Jr., directed by Sonya Aifai.|
|2008||Mulan Jr., directed by Sonya Aifai.||2009||Puss'n'Kiwiboots, directed by Linstead Allen.||2010||A Midsummer Night's Dream, directed by Jenny Wake.||2011|| High School Musical Jr., directed by Sonya Aifai. |
Cinders in the 60's, directed by Sonya Aifai.
|2012||No production.||2013||Bugsy Malone, directed by Samantha Grant-Smith & Edina McFarland.||2014||Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat, directed by Sonya Aifai.||2015||The Wizard of Oz, directed by Anthony Collier.|
|2016||Annie Jr., directed by Rachel McKinnon.||2017||Beauty and the Beast Jr., directed by James Wright.||2018||Shrek Jr., directed by Sonya Aifai.||2019||Singin' in the Rain Jr., directed by Rachel McKinnon.|
|2020||Suessical Jr., directed by Jed Blundell.||2021||The Lion King Jr., directed by Sonya Aifai.||2022||Elf Jr., directed by Marcus Allan.||2023||TBA.|
- "Certificate of Incorporation". www.societies.govt.nz/.
- "Campaign: Clive Ralph – Napier Operatic Society". www.dphoto.co.nz/. Archived from the original on 9 July 2014.
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- "Beauty & a Feast for the Eyes" (PDF). www.napierlife.com/.
- "Phantom casts spell over audiences". www.nzherald.co.nz/.
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- Briggs, John. "Briggs Builders". www.briggsbuilders.co.nz.
- Wakely, Helen (1987). A Century of Shows. Dannevirke Publishing Co. Ltd. p. 20.
- "Mamma Mia! Next for New Zealand Consortium". Stage Whispers.
- "Napier Operatic Society Twitter". twitter.com/NapierOperatic.
- "Blood Brothers comes to stage in Bay". Press Reader. Napier Mail. Retrieved 28 June 2017.
- "Napier Operatic Society Photo Exhibition". Event Finder.
- "Error". nz.patronbase.com.
- "Young actors light up national stage". NZ Herald. Retrieved 3 March 2022.
- "Hawke's Bay teens selected to attend US musical theatre festival". NZ Herald. Retrieved 3 March 2022.
- "Stories | Team Napier". www.teamnapier.nz.