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Friday, 2 May 2014

Sepia Saturday - Let the Merry Cymbals Sound

Sepia Saturday give bloggers an opportunity to share their family history through photographs

When  I saw this week's prompt,  it reminded me of only one photograph in my collection.  Here I am in the opening chorus of Gilbert & Sullivan's "Patience" which is a skit on Oscar Wilde and the aesthetic  movement. I am one of the  "20 lovesick maidens we" - second standing figure  on the right, plucking my cardboard lyre.

 A chorus from the Act One finale perfectly echos the prompt picture as we came on stage singing

"Let the merry cymbals sound
Gaily pipe Pandean pleasure
With a Daphenphoric bound
Tread a gay but classic measure"

Our affections and affections change and by the end of the show we  have forsaken our medieval drapery  for brighter everyday garb  - mine  (third from the right) was rather a garish red stuart tartan dress with a bustle and lots of ruffles which I was told to take home and press - a pain to do.  

High School introduced me to Gilbert & Sullivan (also a favourite of my mother's)   and I was "hooked", singing in most of the operas over the years.  Today G & S has fallen out of favour with young ones, but it was such fun, happy to sing, even better to take part in a production  and I defy anyone not to feel uplifted afterwards. 

At University, I joined the  Savoy Opera Group and the annual G & S performances were the highlight of my year.  I loved taking part in them - the dressing up (the girls made their own costumes), the singing and some dancing, plus the camaraderie and friendships built up over intensive rehearsals.   We thought we were great!  

I remain a great Gilbert and Sullivan fan - 
but my stage performances have long since passed.

Skip over to Sepia Saturday to discover other bloggers' stories
of ladies dancing, cymbals clashing and white dresses flowing


  1. How absolutely perfect for you. What fun that must have been too. It's great when our themes bring out true stories from our friends here!

  2. How well I know, as you, the fun & reward of playing parts on the stage . . . especially when music & comedy are involved. I once had a friend who said comedies, melodramas, & musicals weren't "real" acting. Balderdash!!!

  3. How clever to pick up onthe cymbals part of the theme, and how lucky to be in a G&S production ( I wish I’d kept all my programmes). My mum used to take me to the theatre to see Doyley Carte Opera productions so I grew up withy G&S. Luckily my husband enjoys them too and we had the march from Iolanthe as our wedding anthem!

  4. I've never seen "Patience" and now you've made me curious. One of the pleasures of Sepia Saturday. You must have a very good voice.

  5. The little cymbals must sound merrier than the big ones that are used in bands and orchestras.

  6. Fortunately amateur theatre is still alive and well. A wonderful outlet for all involved, whether on-stage or back of stage. You have some wonderful memories.

  7. A wonderful pickup on the theme. Gilbert & Sullivan will make a comeback when new generations discover that their witty songs can be adapted for any era.

  8. Love love love G & S. A friend's mother used to take us with her to see performances. So much fun. Last year and raced out and puchased copies of some of the ones I didn't already have. Drives the menfolk a bit mad so I have to wait for them to leave before I put them on the turntable.

  9. I was in a couple of G & S productions when I was at school but as far as I know there aren't any photos. 'Trial by Jury' was one of them - short and a lot of fun.

  10. Thank you to everyone for their kind comments. I especially enjoyed hearing from fellow G & S enthusiasts - let's keep their music alive!

  11. I love how the Sepia Saturday prompts inspire everyone, and your post especially. Your personal experience and photos are so interesting, and they inspired such a lively discussion about the theater.

  12. I am another G&S fan, though I think I appreciated it more after high school.

  13. I've never seen any Gilbert and Sullivan, although I've heard the songs. It sounds like you had a good time with it.

    1. Really? NEVER???
      You'd enjoy this so much!!!
      It's timeless!!!

  14. Great experiences and memories. Perfect Sepia Saturday material.

  15. How fun that the first photo is black and white and the second is in color. Seems to suit the story line. I must search out some Gilbert and Sullivan -- I can't remember seeing/watching/hearing (though I'm sure I must have and just didn't know it). Was your mom able to help with your costume? I remember from a previous post that she sewed very well.

  16. G&S RULE! do you still have the cardboard lyre?

  17. What a fabulous photo for the prompt.
    Oh I wish I could sing!

  18. Lots of happy memories for you, such along time now since I've seen any G and S, but always enjoyed them, and have many of them on vinyl.

  19. You have my respect for being in G&S!!!
    I bow to you!!!

  20. http://youtu.be/FmiXDXibJGs

    it should situate everyone as to what "Patience" was all about.


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