Early days of WKLOS                                              

WKLOS was formed in 1950 and was affiliated to NODA from its founding. 



Its first show was 'The Gipsy Princess' and was performed at the Winter Gardens,
Hoylake from Monday 16th April 1951 to Saturday 21st April 1951.  
Evening performances were at 7.15, with a Saturday Matinee at 2.15.

The first Chairman was Dr R Eldred Witt M.A. and in his programme notes he said
'More than 12 months hard work has gone into this production.  It is the first Light Opera to be produced by the WKLOS and it is also the first full-scale musical show which amateurs in the Hoylake district have given for over 20 years. We sincerely hope that our efforts will meet with your approval and win your support for our future operatic activities'.

 

Dr R Eldred Witt M.A. ( headmaster of Calday Grange GS 1945-53 )


Listed in the programme for the first production were;-

81 founder members including J Selwyn Lloyd Esq K.C. M.P. the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs at the time.  

32 Patrons. Patrons were charged 3 guineas and were promised 'four top price seats for each annual production'

171 subscribers ( with the added note 'and many others received too late for inclusion' ) They could obtain priority 
booking by paying for their seats in advance.

Associate membership cost 7/6 per year. Playing members ( subject to audition ) subscription 10/6 per year.

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'The Gipsy Princess' had 53 performers on stage:-
13 principals,
22 female chorus 
12 male chorus
6 dancers

The programme photograph showed the gentlemen in evening suits & the ladies in evening dresses.



The local paper 'The West Kirby Advertiser' welcoming the new society said 'our new-born Opera Society which seems to have set its feet unerringly on the path to popularity and success via genuine achievement'

The Liverpool Echo said 'The debut of an operatic society is an event. Only those concerned with the inner workings can have the least idea of the heart searchings the sweat, toil and anxiety involved before such an undertaking can be launched. This new group.......has made an auspicious start....and augurs well for the future of a society which I hope has come to stay'

The programme reminded the audience that 'Gifts of Flowers etc for members of the Company may be handed in at the Stage Door for presentation after the performance. THEY WILL NOT BE PRESENTED OVER THE FOOTLIGHTS' 

The week after the WKLOS vacated the Winter Gardens, patrons could see the film 
'Harvey' starring James Stewart., followed by Joan Fontaine in 'Born to be Bad'

The production was produced by Maurice Lowenthal, its MD was Harold Wortley, 
with Ballet and Dancing Ensembles by Laura Wickes M.B.B.O.



                                                                                
       The full cast

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Coronation Concert

The Society celebrated the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II at a special concert at the Kingsway Cinema in Hoylake, in conjunction with the Hoylake Symphony Orchestra, where a patriotic programme was presented.

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