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Operatic Society celebrates a century of performances at the Napier Municipal Theatre

Operatic Society celebrates a century of performances at the Napier Municipal Theatre
March 19, 2013

Many memories can be created over 100 years, particularly for The Napier Operatic Society as it celebrates a century of producing shows that have graced the stage of the Napier Municipal Theatre.

Tucked away in various hallways and rooms of the Napier Operatic Society's home at the Tabard Theatre is a very spectacular photographic collection.

Normally only for eyes of members, the collection has now taken 'stage' and is on display in the foyer at the Napier Municipal Theatre.

The collection of 54 photographs, taken by the late James White and more recently Clive Ralph, portray many of the productions that were staged at Municipal Theatre from 1912 to 2012.

Society President Marc Collier says that it's an absolute pleasure to move the photo collection to the Municipal Theatre for all to come and appreciate, stating "as we reflect over a long history of shows held at the Municipal Theatre it really highlights the amazing talent we have here in Hawke's Bay.

"It's enabled us to put together productions of an extremely professional standard, equivalent in most cases to what you'd experience all around the world."

The photographic exhibition will come to the fore prior to the opening of 'Hairspray' on Thursday 25th April - the Napier Operatic Society's 70th production to be shown at the Napier Municipal Theatre and will be followed by Phantom of the Opera in September.

Theatre Manager Glenys Fraser couldn't believe it when she first saw the photographic collection at the Tabard Theatre recently.

She recalls "we've been looking for historic memories to celebrate the 100th year of the Municipal Theatre and when I saw the amazing photos at the Tabard Theatre I just couldn't believe our luck.

"They tell so much about the history of people, costumes and advancements in technology - it will be lovely to share them with everyone".

Napier Mayor Barbara Arnott is delighted to see the exhibition on display as it shows such a long history of association between the Theatre and the Napier Operatic Society.

Mayor Arnott explained "the extensive relationship between the two organisations is reflected in each photo on display.

"Napier is so fortunate to have a dedicated theatrical society that can produce extremely professional shows and that is reflected in the success of productions at the Theatre."

Many of the photographs featured are framed using timber collected from the renovations at Tabard Theatre in 1994 and many have their sponsor noted on the frame.

The Napier Operatic Society Photographic Exhibition is on display at the Napier Municipal Theatre until the end of June 2013.

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