Australia, Barry Skelton, Gilbert and Sullivan, Grand opera, Leonard Spira, Margaret Field, Margaret Haggart, Melbourne, Oceania, Opera Australia, Stuart Challender, Victoria State Opera, Victorian Opera, Victorian Opera Company, Virginia Weekes
The Victoria State Opera, based in Melbourne, Australia was founded in Melbourne in 1962 and was called the Victorian Opera Company. The company, founded by Leonard Spira, was a move into grand opera by the then amateur Gilbert and Sullivan-oriented Victorian Light Opera Co.
It was still an Amateur company but my they were ambitious. Australian soprano, Margaret Haggart was with the company then and would go on to sing major roles with the later professional Victoria State Opera, Australian Opera and in the UK.
Albert Herring – Cast VOC 1968
|Margaret Haggart||Lady Billows|
|Florence Pike||Kathleen Cocks|
|Mr Gedge||David Smith|
|Police Superintendent Budd||David Goodridge|
|Mr Upfold, Mayor of Loxford||Brian Clough|
|Miss Wordsworth||Beverley Downie|
|Albert Herring||Ian Stapleton|
|Cis||Helen van Oosten|
The company list for the VOC production of Albert Herring in May 1968. Several names here that would go on to great careers including Stuart Challender who would go on to be one of the major conductors at the Australian Opera. A name picked from the Violins includes Virgina Weekes who became a long standing player with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra.