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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
Sid Barry Skelton
Nancy Margaret Field
Albert Herring Ian Stapleton
Emmie Loris Stacey
Cis Helen van Oosten
Harry Mark Skelton

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.

AlbertHerring_VOC_1965

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