Benfleet Operatic Society began in 1956 as the Benfleet Methodist Choral Society and productions were staged in the tiny church hall. Our first performance was Christmas Music from Handel's Messiah. Dick Guy was organist and Marian Mitchell took the baton, which she held almost continually until her death in 1995. Our first Gilbert and Sullivan production was The Sorcerer in 1957 and we are delighted that some of the cast from this original production are still with us 50 years later! Some years later we changed our name to Benfleet Operatic Society and in 1970 moved from the church hall to the larger Appleton Theatre in Benfleet and occasionally other venues such as The Paddocks Theatre on Canvey and even the Albert Hall. During the 80's we started performing more ambitious Musical Shows, such as Oliver!, Fiddler on the Roof, Half A Sixpence, The Music Man, Scrooge, Anything Goes, The Pajama Game, Kiss Me Kate, etc. A complete list of all our past productions can be found by clicking here.
We are affiliated with NODA (National Operatic and Dramatic Association), and a representative always attends one of our shows. We have received a number of NODA awards. Most recently Dave Roberts wasHighly Commended for his moving performance as Ebenezer Scrooge in Scrooge - The Musical. Prior to that both Keith and Robin Mitchell received the Best Individual Performer award for Fiddler on the Roofand Music Man respectively. We have also received the Best Chorus award for Orpheus in the Underworld and Iolanthe.
We have been privileged to work with some very talented Producers and MDs, including Keith Mitchell, Malcolm Hiscock, Stuart Fraser, Claire Penfold, Hilary Williams, Simon Riches and Tom Marshall and Hilary Pell, both of whom are generally associated with the Leigh Orpheus Male Choir.
We always welcome new members of all voices. Most people are convinced that they can’t sing, but very soon are pleasantly surprised with what they can achieve. If you would like to find out more please Contact Us.