Summerland museum shares a look back at a 1975 Singers and Players' production

Theatre runs over a century

In anticipation of this summer's performance of Murder on the Rails, the Summerland Museum & Archives Society shared a look back to March 1975 and the Summerland Singers and Players' production of HMS Pinafore.

Originally starting up in 1913, the Summerland Singers and Players, then called the Summerland Operatic Society, were started by settlers.

"The original settlers in Summerland were wealthy, respected citizens from England. They brought with them a tradition of theatre in which Gilbert and Sullivan Operas were a very big part," the museum archives read.

Their first ever production was The Mikado, and performances of Gilbert and Sullivan operas became something of a Summerland tradition, according to the museum.

The photo from 1975 shows the stage with actors dressed in sailing regalia for the performance of HMS Pinafore. According to the English National Opera, the production tells the story of Josephine, the daughter of Captain Corcoran, who falls for lowly sailor Ralph Rackstraw. She’s torn between her true love, and her father’s desire for her to marry Sir Joseph Porter, the First Lord of the Admiralty.

The files of the past performances for the society show that this production was put on many times by the society, going back as early as 1924.

Once the operatic society decided that their name would change to The Summerland Singers and Players, the group was able to expand its repertoire to a wider selection of performances.

After more than a century of performances, the group is still thriving and continues to put on productions.

The Singers and Players have just released details of this summer's performance of Murder on the Rails, set on the Kettle Valley Steam Railway.

For more information on the history of the Singers and Players, check out the museum's digitalized files online here.

For more information on upcoming performances by the Singers and Players, visit their website here.

The Summerland Museum & Archives Society shares photos and information from their archives every week for throwback Thursday on their social media, which can be found online here.

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