Gilbert & Sullivan's "The Gondoliers", or "The
King of Barataria" was first performed by Matlock & District
Operatic Society on the stage of the Cinema House (later the Ritz
Cinema) between 26th February and 1st March, 1930. The musical directors
were Lubin G. Wildgoose and his son Harold D Wildgoose and the shows
producer was Edmund Ashley. The appointment of the two Wildgoose
men for the 1930 performances was deemed to be a stroke of genius
by a newspaper columnist and Mr. Ashley's production was also said
to be of the first order.
The official photographers for the show were the local firm of W.
N. Statham & Sons. All the pictures
here, of the principal characters, were published in the Society's
official souvenir programme.
The wigs and costumes were hired from J. B. Simmons & Co. Ltd.,
King Street, Covent Garden and the scenery, which isn't shown in
any of the photos, came from Robson, Paling & Co. of Manchester.
There are twice as many principal roles in "The Gondoliers" than
in any other Gilbert and Sullivan opera, seventeen (excluding the
heralds) in total. A reviewer singled out some of them for special
must speak of that splendid quartette Miss Lily Jones, Miss C.
Clare Smith. Mr A. Moreton and Mr. E. O. Simms (see them in the
top image). We shower praises upon them, for no performance of
"The Gondoliers" can described good without Gianetta, Tessa, Marco
and Giuseppe. They were, as this quartet ever must be, if the production
is properly done, the biggest feature of the evening. ... It is
really extraordinary how Matlock and the neighbourhood can supply
so many brilliant artistes".
Alhambra del Bolero
Mr. Sam Fowkes
Mrs. J. H. Housley
Mr. Henry Askew
Mrs. E. L. Wilks
|The Duke of Plaza-Toro
Mr. A. Nicholson
|The Duchess of Plaza-Toro
Mrs. R. Lill
Henry (Harry) Askew of Chesterfield, on the left in the above
photo, was to become the musical director in the 1950s and
produced the 1956 "Gondoliers". At the time it was
suggested that it was the Society's best production in the
Clarice Lill, a newcomer in 1930, was a principal for
25 years and became a life member of the Society.
Mr. A. H. Ormen
Mr. G. B. Evans
Mr. J. E. Moreton
Mr. V. Hobbs
Miss S. King
Miss G. S. Baker
Miss M. Walker
For some reason the Wildgoose's were not reappointed for the following
season, which must have been a great personal disappointment. Lubin
Wildgoose was asked about it when the news broke and was clearly
disenchanted, though did add that he had many other musical interests.
 "Derbyshire Times," 1
March 1930. A Splendid Performance.
 "Derbyshire Times," 13
April, 1958 } from cuttings owned by the web mistress.
 "Derbyshire Times," 29
March 1957 }
 "Derby Daily Telegraph",
2 October 1930.