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The Merry Widow


There were two performances of Franz Lehar's timeless operetta - on Saturday, October 30th 2004 and the following night.
The four principal roles were taken by Joanne Dexter (Anna), Victoria Sharp (Valencienne), Dominic Burns (Danilo) and Justin Miles-Olden (Camille).

This was the first time members of Opera North had joined forces with amateur singers in this way in the Aireborough area, and we were surprised by the demand for tickets.

"[GAOS] always shone in the realm of singing ... this tradition came to the fore ... The four-part singing throughout was impressive and gave us a wonderful sound."
Val Pennett, Airedale & Wharfedale Observer, November 4th 2004

Joanne Dexter
Joanne Dexter studied music at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music & Drama. She has sung with several companies, including English Touring Opera, Pavilion Opera, Les Azuriales Opera and Covent Garden. She appeared on the TV series Masterclass with Sir Thomas Allen, and has recently sung First Lady in a new recording of Idomeneo for Chandos. She joined Opera North in 1997.

Dominic Burns
Dominic Burns, who took the role of Danilo, first appeared on Guiseley Stage in 1988. He was a playing member of GAOS for our production of The New Moon. He has performed several roles for Opera North, including Dancairo (Carmen), Giorgio (The Thieving Magpie) and Marchese (La Traviata). Dominic made a welcome return to his roots for this special concert.

Victoria Sharpe
Victoria has appeared at the Edinburgh Festival, the Cheltenham Festival, the Royal Albert Hall and the Queen Elizabeth Hall. Her roles for Opera North include Barbarina (Le Nozze di Figaro), Despina (Cosi Fan Tutti) and Fasquita (Carmen). Future engagements include a performance of Turandot in which she will sing the title role.

Justin Miles-Olden
After leaving King's College, London, Justin sang for several companies, including English Touring Opera, D'Oyly Carte and British Youth Opera at Covent Garden. He moved to Yorkshire in 2000 to join Opera North where he has undertaken several roles and covers, including Spirit Of The Masque (Gloriana), Ein Junger Semann/Ein Hirt (Tristan) and Albert (Albert Herring).

Margaret Dexter (Musical Director)
Margaret has been involved in music as a singer since early childhood. She studied with Elsie Thurston at the then Royal College of Music in Manchester and Eric Godley of Harrogate. Much of her work has been as a soloist on the Concert platform singing most of the major Oratorios and choral works throughout Yorkshire and beyond. Margaret is Chairman of GAOS and in the past was Musical Director for twelve of the Society's productions.

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