Your chance to join Ripon Operatics for Godspell

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Award-winning musical society Ripon Amateur Operatic Society are certainly taking their big anniversary year by the scruff of the neck.

And they’ve inviting everyone to join in the fun, writes Graham Chalmers.

Specifically, they’re looking for new members to take part in their autumn show.

As part of their on going 75th Anniversary celebrations, the RAOS are performing famous 1970s rock musical Godspell at Ripon Cathedral from October 9-10.

Based on the parables of the gospel of Matthew with heart-warming hit songs such as Day by Day and Light of the World, it will be the second show of Ripon Operatics’ milestone 75th anniversary year following the success of Crazy For You at Harrogate Theatre recently.

It’s a timely choice for RAOS. Godspell has recently returned to theatre-goers’ favour having been a world-wide sensation more than 40 years ago.

An ‘in concert’ version by Stephen Schwartz, the Grammy and Academy Award-winning composer of Wicked, is currently on tour across the UK having being launched at Hackney Empire in London at Easter.

Ripon Operatics’ member Hannah Ruddy said: “We are excited to be returning to Ripon Cathedral where we performed Jesus Christ Superstar to a sell-out crowd back in 2010.

“Our version promises to be an artistically unique and powerful show in such a setting of Ripon Cathedral and we’d love new members to join in the fun.”

It’s proving to be a memorable year in many ways for RASO.

They are now happily ensconced in their brand new headquarters at Allhallowgate in Ripon at the former British Legion building on Allhallowgate and are now well into the process of creating a purpose-built, all singing all dancing new venue.

It’s a huge step forward for an organisation which began its life during the Second World War and was rehearsing in a humble hut as recently as the 1960s.

Having been supported by its home city, the RAOS aim are now repaying that support by making their new home available to loxal community groups.

Anyone interested in judging the new facility for themselves should come along to watch this year’s summer concert there by Ripon Youth Theatre, the RAOS’s junior section, l in July.

And this anniversary year is also a year of social celebrations for RAOS members.

June sees a Midsummer’s Ball at Ripon Spa Hotel while November sees a 1940s Dance in their new venue.

Ripon Amateur Operatics Society is now looking for singers and dancers to come along to the first rehearsal for Godspell tomorrow, Friday, May 8 at 7.30pm.

If you are interested or require more information, emailing riponoperatics@yahoo.co.uk or visit www.riponoperatics.org