About Burry Port Opera

To learn about the history of the operatic society, we must go back to just after the Second World War.In 1947 a decision was made to build a Memorial Hall in remembrance of those who made the ultimate sacrifice during the war. At that time money was scarce, food and clothes were rationed and improvisation was the order of the day. The council in their wisdom realised that the large hangers that had been used to store aeroplanes at Pembrey airport, were no longer in use and would make an ideal roof for a large building. That building became the Memorial Hall at Burry Port. The Operatic society started as a means to raise funds for the maintenance of the Memorial Hall, and was called “Burry Port Memorial Hall and Institute Amateur Operatic Society”, and also to educate the public in the Arts and Sciences of Opera by the presentation of opera performances.

The first opera to be performed by the society in 1951 was “Blodwen” composed in 1878 by Dr Joseph Parry. It was the first opera ever to be written completely in the welsh language. Local residents sang all the main roles with a very strong chorus.  Society members performed all principal roles until 1971, when it was decided to introduce professional artistes to the principal roles.  All proceeds from this first opera were donated to the local council towards the upkeep of the recently built Memorial Hall. Since 1951 over thirty different operas have been performed by the society, who are now known by the shortened name Burry Port Opera.  The society is a registered charity and the only one promoting grand opera in South West Wales.

Current Choral members are:-

Sopranos:
Anita Appleton, Nona Thomas, Sharon Williams, Sheila Nurton, Sian Edwards, Shannon Treharne, Rona Edwards, Marilyn Coombs, Jill Hendy, June Burks, Ann Oxcroft, Kathryn Thomas, Keren Pictop Evans 

Altos:
Bethan Jones, Jacqueline Jones,  Karen Trimble, Shirley Lewis, Susan Thomas, Carol Fletcher, Marianne Williams.
 
Tenors:
David Williams,  Malcolm Davies, Richard Hartley, Meirion Jones.

Bass:
Byron Thomas, David John, Handel Jones, Ken Marks, Neil Semmence, John Picton Evans.

Non Acting Supporters:
Brenda Rowlands, Elizabeth Samuel, Ann Lloyd, Chris & Geoff Rudge, Dudley Evans, Les Jones, Hugh Owen, Martyn Williams, Graham Davies, Brian Benbow, Bob John, Anne Jones, Meic Williams, Norman Edwards.