Portsmouth Music Festival was founded during World War I in an attempt to improve the quality of life for the citizens of Portsmouth in 1917.
Today, the Festival annually hosts performances from over 4,000 people from the community, who enjoy making music, dancing and/or acting. These contributors are almost all amateurs who wish to give pleasure and gain valuable experience by their performance and to learn from the adjudicators and from other performers. It is the largest annual community event to be staged in our city, and possibly the most educational and informative.
The 2020 Festival runs from 8 February to 7 March. Read the Portsmouth Music Festival 2020 programme.
Opera Comique was formed in Portsmouth as a charitable trust and has raised many thousands of pounds for numerous local and national causes since it was formed in 1976. Opera Comique’s personnel are all experienced Gilbert and Sullivan enthusiasts drawn from a wide area of the South of England and perform together each year.
Opera Comique has given concerts in the Portsmouth Guildhall and also in many venues in Hampshire, Sussex and Dorset including Portchester and Southsea Castles and in the Guildhall, London and at Basing House. HMS Pinafore and the Pirates of Penzance have been performed on board HMS Victory, HMS Warrior 1860 and TS Foudroyant. Overseas tours have taken Opera Comique to Duisburg in Germany, Rauma in Finland, New England USA [including Mystic Seaport, Portsmouth and Sudbury] and Venice – where the Gondoliers has been performed.
Opera Comique has on three occasions arranged events to sing through all the Gilbert and Sullivan operettas in a day, involving many different societies coming to perform an operetta. Sullivan’s rarely performed grand opera Ivanhoe has also been performed as a concert version.
The Trustees of Opera Comique are Kevin Sivyer (Director), David Francis, Laurie Kent and Nigel Smith. Ken Hick is the Honorary President.
Havant Light Opera was founded in 1978 by a team of Gilbert and Sullivan enthusiasts and continues to flourish, specialising in the works of Gilbert and Sullivan. Membership is around 35.
The society performs two stage productions a year at The Spring Arts and Heritage Centre in Havant. The summer production in June or July is usually a Gilbert & Sullivan opera, and the December production is a concert or show with a seasonal flavour.
HLO also sing a wide variety of choral music for charity concerts in churches, halls, residential homes and similar venues throughout the year.