January 23, 2015

The History of NOS

Established in 1887, Napier Operatic Society is the second oldest-existing theatrical society in New Zealand, and is nationally renowned for its critically acclaimed professional-quality productions.

The earliest known theatre company in Napier was the Napier Theatre Co., which in 1883, along with the Napier Musical Society and the Napier Amateur Drama Club combined to create the Theatre Royal. The Theatre Royal made its debut with the musicalTrial by Jury, and out of this the Napier Operatic Society was born.

Most of the early productions were Gilbert and Sullivan plays, with the first production at the new Napier Municipal Theatre being A Greek Slave in 1912. The 1800 capacity of the Napier Municipal Theatre was noted to have been “frequently taxed to the uttermost”, especially by people who drive in from the country areas. Due to the onset of World War I, The Blue Moon was the last production by Napier Operatic Society until 1921.

The 1931 Napier Earthquake caused significant damage to the Napier Municipal Theatre, contributing to Napier Operatic’s hiatus until 1937. A Special General Meeting was held on the 14th of October, 1937 where it was unanimously decided to revive the society. The first production in over 7 years, Rio Rita, was performed at the newly built Napier Municipal Theatre. Since then, with the exception of duringWorld War II until 1953, there has been at least one production put on by Napier Operatic Society every year.

Napier Operatic Society has staged many hit musicals in recent years, including Les Misérables,42nd Street, Chicago, Cats, Beauty and the Beast, Miss Saigon, The Phantom of the Opera, andMamma Mia!. Evita has been announced as the first production of 2015, with the Napier Operatic Society’s Theatre School show in 2015 being the society’s 150th production.

The society is based at The Tabard Theatre, which underwent extensive renovations completed in April 1994 – an extended rehearsal room, wardrobe hire, workshop, and restaurant-theatre complex were completed during the 5 year project. The Napier Operatic Society produces multiple productions a year, and has done a major stage-show every year since 1887, with the exception of several years throughout the 20th century during overseas conflict and the aftermath of natural disaster.

Productions: 1887 – Present Day

1887 The Sorcerer 1888 No production. 1889 The Mikado
1890 Rip Van Winkle
1891 The Mikado
Madame Favart
1892 No production. 1893 Rip Van Winkle
Les Cloches de Cornville
1894-1907 No productions.
1908 The Gondoliers 1909 The Mikado 1910 The Geisha 1911 The Runaway Girl
1912 A Greek Slave 1913 Toreador 1914 Miss Hook of Holland 1915 The Blue Moon
1916-1920 No productions. 1921 The Geisha 1922 No production. 1923 A Country Girl
1924 Floradora 1925-1927 No productions. 1928 The Arcadians 1929 The Sunshine Girl
1930 Our Miss Gibbs 1931-1937 No productions. 1938 Rio Rita 1939 The Belle of New York
1940 Boots and All 1941-1953 No productions. 1954 Chu Chin Chow 1955 Desert Song
1956 The New Moon 1957 Oklahoma 1958 Love from Judy 1959 The Vegabond King
1960 White Horse Inn 1961 Kismet 1962 The Music Man 1963 Where’s Charley
The Merry Widow
1964 The Maid of the Mountains 1965 Annie Get Your Gun 1966 Amahal and the Night Visitors 1967 Little Mary Sunshine
1968 The Sound of Music 1969 Camelot 1970 Pink Champagne 1971 South Pacific
1972 Oliver! 1973 Fiddler on the Roof 1974 My Fair Lady 1975 Man of La Mancha
1976 Pirates of Penzance
Music Hall
1977 Oops Titipu
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat
1978 Oh, What a Lovely War! 1979 The Great Waltz
1980 Jesus Christ Superstar 1981 HMS Pinafore
Hans Christian Andersen
1982 Cabaret
1983 Annie
1984 Man of La Mancha 1985 The Gingerbread Man
1986 Mack and Mabel 1987 The Sorcerer
1988 Oliver!
An Evening with Gershwin
1989 Grease 1990 The Fantastiks
1991 Tom Jones
Me and My Girl
1992 Jerome Kern
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat
1993 Nunsense
West Side Story
A Place on Earth
1994 Canterbury Tales
1995 Les Misérables
A Slice of Saturday Night
1996 Stepping Out
Love off the Shelf
1997 42nd Street 1998 The Pirates of Penzance
Dirty Weekends
1999 The Mikado
Jesus Christ Superstar
2000 HMS Pinafore
West End to Broadway
2001 Sweeny Todd
Return to the Forbidden Planet
Moby Dick
2002 Blood Brothers
Les Misérables
Some Enchanted Evening
2003 Buddy
Little Shop of Horrors
2004 A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum
The Odd Couple
2005 My Fair Lady
The Full Monty
2006 The Threepenny Opera
The Boy Friend
Back to the 80’s
2007 Beauty and the Beast
2008 The Producers
Thoroughly Modern Millie
2009 Dinner with the Duke
If You’re Irish
An ANZAC Tribute
Miss Saigon
2010 The Wedding Singer
Bad Girls
2011 42nd Street
2012 Spamalot
2013 Hairspray[13]
The Phantom of the Opera
2014 Young Frankenstein
Mamma Mia!
2015 Evita
A Chorus Line
Forbidden Broadway

Theatre School Productions: 2000 – Present Day


2000 Establishment of Theatre School. 2001 Little Red Rockin’ Hood 2002 The Halfmen of O 2003 Peter Pan – The Crock Rock Musical
2004 The Snow Queen 2005 Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat 2006 The Wonderful Wiz of Oz 2007 Aladdin Jr.
2008 Mulan Jr. 2009 Puss’n’Kiwiboots 2010 A Midsummer Night’s Dream 2011 High School Musical Jr.
Cinders in the 60’s
2012 No production. 2013 Bugsy Malone 2014 Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat 2015 The Wizard of Oz