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October 2010


The Gilded Stage

The lecture by Daniel Snowman turned out to be a fascinating overview of the history of opera through 300 years, taking in Monteverdi, Handel, Mozart, Verdi and Wagner among others, but concentrating on how opera, combining, as it does, all the art forms, fitted into the society of the day and was used sometimes for political ends. Daniel Snowman was a charismatic speaker and we look forward to our Programmers asking him back for another lecture.

The AGM – Out with the old, in with the new

After a glass of wine in order to put us in the mood, the AGM took place before the lecture.
Our new Chairman is Judith Virgo who had to stand down from this position a few years ago because of ill health. Now recovered, she is happy to take up the reins again. Liz Pierce, our present Programme Secretary, will continue and also step up to become Vice Chairman, and our new Membership Secretary is Tina Feilden, who we also welcome as a new committee member. Pat Stuart will take over as Hon. Treasurer. Many thanks were expressed for all the hard work done by our retiring Chairman, David Wines, as well as by Patrick Halpin, our retiring Membership Secretary. We all hope things will run as smoothly “under the new management”!

Visit to Goldsmith’s Hall and London Museum

This was a very successful day out and much enjoyed in spite of a slight delay on the journey to London… A report by Fiona Musters is already on our website where you can read a detailed account of our day. And in case you ever want to remind yourselves of a visit made last year, or even two years ago, old reports are on the Visits page, Archive section.

Paul Gaugin trip on 11 November

Due the delay in the traffic on the report above, we have decided to make the departure time of this trip at 7.30a.m., not 8a.m. as previously advertised on our leaflet. Any queries please telephone Madeline Weston or email (number and email address on your Membership Card and Programme, or refer to the website Contact Us page).

Visits for the next year

The visits sub-committee will soon be working on arranging visits for next year – if any member has a suggestion for an outing that is not too far to drive by coach comfortably, and would like to suggest a day trip, please let us know. Send your suggestions to and we will be pleased to consider them.

Forthcoming Lectures

The lectures are all planned for next year, but again, suggestions for subjects are always welcome for the future. Please contact Liz Pierce our Programme Secretary (email on your Programme Card or on the website).

Change for January

Joanne Kidd who was going to give the January lecture that is announced on your card is unfortunately unable to come and we have plans for an exciting alternative that will be confirmed nearer the time.

Printing error

No one is perfect, and we must apologise for a printing error on your Programme Card! The lecture in April is on Tuesday 19th April and not 20th April. Reminders will be given nearer the time but no doubt members will have spotted this as our lectures are normally on the third Tuesday of the month.
Apologies again.

Summer is already a memory

Only one member took up the challenge to send us pictures from their summer jaunts – which makes us wonder if everyone else in the Society spent July and August in Norfolk or if they left their cameras at home!

Liz Gill did send us a selection of photos, and we have pleasure in showing two of them here. She visited Castle Howard – probably the only stately home designed by a dramatist (John Vanburgh, in case you had forgotten, but he did get some technical help from Hawksmoor). This is of course well-remembered by those who watched Brideshead on television. The other interesting house, Brantwood, at Coniston, Cumbria, belonged to the eminent John Ruskin, and is not in the same league, but it is full of his personal treasures, including paintings and furniture. If you are in those areas, they are definitely worth a visit.

Castle Howard Brantwood

Our next Lecture

Jo Walton – a guide at Tate Britain and Tate Modern – is our November lecturer and will talk to us about British Funeral Sculpture and the Making of History.

We look forward to seeing as many members as possible for what promises to be an informative evening.


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