Curtain down after 120 years

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After 120 years of musical theatre production, Derby Opera Company, the county’s oldest amateur theatre company and the second oldest in the East Midlands, is taking its final bow.

Financial losses and a lack of volunteers to run the company have forced this decision.

Company chairman Steve Dunning explained: “We have tried really hard to keep the company going but it has come to the point where we just cannot continue.

“Our aim has been to put on top quality shows which have not been seen in Derby, but unfortunately most of them have lost money. Last year’s show – ʻThe Producersʼ – was acclaimed an artistic triumph and won two Eagle Awards, but only 50 per cent of the seats were sold and the production lost £14,000.

“The same happened with ʻJekyll and Hydeʼ(2006) and ʻOur Houseʼ (2010). Only The Full Montyʼin 2008 made a profit.

“We have also struggled to find enough members to help run the company, so we have decided, with great sadness and reluctance, to call it a day.

“But we are going to bow out in style with a Celebration Dinner this autumn which will celebrate 120 years of Derby Opera Company.

“For this Dinner we want to get former members of Derby Opera Company to join us to make this a really special evening.”

Derby Opera Company was formed in 1891 and has performed almost every year since then. It has staged its shows at the city’s premier venues including the Grand Theatre on Babington Lane, The Hippodrome on Green Lane, The Gaumont/Odeon on London Road, Derby Theatre (formerly Derby Playhouse) and the Assembly Rooms.

The Company changed its name to DOC The Musical Theatre Company in 2010.

Former members of Derby Opera Company interested in attending the Celebration Dinner should contact the secretary on 01773 826354.