The photo shows Jane Streeton as Ellen Orford and George Kendrick as John, The Apprentice, in our 2005 production of Peter Grimes. Back in 1984 we had also staged Peter Grimes. Jane Streeton has sung many roles for us over the years and has remained a loyal supporter of Surrey Opera, even when she has not been on stage with us!
George Kendrick was a pupil at Whitgift School, Croydon at the time of our 2005 production and, curiously, found himself standing next to the original Apprentice, from Britten’s première production, at our after ‘show’ Reception at The Harlequin, Redhill. The late Anthea Hall, our wonderful Administrator for so many years, was ‘fixing’ the orchestra for Grimes, when she found herself speaking to a trombonist, by the name of Steve Thompson, who said that he very much regretted not being able to play in our production, as his uncle, Leonard Thompson, had been Britten’s original Apprentice. Well, this was too good an opportunity to miss so I, of course, got in touch with Leonard and asked him if he would be able to attend one of our performances, which he duly did – but discreetly, as I didn’t want George to know. At the said Reception I asked Leonard to place himself subtly close to George and after saying a few, well deserved, thank yous to folk I asked George if he had any idea who might be standing next to him and, would you believe it, he guessed who it was. Leonard was, understandably, thrilled and so were we – i.e. that he had been able to join us and share a rather special moment. JB.