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York Light and York Opera will come together on Sunday 15 November for An Evening of Song, a very special fundraising concert in aid of the York Theatre Royal capital fundraising appeal. The two companies are amongst the oldest amateur companies in the city and both have a long association with the theatre.  They will perform in the De Grey Rooms Ballroom as individual companies, before joining forces for the very first time for a show-stopping finale.

York Light Opera Society was founded in 1953, with a performance of No, No Nanette staged at the Empire Theatre (now the Grand Opera House) in March the following year.  The Society moved to York Theatre Royal in 1960 with a production of Brigadoon and has played there for two weeks each year, ever since.  York Opera was formed in 1966 under the name of City Opera Group, York. It was created to fill a perceived gap in the musical life of the city: while there were two first-rate amateur companies performing musicals, there was no opportunity for those wanting to sing opera. In 1986, they moved their main annual production to York Theatre Royal.

Geoff Turner, Chairman of York Light said:

Throughout our history, we have built an enviable reputation for producing shows to a professional standard and take great pride in continuing our tradition of bringing brand new musicals to York Theatre Royal, as well as breathing new life into old favourites.  York Light is proud to be joining with York Opera to support the redevelopment of this lovely theatre.

Hilary Dyson, Chairman of York Opera said:

It is a pleasure to be able to join forces with York Light for this venture; we are privileged to be able to perform at York Theatre Royal and so are proud to be able to contribute directly to fundraising for the capital project.

York Theatre Royal’s re-development will cost £4.1 million and in October 2014 the theatre launched a public fundraising appeal to raise the last £500,000 still needed. Since then a wide range of groups and members of the public have donated their time and money; including almost £19,000 via bucket collections by the audiences of The Railway Children and In Fog and Falling Snow this summer.

Vicky Biles, General Manager at York Theatre Royal said:

We are extremely grateful to York Light and York Opera for giving their time and their voices to support our fundraising appeal.  We currently have just £65,000 left to raise thanks to the generosity of the public and all our supporters. An Evening of Song will not only be an entertaining night for the audience, it will also help to raise vital funds which will help to ensure we see both companies back on stage at York Theatre Royal in 2016.

An Evening of Song takes place on Sunday 15 November at 7.30pm at the De Grey Rooms Ballroom.  Tickets are on sale now priced £10 with an optional suggested donation of £5 which may be eligible for Gift Aid.  All proceeds go towards the capital fundraising appeal.