A word with ‘Yeomen of the Guard’ director Margaret Taylor

By Sonia Isaacs Clark

AHEAD of the Maleny Singers highly anticipated production of Gilbert and Sullivan’s comic operetta ‘Yeomen of the Guard’, GC&M News chatted with the show’s director and musical conductor Margaret Taylor about why this will be a performance not to be missed.
Margaret’s enthusiasm about the calibre and cause behind the upcoming production, which will see all proceeds from the June performances donated to the Maleny Rural Fire Brigade, is irresistibly compelling.
Margaret said this was without a doubt her favourite Gilbert and Sullivan opera, and one that has held a special place in her heart since starting her own impressive singing career with D’Oyly Carte Opera Company.

The current production harks back to where Margaret cut her musical teeth with the opera company. She learned a variety of performance aspects during her two-year opera apprenticeship with the company, which had a Gilbert and Sullivan performance focus, as she toured the world before joining the English National Opera Company.
Margaret said she felt this was arguably one of the best musical plays written, with an intriguing and highly believable plot peppered with plenty of cunning, drama, laughter and relatable characters.

“People will come away feeling happy, entertained and humming the beautiful tunes. No one else on the Sunshine Coast does productions like this, and our audience will be absolutely delighted to enjoy the quality and calibre of these shows,” Margaret said.
With four performances scheduled at the Maleny Community Centre, audience members will be enthralled with a spectacular production that includes a live orchestra accompanying the cast.

With the orchestra of 23 players and more than 30 singers performing against colourful sets and dressed in colourfully lavish Tudor costumes, it will be both wonderful and thrilling to offer audiences a production that will be aurally and visually entertaining, with all profits supporting a very worthy cause.
The community has been very supportive of the fundraising aspects of the production, with generous contributions of time and resources including the substantial donation of all the period-inspired costumes, effectively saving thousands of dollars in hire fees.

“We’ve had the community both locally and further afield rally behind supporting the rural fire service, and we’ve been lucky enough to have our costumes donated for use by the Bundaberg Players and the Western Australian Gilbert and Sullivan Society,” Margaret said.
The production was originally planned for last year but, like many live performances, was rescheduled due to COVID-19.

Margaret said that, in some ways, restrictions had been manageable for many artists as it allowed them time to focus on their craft.
For the Maleny Singers, many were able to learn the music last year with rehearsals for the current production reinstated in March this year.
This will mark close to the 20th production for the Maleny Singers who operate as a not-for-profit organisation. Performances of ‘Yeomen of the Guard’ will run at the Maleny Community Centre on Saturday, June 12 at 6.30pm, followed by 2pm performances on Sunday June 13, Saturday June 19 and Sunday June 20.
Tickets are available online via Trybooking www.trybooking.com/events/landing?eid=729088

Photo: Margaret Taylor with Ian McMaster (courtesy of Márshã Fôtògrâfië)