OXOPS is a musical theatre society that specialises in large scale productions. Founded in 1907, OXOPS has become an established amateur theatre group in the Oxford theatre scene.
Interested in our history? Find out more below.
A little history:
The society started life as the City of Oxford Amateur Dramatic Club.
The society split in two, forming the Oxford Amateur Dramatic Society and the Oxford Operatic Society.
1929 – 1932
The two societies amalgamated again and became known as the Oxford Dramatic and Operatic Society. Their first production was Merrie England, performed at The New Theatre.
1932 – 1938
The New Theatre was pulled down and the society has to move to the Old Oxford Playhouse (known as the Red Barn) on the Woodstock Road, until the outbreak of the Second World War. Shows during this time included The Yeomen of the Guard, Tantivy Towers, Veronique and The Mikado.
Oxford Operatic Society was reformed, largely due to the efforts of Percy Walters, George Walker and Bill Sawyer. The first production again was Merrie England, performed at The Oxford Town Hall. Five further productions were produced at this venue.
Oxford Operatic Society performed for the first time at the the Oxford Playhouse. The show was The Mikado.
The society decided to perform two productions a year – one in the Spring and one in the Autumn.
The society performed at St Edward’s School and put on three shows at The Apollo Theatre in Oxford during the closure of The Playhouse.
Oxford Operatic Youth Theatre was founded with a grant from Oxford Operatic Society, with the aim of providing a chance for talented young people to perform on a professional stage. Oxford Operatic Society Committee members Alan Gray and Barbara & Rod Denton were pivotal in its set up and Rod & Barbara continued to work with the group for many years afterwards. This group is now known as the Musical Youth Company of Oxford although there are no longer formal links we continue to share a close affinity.
Oxford Operatic Society incorporated OXOPS into their society name to modernise the brand.
Nowadays, the Society regularly performs in both the Oxford Playhouse and the New Theatre, performing a mixture of opera, operetta and musical theatre favourites, and not forgetting the occasional concert!