OXOPS – Oxford Operatic Society – is a musical theatre society that prides itself on staging high-quality theatre for members and audiences alike.
OXOPS has become an established theatre group in the Oxford theatre scene, bringing together talent from across Oxfordshire to perform a range of productions from Carmen to Avenue Q.
It is a diverse and inclusive charity that provides opportunities for its members to perform a wide range of musicals and concerts that inspire and engage its membership, the wider OXOPS family and audiences.
Life in the society
By joining OXOPS, not only will you get the chance to perform in some of Oxford’s top venues, but you will also become part of a friendly community of theatre lovers!
It also offers members the chance to take up opportunities on our creative teams, backstage and our committee.
Outside of regular rehearsals, OXOPS puts on a range of social events throughout the year, such as summer parties, quiz nights, workshops and more.
A little history
The society started life in 1907 as the City of Oxford Amateur Dramatic Club, later becoming the Oxford Dramatic and Operatic Society. Under this name, its first production was Merrie England, performed at The New Theatre.
In 1946, the 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 Oxford Playhouse in 1950. The show was The Mikado.
In 1978 the society decided to perform two productions a year – one in the Spring and one in Autumn – and have continued this tradition most years since.
In 1988, Oxford Operatic Youth Theatre was founded with a grant from the Oxford Operatic Society, with the aim of providing a chance for talented young people to perform on a professional stage.
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, continue to share a close affinity.
In 2016, the Oxford Operatic Society incorporated OXOPS into its society name to modernise the brand. Nowadays, the Society regularly performs in both the Oxford Playhouse and the New Theatre, performing a mixture of musical theatre favourites and not forgetting the occasional opera or concert!