Tuesday, 15 June 2021

THE 244th meeting of the club was held at Badgemore Park Golf Club on Thursday, December 8.

Members were welcomed to the Christmas meeting by the chairman, who announced that a previous chairman, Dorothy Woods, had been admitted to hospital.

Dorothy was much admired for the stoical way in which she had attended and chaired meetings during a severe illness.

Joy Stubbs, another previous chairman (prior to Dorothy), had just celebrated her 92nd birthday at Tower House in Shiplake, where she is a resident.

The chairman announced that she had met the golf club’s newly appointed events manager, Adam.

Also, as is customary at the December meeting, she had arranged for the club chef to come upstairs towards the end of lunch to be presented with a cheque for £140 from the Probus Club for the catering staff.

Finally, the chairman reminded members that the next meeting would be held on Thursday, January 12 when Dion Melck would be giving a talk about Speaker’s House in Hart Street, Henley, where he lives.

Then Robin John was introduced and invited to make a presentation on “Women in opera”.

Skilfully planned, the talk was divided into two sections — tragic heroines of opera and triumphant heroines of opera.

Extracts from videos were played following an explanation from Robin of the theme of each opera shown.

The first illustration of a tragic heroine in an opera was that of Maria Callas singing the gypsy from Carmen.

Further examples in the tragic section were of Puccini’s Tosca as well as Verdi’s Aida and Rigoletto.

Similarly, triumphant heroines were displayed, ranging from Beethoven’s Fidelio to Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro.

The whole presentation was well received and Robin took a number of questions.

The meeting closed to be followed by Christmas lunch.

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