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Princess Ida

princess ida.jpg



Good evening all and welcome to our Summer Concert which is a step out of our usual choral repertoire into something far sillier and we love it. As always we continue in our mission to celebrate and develop the talents of the musicians in our choir and tonight we applaud the talents of Sarah, Lisa, Lesley, Alison, Andrew, Alan, Leo, John, Chris, Graham James & Peter who sing solo for us and we are delighted to have our great friend Heather Toyn on piano. You will notice that there is often more than one person singing a certain character in order to give as many of our lovely voices in the choir a chance to sing solo. We continue to follow our concert model of an hour or so of music followed by a glass of fizz and tonight there is also cheese!!

There are always so many people to thank when putting together a concert like this and I would like to extend my gratitude to all the wonderful committee of NCS who work tirelessly to support myself and the choir and to our fabulous accompanist Heather Toyn who has helped us enormously in rehearsals this term. I would also like to extend our thanks to our hosts at St. John's. We love being part of the St. John's family and hope to be so for many more years to come. 

I do hope you enjoy our concert this evening. Our next concert will be our Christmas Concert on December 9th at 6pm with the sublime Mozart Coronation Mass.  We have many events throughout the year which can be discovered via our website. Enjoy the concert and we hope to see you again soon.


Julie Bale Choral Director

Princess Ida

  W.S. Gilbert & Arthur Sullivan



Chorus and Solo - Search Throughout The Panorama -  Leo Hodes

Song - Hilarion -  Today We Meet - Andrew Bale

Song - Gama  - If You Give Me Your Attention - John Ling

Finale - Chorus - Gama - John Ling, Hildebrand - Chris Dutton, Cyril - Alan Powell, Florian - Leo Hodes, Hilarion - Andrew Bale 

Chorus - Mighty Maiden With A Mission

Song - Princess -  Minerva! O Hear Me - Lisa Cuschieri

Song - Blanche - Come Mighty Must - Alison Atkinson

Trio - Cyril, Hilarion, Florian - Gently, Gently - Alan Powell, Andrew Bale, James Gray

Quartet - Princess, Cyril, Hilarion, Florian - The World is But a Broken Toy - Sarah Brameld, Andrew Bale,  Leo Hodes, James Gray

Chorus - The Woman of the Wisest Wit 

Duet -  Now Wouldn’t You Like - Melissa - Lesley Dutton, Blanche -Alison Atkinson

Chorus - Death To The Invader - Melissa - Lesley Dutton

Song  Whene’er I Spoke - Gama - Peter Warwick

Song -  I Built Upon A Rock - Ida - Sarah Brameld

Chorus - When Anger Spreads His Wing 

Duet - This Helmet I Suppose -   Chris Dutton & Graham Wheeler

Chorus  - With Joy Abiding - Hilarion - Andrew Bale, Ida - Sarah Brameld



In a pavilion at King Hildebrand's palace, courtiers wait expectantly for the arrival of King Gama and his daughter Princess Ida, who was betrothed in infancy to Hildebrand's son, Prince Hilarion ("Search throughout the panorama"). Hildebrand promises to wage war against Gama if the Princess should fail to appear  while Hilarion, who is in love with Ida, although he has not seen her since he was two years old, wonders how she may have changed over the ensuing twenty years ("Ida was a twelvemonth-old"). King Gama enters, explains his misanthropy ("If you give me your attention I will tell you what I am"), and promptly displays it by insulting Hildebrand and his son. He then announces that Princess Ida has forsworn men and founded a women's university at Castle Adamant, one of his many country houses. The two Kings advise Hilarion to go to Castle Adamant to claim Ida; if she refuses him, Hildebrand will storm the castle ("P'raps if you address the lady"). But Hilarion plans to use romantic means, rather than force, to gain the princess's love. He explains that nature has "armed" him and his friends, the courtiers Cyril and Florian, to win this "war" ("Expressive glances will be our lances"). The three set off to Castle Adamant, while King Gama and his sons are to remain at Hildebrand's palace as hostages.

At Castle Adamant, Princess Ida's pupils learn that "man is nature's sole mistake". One of the Professors, Lady Blanche, doles out the punishments for the day, for "offences" that include bringing chessmen to the university – "men with whom you give each other mate" – and for sketching a double-perambulator. Princess Ida arrives ("Minerva! Oh hear me") and delivers a stern lecture, stating that women's brains are larger than men's, and predicting that woman shall conquer man, but that once having conquered, woman will treat man better than he has treated her. Lady Blanche resents the Princess's authority and predicts that one day she will replace her as head of the university "Come mighty must"

Hilarion, Cyril and Florian sneak into Castle Adamant ("Gently, gently"). They scoff at the idea of a woman's college. Finding some discarded academic robes, the three men disguise themselves as young maidens wishing to join the university, and are welcomed by Princess Ida ("The world is but a broken toy"). Florian realises that their disguises won't fool his sister, Lady Psyche, and they take her into their confidence. Lady Psyche warns them that they will face death if the Princess discovers who they are.


Melissa, Lady Blanche's daughter, has overheard them, but, fascinated by the first men she has ever seen, swears herself to secrecy. She falls in love with Florian at first sight, and the company celebrate joyously the discovery that men are not the monsters that Princess Ida had claimed ("The woman of the wisest wit"). Lady Blanche, who has not fallen for the men's disguises, confronts Melissa. Though indignant at first, she is persuaded to keep the men's secret when her daughter points out that if Hilarion is able to woo Princess Ida, Blanche will become head of the university ("Now, wouldn't you like to rule the roast?").

During lunch Cyril gets tipsy and inadvertently gives away his friends' identity by singing a bawdy song. In the ensuing confusion, Princess Ida falls into a stream, and Hilarion rescues her. Despite her rescue, Ida condemns Hilarion and his friends to death. Hilarion counters that without her love to live for, he welcomes death. King Hildebrand and his soldiers arrive, with Ida's brothers. He reminds her that she is bound by contract to marry Hilarion and gives her until the following afternoon to comply or incur the guilt of fratricide. The defiant Ida replies that, although Hilarion saved her life and is fair, strong and tall, she would rather die than be his bride.

Princess Ida reviews her student troops' readiness to meet Hildebrand's soldiers in battle, but the terrified girls admit that they are afraid of fighting ("Death to the invader!"). Princess Ida is disgusted by their lack of courage and vows that, if necessary, she will fight Hildebrand's army alone ("I built upon a rock"). Her father, King Gama, arrives with a message that Hildebrand prefers not to go to war against women. He reveals that Hildebrand has been torturing him by keeping him in luxury and giving him nothing to complain about ("Whene'er I spoke sarcastic joke"). He suggests that, instead of subjecting her women to all-out war, she pit her two strong, brave brothers against Hilarion and his friends, with Ida's hand to depend on the outcome. Ida is insulted to be "a stake for fighting men" but realises that she has no alternative.

Hildebrand's forces enter, together with Gama and his two sons ("When anger spreads his wing"). In preparation for battle, Gama's sons shed their heavy armour, saying that it is too uncomfortable for combat ("This helmet I suppose"). The fight ensues, with Hilarion, Cyril and Florian defeating Gama's sons.

Her wager lost, Ida yields to Hilarion and bitterly asks Lady Blanche if she can resign her post with dignity. The delighted Blanche, who will succeed her as head of the university, assures her that she can. Ida laments the failure of her "cherished scheme", but Hilarion makes an emotional appeal, urging her to give Man one chance, while Cyril observes that if she grows tired of the Prince, she can return to Castle Adamant. Lady Psyche says that she, too, will return if Cyril does not behave himself, but Melissa swears that she will not return under any circumstances. Finally, Ida declares that indeed she loves Hilarion, ending with a quotation directly from the Tennyson poem. All celebrate, ("With joy abiding").



Julie Bale  | Conductor

 Julie Bale is an eminent teacher of voice as well as being a well-loved soprano, conductor and Clinical Hypnotherapist for Singers. She has tutored many UK Choirs including the London Oriana Choir. She studied Music and German at Oxford Brookes University, continuing her studies with a PGCE from Goldsmith's College, University of London and an ARCM from the Royal College of Music whilst working with Elizabeth Robson. She continued her studies in singing and vocal pedagogy with Professor Janice Chapman AUM MOA and with Dame Josephine Barstow. She regularly leads workshops for choirs and has adjudicated a number of competitions. She studied conducting and choral direction with Manvinder Rattan and Sarah Tenant Flowers and with Amy Bebbington of  the Association of British Choral Directors. 


She continues to enjoy a busy career as a singer. She has performed the vast majority of the Oratorio repertoire with choirs all over the UK with regular appearances in Verdi's Requiem, Orff's Carmina Burana as well as numerous Messiahs and Elijah's and sings principal roles in opera with companies such as Dorset Opera, Berwick Festival Opera and OperaHerts. 


Heather Toyn | Accompanist

Heather Toyn has been accompanist with Harrow Philharmonic Choir since 1989 and has appeared as soloist with them on a number of occasions. She studied piano from an early age with Ella Pounder (a student of the renowned pianist Solomon), and continued her studies at the Royal Academy of Music gaining her LRAM, GRSM hons and where she was awarded prizes for Piano Accompaniment. In her role as accompanist she has appeared at music centres throughout the UK and has also performed on BBC and ITV. She taught piano at the junior department at the Royal Academy of Music, was Assistant Director of Music at Orley Farm School from 1997 – 2015, subsequently becoming Director of Music there from 2015 – 2017. Heather is co-founder of the G & T School of Performing Arts for Children aged 3 – 16 and combines this with her work as professional accompanist, teacher and coach.

Northwood Choral Society   


Sopranos:    Sarah Brameld, Lisa Cuschieri, Lesley Dutton, Linda Gibson, Sally Rogers, Morfudd Wise


Altos:  Alison Atkinson, Jane Connell, Katie Munn, Sue Spurlock, Sally Manders

Tenors: Andrew Bale, Leo Hodes, Alan Powell


Basses:  Chris Dutton, James Gray, John Ling, Peter Warwick, Graham Wheeler

We are currently welcoming new members in the All sections. We rehearse on Sunday evenings from 7.30pm - 9.30pm at St. John’s Church, Hallowell Road, Northwood. Please contact us via the website or by emailing 

Music Director: Julie Bale                      

Accompanist: Heather Toyn

Chairman: Andrew Bale 

Secretary: Sarah Brameld

Treasurer: Alison Atkinson

Committee members: Jane Connell, Carol Went 

Concert Managers: Chris Dutton & Lesley Dutton 

VIPS : Katrina Warren, Denis Sharp


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