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Mountain Ash District Council.

"Zurika, the Gipsy Maid."


"Zurika, the Gipsy Maid." OPERETTA PERFORMANCE BY BETHANIA JUVENILE CHOIR,, MOUNTAIN ASH. A GR&AT SUCCESS. The Bethania Welsh Congregational Church, Mountain Ash, is noted for many things. In the first place, tho Rev. Owen Jones (the pastor) is known a3 a popular preacher through- out the Principality, and m religious work Bethania Church K fully alive to the needs of the time. It also possesses the largest literary society in the town, if not in the Aberdare Valley; and in many other respects takes a. leading position in the locality. But perhaps it is best known as a musical centre. It has far conductor of its congregational singing the well-known Glyndwr Richards, and it also pos- sesses the moot efficient orchestra connected with any place of worship in South Wales. But this, by no means, is all, for it also possesses one of the best trained juvenile choirs in the district. For several years this juvenile choir have ntsrformed an operetta annually, and on Thursday last they gave an extremely interest- ing perfect performance of the operetta, "Zurika, the Gipsy Maid" (in full character), under the conductorship of Mr. Albert Jones. Needless to say, the large hall of the Work- men's Institute wau crowded, for everything Bethania undertakes is a success. The story around which the operetta, "Zur- ika," is written is a very simple one, but from a musical point of view, no operetta is more suited to show the qualities of a juvenile choir. In the first act, the "King of Kola" makes an offer to his son to abdicate in his favour, but the Prince asks the King to remain on the throne another year, so as to allow him to visit all the gipsv encampments in the kingdom in search for "Zurika," a companion of his child- hood. with whom he is in love, having dreamt about her. She was stolen in early childhood by a band of gipsies In the second act, the Prince of Kola. is seen dressed a& a wood-cutter in search of "Zurika." He finds her in a g'psy encampment where she is pointed out to hsm bv "Elspeth the leading lady member of the gipsy bind. In the last act, the "Prince" and "Zurika." return to the Court of the King of Kola., where the ok* king abdicates in their favour. The chief characters were impersonated as follow"Zurika Miss Dora Davies; petb." Miss R. A. Harris: "King of Kola." Mr D. Davies (Llew Tem); "Prince of Kola," Mr. W. S. Jones, Ynysybwl; "Jingles." Mr. D. Leach, Trecynon. Aberdare-, and "Castro" (Dr. Globules^ Mr W. Jones. There was also a full chorus of gipsies, courtiers, fairies, euards. etc. The part of the "King of Kola" was not a very important one, but Mr. Davies made. as much of it as possible. His dignified bsaring was quite suited to the part he was imperson- ating. Mr W. S. Jones, Ynysybwl, proved himself a perfect "Prince," and rendered the songs, "In Dreamed," "If I were King of Kola." and "Zurika" in fine style. Miss Dora Davies made a. charming "Zurika, and Miss R. A. Harris a capable gipsy queen, while the lesser parts of "J ingls" and "Ca.stro" wore well performed bv Messrs. D. Leach and W. Jones. A pretty 'item in the first act was the floral figure performed by Misses Maggie May Davies E A Morgan, Ananwen Jones, Ecuth Phillip's, Sarah Roberts. L. M. Harris, M. Bowen, and S. J. Lloyd. The two dances in the second act were also performed in a pleas- ing manner. The dance by the gipsy children was performed by Misses Ada Thomas, Gwladys Richards, Mary Watts, Gwladys Griffiths, Mary Evans, Mary Davies, and the Misses Williams. The fairy dance, which afforded much pleasure to the audience, was performed by (Misses Nellie Lewis Annie Mary Lewis. Cemwen Richards, Edie Evans. Maggie Griffiths, Cerid- wen Griffiths. OIwen Evans, Maggie Evans, and th& Misses Thomas- Other parts well perform- ed were"Bluebell," rdis3 Annie Williams; "Rosebud," Miss Gwladys Richards; "Court! Messenger," Master Herbert Powell; and "Court Lady." Miss Maggie Mary Davies. Other items worthy of notice was the duett, "Tell your fortunes," by Mi&s Dora Davies and Mr. W. S. Jones; and the trios. etwd away" and "Back. back to tho forest glade," by Mi&s Davies. Miss R. A. Harris, and Mr. W. S" Jones. The whole performance, in fact, was excellent in every respect. Much credit is duo to the conductor. Mr. Albert Jones, for the manner in which the choir conducted themselves, and also to Mr. T. Glyndwr Richards, who acted as stage dir- ector. The choir were accompanied by an effi- cient orchestra, the members of which were:— First violins, Messrs. Carrol (Aberdare). W. Rees, and T. Griffiths; second violins, Messrs. John Christopher, J. Jones, and D. Jones; violas, Messrs: D. H. Price" and T. Griffiths; 'cello. Mr. George Richards: double bass, Mr. H. Benton; flute, Mr. T. Harris; cla.rionette, Mr. James -Morris; and cornet, Mr. E. Hardi- man. The accompanists were Miss S. M. George and Miss M. M. Prior to the performance of the operetta, the Bethania Prize Boys' Choir sang the part-song, ''The Voyage'' (T. Hopkin Evans), and also tho action song. "The Burlesque Band," unaer the conductorship of Mr. Albert Jones, the ac- oompanist for the choir being Mr. Stephen Jones. Mr. W. S. Jones also gave a splendid rendering of the ng, "The Gay Hussar, And Miss Dora Davies also codribute] a^ solo. The j <">cr^tary for th. performance ms Mr. W J- Griffiths, and the treasurer tr. jMatthcw 1 George.

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