A SERIES of concerts by a reputable operatic company are taking place across West Yorkshire next month.

Halifax-based All Souls’ Amateur Operatic Society - which has members from Bradford, is performing its annual ‘Accent on Song’ concert offering a variety of music to suit all tastes.

Billed as ‘a magical musical evening’, the programme varies from musicals to opera secular to sacred and traditional to classical. “There is something for everyone, to cater for all tastes,” says committee member and press officer Tony Sutcliffe.

Songs will include ‘Chorus of Hebrew slaves’ by Verdi, John Rutter’s ‘The Peace of God’, a medley from Guys and Dolls and ‘Cantique de Jean Racine’ by Faure.

Formed in 1960, the society gets its name from All Souls’ Church in Halifax where it used to perform.

“We perform one show in spring - next year’s will be Calamity Jane - and concerts in autumn,” says Tony. “We all love singing, but the concerts also give us an opportunity to raise funds to finance our show. It also gives our members an opportunity to sing without the pressures of learning parts and performing on stage.”

Group member Colin Akers is musical director, with Philip Sutcliffe as accompanist.

“There will be classics from Rodgers and Hammerstein Cole Porter and Irving Berlin,” says Tony, who joined the group in 2000 along with his wife Cathy. “We also do music from operettas such as The Merry Widow.”

Musical composers range from Mozart to Rachmaninov and operatic to modern.

With about 40 active members, the society is always looking for new recruits. “We are a friendly society, anyone is welcome,” says Tony. “Generally, when we perform, we do get new people joining from among those who came along to watch.”

Rehearsals take place on Thursday evenings at The Studio Rooms in St James Street, Halifax.

Whether people want to sing, act, help with scenery or costumes, assist backstage or front of house, there is a place for them.

The society - a registered charity - aim to design and manufacture its own sets in which it takes great pride. Members use their own wardrobe for many costumes as possible.

Social events are also held throughout the year, including beetle drives and carol singing.

The concerts will be held on the following dates: October 4 The King’s Church, The King’s Centre, Park Road, Halifax; October 5 West Lane Baptist Church, West Lane, Haworth; October 6 St Stephen’s Church, Lidgett Street, Linley, Huddersfield; 11 October St Michael’s Church, Church Street, Mytholmroyd; October 13 St Jude’s Church, Free School Lane, Savile Park, Halifax;

Tickets cost £7.50 and are available from society members or by calling 07939 227528.

To become a member contact Jean Murphy, information officer, on 01484 717934.

Also visit asaos.org.uk