55 Years of Excellence
In the 1920s, St. Anne’s Choir, 75 strong, was famous for its director’s original operettas of a G & S style. Then, in the 1950s, a West Toronto group performed a few G & S comic operas in our auditorium. When Canon George Young renewed the congregation and refurbished the wonderful interior of the sanctuary in 1960, a revival of G & S became a logical next step. Fortunately, Clifford Poole and his wife, Margaret Parsons, a famous duo piano team, moved to Toronto in 1963. Clifford had directed many G & S productions at Western University in London. George convinced Clifford and Roy Schatz to assemble a company from the choir and friends. Early in 1964, Trial by Jury was presented with Canon Young as the Jury Foreman. Clifford and Margaret completed the program with a duo piano concert. From 1965 on, Clifford got his wish to have an 18-piece orchestra.
Laura Schatz, Artistic Director, and Roy Schatz, Co-Founder, as the Queen of the Fairies and the Lord Chancellor in Iolanthe, 2016
Roy and Diana Schatz are still active in MADS. Their daughter, Laura, took over from Roy as artistic director 25 years ago. With the company now expanded to over 60 in number, three-quarters of the cast and backstage people are friends of St. Anne’s choristers. Proceeds from the annual productions go to St. Anne’s Church and to improvements of the stage facilities. The joyous atmosphere at rehearsals and performances is a reflection of the mission of this parish.
Though we maintain a strong connection to the church, we have expanded, drawing from the community, local university students, and the Toronto music community. We pride ourselves on being a family show, introducing new generations to wonderful music and stories of Gilbert and Sullivan.