My parents took me to see “The Mikado” at Streatham Hill when I was a small boy. It made a big impression on me and I have been a G & S fan ever since. But it was only after joining a local Gilbert and Sullivan Group that I have had a chance to indulge myself in actually performing it. I now find myself spending more and more time singing opera of various sorts as a baritone, and am now just as likely to be singing Mozart as Sullivan.
I am lucky to have a good friend, Kate Flowers as a teacher, and it is difficult to overestimate how much help she has been. The voice, as an instrument, is essentially the same whether singing opera or jazz, but some of the techniques are different, and I could not have managed without her help and experience.
A cousin of mine, John Camburn, was also a baritone and recorded The Mikado, Pinafore, Iolanthe, Yeomen of the Guard and The Gondoliers with the Michael Sammes Singers.In fact he worked a great deal with Mike Sammes, and appeared on radio and undertook other work in his own right. The “Who’s Who in Music” for 1962 has the following entry:
CAMBURN, John Joseph, L.R A M. b: Gravesend. Kent 1925. e: Ilford County High Sch., Roy. Acad. of Music. m: Marion Elizabeth Gibbs. s: 2. d: i. prof,: Singer; Conductor; Teacher; Adjudicator, m.a.: Conductor, Intimate Opera (Eltham) 1953-60; Instructor, Toynbee Hall (Singing;) 1952-58; Stepney Inst. 1958-60; Gentleman of The Choir, Queen's Chapel of The Savoy.
Perhaps there is something in the genes! I hope so.
Past and Future Performances
2nd-5th November 2016 - Trial by Jury - Castle Theatre Studio, Wellingborough - Usher
8th-11th June 2016 - H.M.S. Pinafore - Castle Theatre Studio, Wellingborough - Chorus
14th-16th May 2015 - Ruddigore - Masque Theatre, Barton Seagrave - Sir Roderic Murgatroyd
14th-17th May 2014 - Patience - Masque Theatre, Barton Seagrave - Chorus (A Heavy Dragoon (retd.))
16th-18th May 2013- Princess Ida - Masque Theatre, Barton Seagrave - Arac
10th -19th May 2012 - Pirates of Penzance - The Masque Theatre, Barton Seagrave - Sergeant of Police
5th-7th May 2011 - The Mikado - The Castle Theatre, Wellingborough - The Mikado
14th-22nd April 2010 - Yeomen of The Guard - The Castle Theatre, Wellingborough - 2nd Yeoman
10th October 2009 - The Sorcerer - Rothwell - Dr. Daley
16th-19th September 2009 - The Sorcerer - The Castle Theatre, Wellingborough - Dr. Daley
19th-24th January 2009 - The Sorcerer - Royal Theatre, Derngate, Northampton - Dr. Daley
12th September 2008 - Soave sil Vento (Cosi Fan Tutti), Time was When Love and I were Well Acquainted (The Sorcerer), Der Vogelfanger Bin Ich Ja (Magic Flute) - Abington Avenue United Reform Church Northampton -Concert in Aid of Musclar Dystrophy
10th August 2008 - The Foresters - Buxton Festival - Chorus
10th August 2008 - Contrabandista (Concert Performance) - Buxton Festival - Sancho
The Gondoliers (Concert Performance) - Abington Avenue United Reform Church Northampton - Chorus
21st-26th January 2008 - The Mikado - Royal Theatre, Derngate, Northampton - The Mikado
12th August 2007 - Haddon Hall (Concert Performance) - Buxton Festival - Chorus
26th-31st March 2007 - Yeomen of the Guard - Royal Theatre, Derngate, Northampton - Chorus
13th August 2006 - Merrie England (Concert Performance) - Buxton Festival - Chorus