Providing musical entertainment in the Vale of Glamorgan for over 50 years
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History of CAOS
Cowbridge Amateur Operatic Society (CAOS) was formed in 1968 by a small common interest group based in Cowbridge and gave their first public performance in 1969 of The Pirates of Penzance by Gilbert and Sullivan at Cowbridge Town Hall. Four more G&S productions followed before Die Fledermaus by Johann Strauss broke the trend in 1974. Over the following 32 years most of the productions had been operetta such as The Merry Widow, Gipsy Love and La Vie Parisienne interspersed with Gilbert and Sullivan favourites, with the exception of 1986 when the one and only pantomime was staged.
In the early years there was a “do it yourself” atmosphere in the Society with productions in the Town Hall, members would build and paint the required scenery and lighting was arranged by members and co-opted friends and be seen carrying scenery down the High Street thus advertising the imminence of a new show. In some shows the cast made or provided their own costumes and microphones to augment principals’ voices were rarely if ever used. This was in complete contrast to the productions after the turn of the century where professional lighting and sound systems were used.
In 2002 a change in direction occurred to place more emphasis on modern musical theatre shows starting with a performance of My Fair Lady. Although not completely dropping the tried and tested favourites over the following ten productions, shows such as Fiddler on the Roof, Camelot, Annie, Calamity Jane and the last major stage production of Oklahoma in 2013 entertained the residents of the Vale.
A drop in the number of members needed to stage full productions required the Society to re-invent itself into its current guise of a mixed choral group performing up to ten themed concerts per year. We had not totally given up on stage productions and took a break from the concert schedule in 2016 to produce a modern production of “Trial By Jury”. This refresh was later followed by a change in name to “CAOS Musical Society” to reflect the Society better, and to match the new name, a new musically annotated logo designed by one of our members, and a new website.