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Dettie Ellerby inherited a love of Gilbert and Sullivan from her family, having been regularly taken to see the operettas as a child. Whilst studying drama, Dettie joined the University Of Exeter’s Gilbert and Sullivan society, during which time she directed ‘Patience’ at Exeter Northcott and ‘Trial By Jury’ at Exeter Guildhall. Dettie has also written and directed several shows at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, the most recent of which was a sell-out comedy musical about the lives of Gilbert and Sullivan.
After joining St David’s Players for 2015’s performance of ‘The Pirates Of Penzance’ and 2016’s ‘Patience’, Dettie says it is a huge honour to be directing ‘The Gondoliers’, and Dettie is really enjoying working with the society on this show.
Margaret discovered Gilbert and Sullivan when she attended St David’s Players’ second production, ‘Iolanthe’ - in 1970. She then performed in every show, taking several principal roles, before leaving Exeter in 1977 to pursue a degree in Music and Education. Since then she has either conducted or taken principal roles in most G&S shows. Married to an accomplished tenor, Margaret has passed on this enthusiasm to her children, and was reintroduced to the St David's Players when her son, who, whilst a student at the Exeter University, played the bassoon in several of our their shows.
He conducted Dettie's production of ‘Patience’ and played Sir Arthur Sullivan at Edinburgh for her. Knowing Dettie’s work, Maggie is very excited to be working alongside her for this show. Margaret is particularly fond of ‘The Gondoliers’, having sung her first solo part - Fiametta - in St David’s Players’ first production of it.
Margaret has had a busy career as a professional soloist and teacher, singing a wide variety of music from oratorio to working with the Contemporary Opera Studio at English National Opera. She was visiting Teacher of Singing at Southampton University and Bedales School for many years, while also working as Vocal Animateur and Singer in Residence for Southampton Music Services. Since returning to Devon, she has performed in a variety of settings, as Soprano soloist alongside the cathedral choir and in solo recital. She is currently Musical Director of Exeter Male Voice Choir and has a busy private teaching practice.
Margaret was St David’s Players’ Musical Director for ‘The Pirates of Penzance’ in 2015.