Tuesday, June 7, 2011

A Night at the Opera - 24 May 2011

The meeting of 24 May was a theatrical production of note (pardon the pun!) Our Toastmaster, Chenielle Jefferies-Badenhorst assured those of us who have never been behind-the-scenes (or in front of them, for that matter) at an Opera performance, that there are similarities with a Toastmasters meeting. Both are events which entertain and communicate. Likening the Sergeant-at-arms to the Stage Manager, she said that it is Marianah’s duty to set up the stage with sets and props. The President would be the Intendant, or Head of Opera. Sounds very grand! She also mentioned that it is the Intendant’s duty to plan, finance and produce the production. No wonder I’m so poor!

The members of the media, or critics, were the Timekeeper, Angie Kivido from Time Magazine, Um & Ah counter (from Vanity Fair) was Leann Roos, and the Grammarian from Oxbridge Weekly was Alison Immelman. The Chorus Master, whose job it was to do warm-up vocal exercises was Deborah Stephenson, who was also auditioning for the part of “Best Table Topics Speaker” (also known as “Get one over Michael Warren and watch out for Tom Horne). Because of our limited time we had just nine Table Topics speakers and the one who got the part was Birthday Girl, Marlene van Wyk. She, in turn, awarded the Top Toastie Award to the other Birthday Girl, Placxedes, for her meticulous handling of our club’s finances.

After the Overture, the Conductor (a.k.a Toastmaster) with impeccable sense of timing, led the first soloist, mezzo soprano, Mimi Makupula, who sang a well-known aria from the Competent Communicator manual, No. 10 “Inspire your audience”. And that she certainly did, with a wonderful rendition of “Roadblocks to self-love”. The second aria was performed by Mark Barry, who sang the tenor solo from the same manual, “Fitter, fitter, fittest!” We were all so moved by his performance that we resolved then and there to join/go back to the gym!
The road to hell …..

The Prima Donna (experienced lead soloist with gravitas) then took the stage and gave us a delightfully comedic soprano solo, “Eether, either, neether, neither” – a somewhat biased look at the differences between men and women. After the recess the Toast of the Day “Walk the Talk” was proposed by Colleen Love and evaluations were given by Antoinette Baatjes, Nicholas Mitchell and Ricky Woods respectively. The General Evaluation by Louise Erasmus was the Final Act of a most enjoyable meeting. Before the curtain came down the Fat Lady (me) warbled an invitation to all to stay for the Annual General Meeting.

The AGM took its usual format – minutes were read, reports were tabled and the new executive committee was elected en bloc. They are: President: Colleen Love; VP Education: Quinton Jacobs; VP Membership: Marianah Lourens; VP Public Relations: Alison Immelman; Treasurer: Placxedes Ndhlovu; Secretary: Leann Roos, Sergeant-at-arms: Mimi Makupula and Programme Organiser: Tom Horne. CONGRATULATIONS AND BEST WISHES TO ALL OF YOU! Thank you for your willingness to serve our club.

I congratulate Mimi and Mark on their Competent Communicator status, and Marianah on achieving her Advanced Communicator Bronze and her Advanced Leader Bronze awards. If we can sign up just one more member before 30 June, we will have completed 9 of the 10 points for the Distinguished Club Programme, which will mean getting President’s Distinguished status for the second year in a row! Well done, everyone!

Have you let Colleen know whether you will be attending the Installation Dinner on 10 June? If not, you’d better do it today because space is limited! I would just like to inform you that the Installation Dinner is usually held right at the end of June or early July. Last year it was early because the Jubilee and this year it is early because I am going overseas on 16 July. The new President should take over as soon as she has been installed, but because we are holding the dinner so early it is Colleen’s wish that I should officiate at the meeting of 14 July and she will take over after that.


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