On 23rd May 1968, Neville Parry, a music teacher at Tyldesley Boys Secondary School issued an invitation in the Leigh Journal to music lovers who were interested in forming a light operetta group. This met with an enthusiastic response. In that same year the Society was formed, taking the name, Leigh, Atherton and Tyldesley Amateur Operatic Society, as its members came from those three towns. In 1969 the Society changed its name to the now familiar title The Three Towns Operatic Society. The Society has grown since those early days and attracts members from a much wider area.
The first staged production was Gilbert & Sullivan’s The Gondoliers, performed at Leigh Boys Grammar School in May 1969. Each subsequent year, the Society has continued to perform an operetta each spring and a concert series each autumn.
The tradition of presenting solely the operas of Gilbert and Sullivan continued until 1996, when the Society decided to diversify into other composer’s operettas, while firmly retaining the emphasis on quality of music and high chorus content. This policy has produced The Gipsy Baron, La Belle Helene, Die Fledermaus, Orpheus in the Underworld, White Horse Inn and The Merry Widow. These proved great successes and provided audiences with a greater variety of musical style and performance.
Behind every successful society lies a strong support team, if not performing then working back stage on scenery, props, costumes, or front of house. The Society, by design, fosters a warm, supportive family atmosphere. There are many Associate Members who provide financial support, in addition to other, loyal committed supporters who attend the shows and concerts year after year.