Orpheus Club of Halifax
Orpheus Club of Halifax. The second major choir to emerge in Halifax (see Halifax Harmonic Society). It was formed in 1882, with about 75 trained and amateur male voices. After 1886 women were admitted to the chorus as auxiliaries, and for a performance in 1896 of Flotow's opera Martha at the Academy of Music there were 32 sopranos, 23 contraltos, 18 tenors, 20 basses, and 12 orchestral players. Conductors were C.H. Porter 1882-1906 and Harry Dean 1907-17. The choir opened its own Orpheus Hall (Halifax) 28 Dec 1886. Renovated and reopened 7 Oct 1890 with a grand concert under the patronage of Prince George of Wales (later King George V), the hall was used for subscription concert series, for Spring Festivals (1905-8, sponsored by the Orpheus Club with visiting soloists), and for concerts by other groups. Although an artistic success, the Spring Festival's financial failure forced the Orpheus Club to sell the hall. However, the club continued to present such light operas as Reginald de Koven's Robin Hood and works by Gilbert & Sullivan. Activities were suspended after the 1917 Halifax explosion, and the club was reorganized in 1919 as the Halifax Philharmonic Society by Harry Dean.