South Yorkshire singing minister has starring role

Simon Copley
Simon Copley
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By day, Simon Copley is a vicar, looking after congregations at churches throughout Sheffield.

By night, he is an opera singing sensation - blasting out the big notes with the Dore Gilbert and Sullivan Society.

Simon, a Minister for the United Reformed Church, is playing a Venetian gondolier - or water taxi man - in the society’s forthcoming production of Gilbert and Sullivan’s classic romantic comedy The Gondoliers.

He said: “It’s a far cry from my day job, based at the Central URC Church on Norfolk Street where I work as a team of three looking after nine churches across Sheffield.

“I have sung in quite a lot of Gilbert and Sullivan in the past, particularly in South Wales, which is where I was originally based.

“I was looking for a Gilbert and Sullivan society in Sheffield so did a bit of web research and found Dore.

“Then I realised that one of their members was somebody I used to sing with in Wales so it was an ideal choice and I decided I should give it a go.”

The Gondoliers runs at Sheffield’s Montgomery Theatre from April 29 to May 2.

Simon said: “I’ve always loved Gilbert and Sullivan and my real ambition is to have appeared in all their shows.

“All I have left to do is The Yeomen of the Guard, Ruddigore, Utopia and The Sorcerer and I’ll be very happy.”

For further details about the show or society visit the website at or for tickets to The Gondoliers call 0114 2507155.