Tributes to Preston Opera founder Frank Salter

Frank Salter
Frank Salter
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A popular Preston musical director has died at the age of 77.

A popular Preston musical director has died at the age of 77.

The Mikado at Ribbleton Hall School in 1965. The cast included Frank Salter as Ko-Ko (second from right)

The Mikado at Ribbleton Hall School in 1965. The cast included Frank Salter as Ko-Ko (second from right)

Frank Salter, who was the conductor of Preston Opera for more than 30 years, passed away on Saturday December 9, leaving behind a lasting musical legacy.

He had founded Preston Opera in 1965 with just four people and turned it into a successful amateur operatic society with more than 100 members.

The company put on its first full production two years later - Don Giovanni.

Since 1976 the group has produced two full productions each year in the Charter Theatre, accompanied by the company’s own orchestra of over 40 players.

Frank Salter, founder of Preston Opera, conducting the Druid preists and priestesses during a Preston Opera production of Norma at the Charter Theatre in 1984

Frank Salter, founder of Preston Opera, conducting the Druid preists and priestesses during a Preston Opera production of Norma at the Charter Theatre in 1984

Its repertoire includes pieces by Gilbert and Sullivan, Verdi’s Nabucco and Don Giovanni.

He also gave singing lessons to Blackpool tenor Alfie Boe, who has since led a critically acclaimed career.

The former senior music lecturer at University College, in Salford, retired from his role as musical director in 1998 and pursued other ventures at Lancaster University and Bolton College.

Stan Anderton, who has been a member of Preston Opera’s chorus for 40 years, said: “Speaking for all of Preston Opera, we would like to acknowledge his passion and inspiration to the many people who have joined Preston Opera and given enjoyable concerts for Preston audiences over many years.

“He was musical director for 33 years and was the first person to bring opera to Preston,

“A lot of people in his chorus became professional singers with Opera North.

“He will be missed by us all here at Preston Opera.”

Frank’s funeral will take place at Preston Crematorium on Monday, at 3.15pm.