Our People

Patron - Richard O’Brien

Richard is known to most Hamiltonians as a figure in bronze standing on the site of the old Embassy Theatre building in Victoria Street.

Richard’s life in the world of entertainment began when he found work riding horses in movies in England in 1965. Since this unlikely beginning, he has acted in film; theatre; television and on radio. He perhaps is best known for writing the book, music and lyrics to the award winning, great cult classic musical, The Rocky Horror Show.

In the UK Richard is also known as the host of the incredibly successful Channel Four Television game show, The Crystal Maze. His critically acclaimed solo album, Absolute O’Brien, was awarded five stars by the influential Q Magazine.

As the voice of Lawrence Fletcher, the father of Phineas and Ferb in the Disney cartoon series of the same name, Richard recently attracted a new and younger audience.

Richard has been the Patron if Hamilton Operatic Society since 2009.

President - Paul Mitchell

Paul received a Hamilton City Council Civic Award in 2011 for amongst other things his services to Theatre in Hamilton. This followed a period of nine years when Paul was Chairman of The Board of The Hamilton Operatic Society and was executive producer of approximately 25 musical productions in this era.

Paul's association with the society started in 1992 when he performed in the musical Evita. He performed in one major production per year until he was elected to the Board and time prohibited continued appearances on stage.

A highlight of Paul's time in HOS was when he was executive producer for Richard O'Brien's Rocky Horror Show in 2005 at Founders Theatre. This also started Richard's involvement with the Society, which is another highlight.

Paul sees his present role as President of the Society as a privilege to hold. Many people have worked for the Hamilton Operatic Society for the past 100 years and it is a pleasure to take a turn at being part of this very important part of Hamilton's past, present and future.

Vice President - Michael Easther

Michael Easther has been involved with theatre for nearly 82 years, having first been in a variety show at the age of 4.  His first show with H.O.S. was Annie in 1980 and he has been in 36 shows with the Society altogether.  He has also done some professional acting, such as being in “Hercules” and “The Forgotten General”.  

Michael was in General Practice in Hamilton for 35 years and still practises hypnotherapy, which is; let’s face it, a form of acting.  He gave one anaesthetic with hypnotherapy for a major orthopaedic operation, where the patient had a problem with all drugs.

Michael has written 3 books and also had several short stories published in anthologies.  He has been providing a weekly satirical verse for the Waikato Times now for over 13 years and, also, written sketches for shows.

Michael has compiled crossword and other word puzzles for over 20 different outlets, including 3 magazines in Australia.  He compiled a phonetic crossword for The Australian Crossworder, which the Editor felt was certainly a world first, while he has been providing the Waikato Times with a weekly cryptic crossword for roughly 30 years.

Chairperson - Fiona Bradley

Treasurer - Natalie Mora

Secretary - Gillian Lyon

Gillian is very pleased to help on the HOS Board in a position to assist with shows from the idea through to the reality. Her personal goal is the encouragement of more youth involvement on, behind or front of stage and within the audience. She enjoyed drama and dance from a young age and loves that her own children have found various niches within the arts. Creating has lead her on many roads but has always centred around people. Passion in life and the courage to pursue a dream is what inspires her about others and she finds this daily in Theatre.

Board Member - Michael Lamusse

Board Member - Keith Richards

Board Member - Nicole Hardy

Board Member - David Smith

Dave has been involved in the Society since 1984. His association began as a student while at Hamilton Boys High School with a joint production of, The Sound of Music.  Dave has continued his association through to the present. His roles have been varied while mainly back stage but also a brief appearance in the 2006 production of The Full Monty. Dave’s focus in recent times has been logistical and technical advice and implementation for the Society maintaining the storage of plant and set items the Society owns.

Dave’s technical experience includes Head Mechanist for shows such as, Evita, Annie, Les Misérables, Chess, Grease and Blood Brothers.  Dave has also spent time working the Royal New Zealand Ballet as a touring technician.

Dave has been a member of the Board of Management since 2000 as a co-opted member and a elected member since 2002. Dave also was Chairman of the Board of Management from 2006 until 2008 and Executive Producer for the phenomenally successful season of Cats. During this period it was great time of change and rationalisation within the Society.

Running an organization like Hamilton Operatic is a challenge, where all board members receive no payment and undertake the task of running a large and complex business for the joy of theatre. There is a great deal of joy and satisfaction to see an idea come to realization and enjoyed by the public.

Business Manager - Philippa Chesham


Honorary Solicitor: Sandra Braithwaite, Harkness Henry
Accountant: KPMG
Auditor: Crowe Horwath

Life Members:


Bobbie Alderton QSM
Ron Braithwaite
Shirley Buchanan
Aileen Downey
Val Easte
Michael Easther
Val Fergusson
Dave Gibbs
Noel Gleeson
Francie Gray
Sandra Herbert
John Keenan
Elaine Lucas
Brian Linehan
Paul Mitchell
Sabrina O’Brien
Richard O’Brien
Margaret Oliver
John Pak
Margaret Parkin
Russ Rimmington
Mrs W Roberts
David Sidwell
Dave Smith
Marie Thompson
Jean Turk
Cheryl Turner
Ed Turner
Jean Vickridge
Jean Wilson
Kathie Young
Robert Young