1962 – ‘Laudes’ goes coast-to-coast


Music featured prominently in the highlights of 1962.

In January, the Hallé Orchestra, in conjunction with Associated-Rediffusion, gave the first major orchestral concert in the new Guildford Cathedral. Then in April came two triumphs for the music and mime production of ‘Laudes Evangelii’. It won first prize in the drama section of the Fifth Roman Catholic Television Festival and it won a coast-to-coast screening on CBS in the United States. A different form of music – that of a hot gospelling negro company – was featured in ‘Black Nativity’, a religious programme transmitted on Christmas Day, 1962.

In the summer, something new in the shape of international communications flashed across the sky. Telstar had arrived and naturally Associated-Rediffusion took part in the first British transmission via this satellite on July 10.

Something new in the shape of programming came, too, when the Piraikon Greek Tragedy Theatre Company’s production of ‘Electra’, in Greek, was screened on November 28

The previous month Giles Cooper’s adaptation of Constantine Fitzgibbon’s novel, ‘When the Kissing Had to Stop’ hit the screen in two parts on October 16 and 19.

Some new ideas had also hit the world of industrial publishing and this was recognised when the company’s house magazine, Fusion, was given the award for the best designed house magazine in the country by the British Association of Industrial Editors.

Laudes Evangelii

‘Laudes Evangelii’ featured The Ballets Européens, The Glyndebourne Festival Chorus and the Sinfonia of London.

‘Electra’ had Aspassia Papathanassiou as Electra. The number of viewers who saw this programme in Greek would have filled the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, for three years.

Top: ‘Black Nativity’ told the Christmas story and the spreading of the Word in mime and dance.

Bottom: ‘When the Kissing Had to Stop’. Left to right – Douglas Wilmer as the Prime Minister, Alan Wheatley as a member of the Establishment and Barbara Murray as a leading actress.