The Goulburn Liedertafel Society was established in 1891 and continues to exist as the Lieder Theatre Company; it is the longest running theatre company in Australia. It began as a male choral society that soon allowed women into its choirs; it introduced plays to its repertoire in 1908 but music was prominent for the earlier part of the century.
The Liedertafel temporarily changed its name to the Leader Choral Society in 1916 due to the war. but had reverted back to the Liedertafel Society by 1922.
In 1908, the Liedertafel bought its own premises – Landers Hall – on Goldsmith Street. By 1929 it had replaced Landers Hall with the Liedertafel Hall, designed by Goulburn’s renowned architectural company Manfred and Sons. The building still stands as the Lieder Theatre and continues to be the home of the Lieder Theatre Company.
The change of name from Goulburn Liedertafel Society to Lieder Theatre Company evolved under the direction of John and Mary Spicer who brought new life and energy to the theatre in the 1970-80s. It was now focused on performing plays, rather than musicals, and that has continued under the direction of Chrisjohn Hancock since the 1990s – with occasional musical interludes.
Image: Lieder Theatre in 2019. Photograph by Jennifer Lamb