OKLAHOMA! is Great Witley Operatic Society's first venture into the world of American musical theatre and away from light opera - and it definitely should not be the last.

From the moment Kit Windows-Yule strode on to the stage to open the show at Worcester's Swan Theatre with that wonderful song Oh What A Beautiful Morning it was thoroughgoing entertainment.

Rodgers & Hammerstein's story is a classic. There's rivalry between the farmers and the cowmen. Then there's Laurey (Lynsey Squair) and Curly (Kit Windows-Yule), who tease and flirt and go out of their way to avoid admitting their obvious attraction for each other, while hired hand Jud Fry (Michael Staiger) nurses a much less wholesome desire for Laurie. Amidst all this evolves the zany romantic triangle of Will Parker (Lewis Adey), Ado Annie (Kathryn Cope) and Ali Hakim, (Dan Robinson), the Persian travelling salesman who likes to peddle more than the wares on his cart to the local ladies, Kit Windows-Yule is a captivating hero, a mixture of boyishness and earnestness, with a truly amazing voice delivering those beautiful Rodgers' melodies. Equalling his vocal talents is Lynsey Squair, a clear and beautiful soprano, playing the naive and coy, yet clever Laurey.

Sue Wild makes an endearing Aunt Eller, the de facto stateswoman who guides the community’s affairs by guile (nudging Curly and Laurey toward each other), threat (brandishing a gun to stop farmer versus cowboy fisticuffs) or appeals to compassion and common sense (overruling a judge at Curly’s trial).

Dan Robinson makes for an enjoyable Ali Hakim, with charm, slyness and a big dose of comic genius. Kathryn Cope is the wonderfully skittish, flirtatious Ado Annie, the girl who "cain't say no." And Lewis Adey - just 17 on opening night - gave a superb performance as the prairie dim cowboy Will Parker.

Never mind the "bright golden haze on the meadow" the storms gather with the appearance of troubled farm-hand Jud Fry, played strongly and menacingly by excellent vocalist Michael Staiger. This is an excellent performance, with solid direction and good choreography by Chris Love, producing such a venture for the first time. The singing is great and the overall feel of the production deftly rides the lines between golden-hued nostalgia and true grit.

This Oklahoma! is more than OK - it is a winner and it’s on until Saturday.