Mansfield Park (opera)
Mansfield Park is a 2011 chamber opera in two acts by Jonathan Dove with a libretto by Alasdair Middleton based on the novel by Jane Austen. It tells the story of poor relation Fanny Price, sent at age 10 to live with her uncle, Sir Thomas Bertram, at his family estate, Mansfield Park.
The opera was commissioned by Heritage Opera, and the world premiere performance was at Boughton House in Northamptonshire on July 30, 2011. The opera is scored for four handed piano (two pianists playing one piano) and was accompanied by Paul Greenhalgh and Jonathan Ellis, under the musical direction of Chris Gill. The world premiere tour comprised mainly heritage venues in the northwest of England, and one performance at the Arcola Theatre in Dalston, East London, as part of the Grimeborn Festival. Royal Academy Opera gave two performances of the opera in May 2012, and Hampstead Garden Opera gave ten performances in a new production directed by Bruno Ravella in April 2013.
In 2015 the opera made its American premiere in Baltimore, Maryland. It was performed by the Peabody Conservatory of Music at the local Theatre Project of Baltimore. Eileen Cornett served as music director, with Mark Streshinsky as artistic director. Johanna Kvam and Hanna Shin performed the score for four hands piano.
Roles and Premiere Casts
World Premiere - 2011
- Fanny Price (soprano) – Serenna Wagner
- Lady Bertram (contralto) – Nuala Willis
- Sir Thomas (baritone) – John Rawnsley
- Edmund Bertram (baritone) – Thomas Eaglen
- Maria Bertram (soprano) – Eloise Routledge
- Julia Bertram (mezzo-soprano) – Paloma Bruce
- Aunt Norris (soprano) – Birgit Rohowska
- Mary Crawford (soprano) – Sarah Helsby Hughes
- Henry Crawford (tenor) – Nicholas Sales
- Mr. Rushworth (tenor) – Darren Clarke
American Premiere - 2015
- Fanny Price - Claire Weber
- Lady Bertram - Rebecca Roy
- Sir Thomas - Karl Buttermann
- Edmund Bertram - Thomas Hochla
- Maria Bertram - Natanya Washer
- Julia Bertram - Brittani McNeill
- Aunt Norris - Shayna Jones
- Mary Crawford - Lauren Kirsch
- Henry Crawford - Joshua Glassman
- Mr. Rushworth - Michael Dodge
List of scenes
- Scene 1: Chapter One: The Bertrams Observed
In which we meet the inhabitants of Mansfield Park.
- Scene 2: Chapter Two: First Impressions
In which we discover that Miss Mary Crawford has twenty thousand pounds and that Mr Henry Crawford is not handsome.
- Scene 3: Chapter Three: Sir Thomas Bertram's Farewell
In which Sir Thomas Bertram leaves for Antigua.
- Scene 4: Chapter Four: Landscape Gardening
In which Mr Rushworth proposes a trip to Sotherton, his estate.
- Scene 5: Chapter Five: In the Wilderness
In which the estate is explored.
- Scene 6: Chapter Six: Music and Astronomy
In which songs are sung and stars observed.
- Scene 7: Chapter Seven: Lovers' Vows
In which Amateur Theatricals are undertaken.
- Scene 8: Chapter Eight: Persuasion
In which Edmund's resolution is tested.
- Scene 9: Chapter Nine: The Rehearsal Interrupted
In which Sir Thomas returns.
- Scene 10: Chapter Ten: Independence and Splendour, or, Twelve Thousand a Year
In which happiness is defined.
- Scene 11: Chapter Eleven: A View of a Wedding
In which a wedding is celebrated, a honeymoon begun, a revelation made and plot hatched.
- Scene 1: Chapter One: Preparations for a Ball
In which Miss Fanny Price accepts a present from Miss Mary Crawford.
- Scene 2: Chapter Two: A Ball
In which partners are chosen.
- Scene 3: Chapter Three: A Proposal
In which the Bertram family are variously surprised, delighted, disappointed, confused and outraged.
- Scene 4: Chapter Four: Some Correspondence
In which much ink is spilt.
- Scene 5: Chapter Five: Follies and Grottoes
In which the Rushworths meet an old acquaintance.
- Scene 6: Chapter Six: A Newspaper Paragraph
In which occurs a matrimonial fracas.
- Scene 7: Chapter The Last
In which Mr Edmund Bertram declares his feelings to his future bride.
- Reinventing Opera, ITV London feature, 15 August 2011. Retrieved 20 August 2011.
- Mansfield Park feature on Heritage Opera's website Retrieved 19 August 2011.
- Smith, Tim. "Peabody Chamber Opera to give U.S. premiere of 'Mansfield Park'". Baltimore Sun. Retrieved 5 February 2015.