Mansfield Park: The Opera

Mansfield Park has been made into an opera!

Heritage Opera, formed in 2006, is a fully professional touring company, based in the North-West of England, presenting three or four fully staged and costumed operas per year in addition to our concerts, education workshops and other events. (From the Heritage Opera website.)

And now, Heritage Opera presents Mansfield Park, a new chamber opera by Mr. Jonathan Dove & Mr. Alastair Middleton, after the celebrated novel by Miss Jane Austen.

Heritage Opera are incredibly proud to present the World Premiere of Jonathan Dove’s new opera based on Jane Austen’s 1814 novel of the same name. Heritage Opera commissioned the work in 2008, and an extensive fundraising campaign followed, with many individual supporters, audience members and a handful of principal sponsors who gave generously to supplement the proceeds of two special events, with the result that the vocal scores were presented to Heritage Opera in December 2010.

Respected opera director Michael McCaffery, joining Heritage Opera for the first time, will direct a team of principals, including established Heritage Opera favourites and a number of principals making their HO debut.

The World Premiere will take place at Boughton House, the Duke of Buccleugh’s Northamptonshire residence, on 31st July 2011, with further performances in August 2011.

With libretto by Alastair Middleton, the plot concerns Fanny Price, a poor girl raised by her rich Uncle and Aunt, Sir Thomas and Lady Bertram, at Mansfield Park. The arrival of fashionable and worldly siblings Henry and Mary Crawford sparks a series of romantic entanglements leading to an elopement and scandal. (From the Heritage Opera website.)

I found out about this opera on austenonly, where there are several posts collecting information about it, with lots of pictures and a link to part of the musical score. Here are links to those posts:

The Premiere of “Mansfield Park, the Opera” by Jonathan Dove

Photographs from the Premiere of Mansfield Park by Jonathan Dove and Heritage Opera

The Stage Set of Mansfield Park the Opera, from Heritage Opera

The Score of Mansfield Park by Jonathan Dove

Tickets for this event and a list of the places that it is playing are available at the Heritage Opera website. There is also an “Exclusive Preview” on their website where you can listen to an excerpt of the music. The cast is listed here.



I obtained the images in this post from EKDUNCAN: My Fanciful Art Quest—”Artwork and Inspirations by Evelyn Kennedy Duncan”. Much larger versions of these images are available on her website.

First image: Opera Dress, No. 17 of R. Ackermann’s Repository of Arts &c. Pub. March 1, 1811. Plate 18, Vol. 5.
Second image: Ladies Evening or Opera Dress, No. 16 of Ackermann’s Repository of Arts &c. Publish’d April 1, 1810. Plate 25, Vol. 3.


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