I would like to announce that the Box office for Waterperry Opera Festival, located a stone’s throw from Oxford, is now open. I will be participating in the company’s inaugural production of Mansfield Park, a chamber opera in two Acts by Jonathan Dove, based on the novel by Jane Austen. The performances will take place on the 18th and 19th August 2018 at 2pm. The ticket will also include access to the splendid Waterperry Gardens where you can explore the estate, with its Riverside walk, numerous gardens, Medieval Church, Museum and much more. I am looking forward to trying an afternoon tea and the homemade cakes in their Tea shop between rehearsals.
In the opera, I will perform the role of Maria Bertram, who is the eldest daughter of Sir Thomas and Lady Bertram. Fanny Price the novel’s protagonist, is Maria’s cousin, yet their relationship isn’t a close one.
During this snapshot of her life, Maria is engaged to Mr. Rushworth, an eligible match due to his wealth and property. However, Maria finds him tedious and his conversations dull. In contrast, she admires Henry Crawford, with whom after much flirtation, she falls in love. However, at times he is quite manipulative and uses her interest for his own gain and unfortunately, he does not love her back.
I’m looking forward to playing Maria Bertram as she is quite confident, at times arrogant, and her rebellious nature finds her in situations that cause a few scandals. Perhaps not always likable, but her involvement in the story allows us to glimpse the restrictions women dealt with during this period and how ‘ill’ choices can lead to a ruined reputation and being shunned by society.
I won’t continue to discuss the story in detail, in case you would like to read the novel that the opera is based on. I would certainly recommend it or perhaps listen to an audiobook. I particularly enjoyed BBC4’s dramatisation of the novel with David Tennant, Felicity Jones, and Benedict Cumberbatch performing.
I am on the lookout for a visual dramatisation of the novel at the moment so that I can study appropriate movements and gestures as well as fill my imagination with settings, costumes, and objects of the period. If you would like to share any personal insights I would be very interested to hear your voices.
UPDATE: Only 15 tickets left for the performance on Saturday 18th August.
The first week of rehearsals for Candide with Surrey Opera has started with a bang! I am working alongside such talented colleagues and I look forward to sharing the rehearsal process with you over the coming weeks, I’d like to try to get some photographs but its always difficult if you’re in the middle of the lively action.
You can listen to all my albums recorded in 2014 and 2016 on these popular streaming services, this will help me to keep up my singing and coaching training now I’m cut loose from the college environment, thanks in advance for any help you can give me by taking a listen:
37 thoughts on “Mansfield Park – Waterperry Opera Festival”
Mon Dieu! So sophisticated & intriguing story, dear Charlotte! Bon chance! Best wishes, Maria 🙂
Merci beaucoup, my heads spinning 😄.
Charlotte, I am so impressed at how quickly and successfully you are moving into your career! From outside it looks almost effortless, although I know that much blood, sweat, tears and hard work have gone into it. Congratulations for another great opportunity, and best wishes in your busy summer schedule!
If I may, I’d like to quote something that the composer Jake Heggie told me last week, that he heard from Susan Graham when she was asked what advice she would give her younger self at the start of her career. This made me think of you: “I would tell that person, when you’re never home, you never see your friends or family, when you are constantly on the road going from hotel room to hotel room, when you can never create a relationship because you’re never in one place long enough, when you’re constantly freaked out because you haven’t learned your music and your off to this thing and that thing, and you never know what’s around the corner or if it’s going to succeed—that’s when it’s going well.”
Be well, Charlotte, and relish these wonderful days!
Thank you so much Peter for this shared advice, I made time to celebrate the end of my Masters with friends the other night because I just haven’t been able to socialise much since Christmas. I was concerned the other day because I had got through pre-audition to two auditions that I then couldn’t make because of rehearsals. No-one just hands me Opera roles without auditions so 😱. One friend told me he’s fully booked two years into the future which added a bit of stress and I don’t want anyone following my training to think I know what’s coming next because as Susan Graham said in this game it’s rare to know what’s around the corner.
However, saying all that I do relish these opportunities I’ve been offered it’s helping me to understand how long it takes me to learn full roles from scratch whilst still doing my research and keeping obligations I agreed before getting the roles. This is definitely what I want to do to earn my living if I can.
These performances, lead to movie roles ? 🙂 would be awesome to say the least.
You are gonna be a very busy lady. I’m also loving your new black and white pic. So elegant. 😃
Thank you I’m glad you like it, I tried a new headshot photographer in Glasgow for the first time. 😊
Difficult taking pics during rehearsal would be difficult, yet pics during performance would more suffice ! Mount a camera as a button and let male character you SUPPOSEDLY fall in love with (thank God:) notice it LIVE in a face to face scene, that’ll add scandal to your character !
He freaks right there; just kiss em anyway. I’ll forgive you.
And he Better as well .
Rated ®. 😛
ps: Have funn !
Good tips Joe, I’ll have to get my Dad to teach me how to take a snap shot off a video recording. Yes I got to kiss Candide on day 1 of rehearsals!!
I am looking forward to your take on the process of your rehearsals and of course the cool things you find in the area. The joys of living in a part of the world with deep history.
The headshot looks great as well! I would use this photographer again!
Take care and enjoy the warmer weather.
Oxford is a lovely City, as you say so full of history and beautiful buildings and I can’t wait to see Waterperry House and Gardens and start the rehearsals. I’ve got my score now and have been highlighting the entries ready for storybooking. I am enjoying a warm late Spring and hoping we have this weather continuing over summer that would be lovely.
Mansfield Park is one of my favourite Austen novels. How interesting to hear there’s an opera version! I’m sure you’ll be great as Maria – it’s a juicy role!
Yes I sat highlighting my own copy of the score last night, previously I’d just got a library copy so its nice to have one to keep. I’ll draw up a full character and start to storyboard it soon.
I don’t know how you keep up with all of these Characters. I wonder if you find a bit of yourself in each one, no matter how different they are from you. For nothing else, in order to relate to them. I also wonder if you’ve ever played the Villain or a Character that is not easy to like for the audience…
I draw images and keep notes and check back over my blogs I’ve written about the characters too, it all comes in useful. Yes I love to live each character. The Controller in Flight wasn’t easy for me to like and was quite snooty and aloof, looking down on people and emotionally cold but the Director said I played it rather well and was this the hidden me, luckily another cast member shouted up that I wasn’t at all like that hehe. I’d love to play The Queen of the Night in the Magic Flute. I’d love someone to create a karate kicking soprano diva who can protect herself – yes that would be a great character to play, someone like Mazikeen in Lucifer.
First, a superb portrait in b/w (which generally I prefer to colour) especially when viewed at full size.
The Jane Austen role sounds really exciting, challenging your acting abilities as well as those as soprano. We know how well you research and prepare for such roles so I’m sure your portrayal of this ‘fiesty’ female will be wonderful.
And this among the other wonderful performances this year. I was glad to hear you managed to make timme for a little celebration.
Thank you for finding the time in your busy life to share your experiences with us in such detail; it is really appreciated.
I usually prefer colour photographs too, but some people want black and white headshots so I got them updated, I’m glad you like it. I’m very excited to be performing in an immersive opera for adults this time, I’m hoping there are some dance opportunities to get my waltzing shoes out. I’m spending a lot of time on trains and tubes at the moment so I save things up to do on that downtime like prepare a blog item, or write up my replies to my blog friends, sometimes I have to save them and blog them once I’m in a wifi zone. I would like to always make time for my blog it’s like my diary now.
Dancing. That’s a new side of you we haven’t heard of before.
By the way, I’m not sure whether I misunderstood you or the other way round but, in general, I prefer black and white for portraits; I think the personality comes through better. Much as I like the colour pix of you, I really like that B&W of you most.
Yes, I too often save comments and blog posts till I’m on WiFi. As I do the majority on an iPad I write and save them in Pages, copying and pasting later.
Lovely portrait of you. Your performances are going to be wonderful, I know. Too far away to come but I’ll listen to the recordings Charlotte.
Thank you, rehearsals are on track and going well. If there are any recordings or anything I’ll be sure to let you know.
All my best wishes
Sounds like you will need your tea and sustenance working this hard. Can’t wait to see your photos. Keep up the great work Charlotte, Darlene
Yes eating at regular meal times is a challenge, some days I’m near the rehearsals from 10am to 10pm so I have to plan ahead. Thanks Darlene.
All my best wishes
Ah, to do what you love and to be loved by so many! Carry on. <3
Thank you my friend. Hugs to you.
The new portrait is beautiful! Your transition from student to professional is going seamlessly. Congratulations!
I’m glad it seems like it’s seamless, to me it seems like I’m leaping out of a nice safe, structured six years of conservatoire student living into the unknown.
I can see why people like to continue on to PhDs or Opera School, organising private singing, coaching, language tuition etc. is all required too but I am getting organised now.
You have these shows line up for you to perform. That is exciting!
Thank you it is exciting.
Congrats on your role in Mansfield Park, Charlotte! Interesting to see there’s an opera based on it. There’s one movie adaptation and it’s quite good. (Never mind the TV mini-series) I’m sure you can get hold of it, if not DVD then stream online. That’s a 1999 production but still modern looking, with Frances O’Connor playing Fanny Price. Maria Bertram is played by Victoria Hamilton. If you’ve watched the excellent Netflex series “The Crown”, Victoria Hamilton is the Queen’s Mum. 🙂 All the best!
Thanks Arti, I will definitely be making time to watch. I haven’t seen the Crown but I’ll look her up.
How exciting, Charlotte! Congratulations on achieving this splendid role!
I hope we eventually get to see you in costume. You know how much I adore everything wardrobe does.
It’s impressive that you want to study dramatizations. I’ve always considered you to be an actress, as well as a singer.
As special guest with the Tideswell Male Choir, you are right out there, proving your lead capabilities.
Thank you Resa, I hadn’t been well in the weeks leading up to the audition and I had to cancel two others but managed to get to this one I’m so glad I did now, it is a super role after reading through again last night I’ll be excited to start rehearsals. I adore wardrobe too I’ll see what I can share. I did study A level Drama and really have been acting since I was about six hehe.
It’s a proper treat to see my friends at Tideswell Male Voice Choir, its been about four years since I last got an opportunity to see them all, I’m looking forward to listening to them and enjoying their music too, they’re excellent.
This looks like an interesting role! Poor headstrong, vain Maria! I blame Aunt Norris! I know the version I am going to recommend is very dated but it is so true to the book, and the costumes and manners of the time are excellent (as far as I am aware). It is the 1983 BBC Mansfield Park series with Samantha Bond playing Maria. Good luck with all your rehearsals and auditions xx
Thank you Clare I’ll have to visit my brother and try to find it on his tv, I think he still has Amazon Prime perhaps its on there. Rehearsals start at 3pm today so it’s nice to finally get a catch up morning.
Sounds a good opera to be a part off. Good luck with it xx
Wonderful role for you to sink your acting teeth into! It should be great fun!