My Weekend At Waterperry House

August 20, 2018 — 65 Comments

What a fabulous week I have had at Waterperry House and Gardens, working with a great cast and creative team to bring Jonathan Dove’s Mansfield Park to life.

Mansfield Park - Jonathan Dove - Waterperry Opera Festival - 17th August 2018

Director/Designer - Rebecca Meltzer
Musical Director - Ashley Beauchamp

Maria Bertram - Charlotte Hoather
Julia Bertram - Sarah Anne Champion
Aunt Norris - Andrea Tweedale
Mar

The company used the duck egg blue ballroom lit by natural sunlight and a twinkling chandelier to stage the production. The setting was inspirational, and once we got into our costumes we were taken back to a time of regency and romance. The audience enveloped the performance space in a way that felt quite intimate, enabling us to bring the story to life sharing close encounters and family squabbles.

On Saturday for our premiere, we were thrilled to see Jonathan Dove in the audience who said afterward that he thoroughly enjoyed the performance.  I was interested to learn from him that he wrote the opera to be accompanied by a piano duet (also known as piano four hands), because Jane Austin was a keen piano player who loved to play piano duets with friends. He wanted to create a sound world that he could imagine her living within.

IMG_2930b

My family came to watch on Saturday too and my Grandad said how much he enjoyed the production. I remember trying to not break from my character and smile and laugh at his reactions as the story developed, I am slowly converting him to the world of opera as he now looks forward to each new piece that I introduce him to.

IMG_0736a

I had a wonderful time working with the company created by Rebecca Meltzer, Guy Withers, and Bertie Baigent, their other shows were great successes too! Don Giovanni, which was performed in the outdoor Amphitheatre was incredibly moving and the Peter Rabbit adaptation for narrator and string quartet that took place in the tranquil rose garden was exquisite and very humorous! Whilst on site, we lived in the house. I shared a room with some of my colleagues who were fabulous company, we told stories, shared sweets and movie nights. It was like the dormitory experience I had always wished for. The wonderful cooks Wendy and Kate provided delicious vegetarian meals throughout the day, I was astonished that I enjoyed my meat-free week so much! I think I may even copy a few of their recipes and add them to my own recipe bank.

Considering that this was the Inaugural year, Rebecca Meltzer, Guy Withers, and Bertie Baigent did an amazing job bringing everything together so smoothly, it was an enormous undertaking and I wish them every success in the future for their festival.

They have kindly allowed me to share some of their pictures from the production taken by Robert Workman.

Mansfield Park - Jonathan Dove - Waterperry Opera Festival - 17th August 2018

Director/Designer - Rebecca Meltzer
Musical Director - Ashley Beauchamp

Maria Bertram - Charlotte Hoather
Julia Bertram - Sarah Anne Champion
Aunt Norris - Andrea Tweedale
Mar

Cast

LADY BERTRAM – Emily Gray
SIR THOMAS BERTRAM – Phil Wilcox
EDMUND BERTRAM – Milo Harries
JULIA BERTRAM – Sarah Anne Champion
MARIA BERTRAM – Charlotte Hoather
HENRY CRAWFORD – David Horton
MARY CRAWFORD – Eleanor Sanderson-Nash
AUNT NORRIS  – Andrea Tweedale
FANNY PRICE – Flora Macdonald
MR RUSHWORTH – Lawrence Thackeray

Creative Team

DIRECTOR – Rebecca Meltzer
MUSICAL DIRECTOR – Ashley Beauchamp
RÉPÉTITEUR​ – Will Ford
ASSISTANT DIRECTOR – Margaret Ravalde
COSTUME MAKER – Jane Black
COSTUME ASSISTANT – Bronte Macfadyean
PUPPET MAKER – Jo Lakin
STAGE MANAGER – May Howard-Shigeno
PRODUCTION MANAGER – Guy Withers

 

65 responses to My Weekend At Waterperry House

  1. 

    Sounds like a good time was had by all. A shame you don’t feature in more of the performance photos, but you do look particularly angelic in the one halfway down on the right, where you’re holding some sort of book! It’s a long time since I last read P&P but I don’t remember Maria being that kind of character…

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather August 22, 2018 at 7:39 pm

      There were lots of photos for me to choose from. I’ve put a couple of my solo ones on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/choathersings/?hl=en if you want to take a look 😊. Maria was following convention and a marriage of her parents blessing to a man of means, with a princely £12,000 spending power per year, the lovely but boring bumbling Mr Rushworth in the gold jacket in the photos. She is introduced to the charming Henry Crawford from London who turns her head. Henry meanwhile is a bit of a player and enjoys the chase he has an income of around £4000 per year, the rogue asks Fanny Price to marry him merely because she seems immune to his charms and she turns him down in preference of Maria’s brother Edmund. So Henry dallies once again with the now married Maria who brings scandal on her family when news of the affair breaks out and she goes off with him…

      How did that turn out I wonder, myself I wouldn’t trust him at all!

      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  2. 

    Magnifique ! really very happy for you !! Congratulations !

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather August 22, 2018 at 7:39 pm

      Thank you Pascal I’ve got two weeks now to organise myself before my Scotland tour starts. I must push on with the new repertoire I need to learn.

      All my best wishes
      Charlotte

  3. 

    All sound very good and it looks like you really enjoy performing and being a part of the company. I can completely understand how you felt or had to hold back your emotions whey you saw your granddad watching you there.

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather August 22, 2018 at 7:40 pm

      He was quite near the front and kept catching my eye, my Nana was quite emotional when it was all over too. It’s nice to be able to see the audience and interact with them I enjoy that aspect of breaking the fourth wall that I studied in drama.

      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  4. 

    I’m so happy for you and in awe of the fabulous career before you. This experience is another showy feather in your hat.
    I just replied to your comment on Art Gowns Art – Lady Anne.
    If I may, I’d like to sketch you in a couple of imaginary Art Gowns. Each would be a contemporary outreach (like Lady Anne) of a classic opera. I would love it if you would direct me to the character(s) and opera(s) that intrigue you.
    Just a crazy idea, for fun! xoxoxo

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather August 22, 2018 at 7:40 pm

      I’d be honoured to be sketched in your Art Gowns, seriously I’m thrilled you have suggested it. I’ll get some examples together for you and forward it on. Great fun!

      All my best wishes
      Charlotte

  5. 

    Oh, how lovely! And what a backdrop!

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather August 22, 2018 at 7:41 pm

      It would be amazing to take it on tour around Country House estates, the room had a real feel that we were just living our lives a bit like historical reality tv meets Downton Abbey, live hehe.

      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  6. 

    What a terrific opportunity to bring you and your Grandfather closer. I am so happy for you! <3

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather August 22, 2018 at 7:41 pm

      Both Nana and Grandad have done amazing this year getting to as many shows as possible, they only gave up regular work last year but they found all the travelling around tiring.

      All my best wishes
      Charlotte

  7. 

    AS always a super post Charlotte and what a wonderful experience for you. I’d love to have been in that intimately close audience. What a great idea for such a story!
    I’m having some difficulty keeping up with blogging friends as I move around Romania, let alone posting myself, but am now back in Iași for a few days before starting the long trip back to UK so trying to catch up on reading and did manage one post on our latest trip.

    • 

      PS. I loved the bit about conversion of grandfather. As I may have said before, with me it was the other way round – it was my grandmother who ‘converted’ (better said ‘introduced’) me to opera at 7 years old: Carmen, Carl Rosa opera company, Bradford Alhambra. I’ve never forgotten it and it began a lifelong love affair.

      • 
        Charlotte Hoather August 22, 2018 at 7:42 pm

        It shows it’s never too late my Grandparents are in their 70’s and just getting to opera now 🙂

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather August 22, 2018 at 7:42 pm

      I believe you and Petronela would have enjoyed it, my family found it very amusing and got caught up in all the drama. Enjoy Romania and your break.

      All my best wishes
      Charlotte

  8. 

    Looks like a beautiful production loved by audiences and cast alike. Mx

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather August 22, 2018 at 8:00 pm

      Thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment, I had a great time and hope that audience did too.

      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  9. 

    It was a lovely day Charlotte, the performance everyone gave was amazing.
    I felt we could have been in a scene from Downton Abbey, with lots of giggles along the way. Well done to everyone. The standing applause went on for so long , it bought a tear to my eyes..xx

  10. 

    Looks truly amazing Charlotte. You’ve also converted both me and Terry to opera we always really enjoy your performances and I wish I could have watched this one too. You are a star 🌟😘

  11. 

    You really suit the period dress. It looks a wonderful setting. What’s next for you? x

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather August 22, 2018 at 7:44 pm

      Thanks Christine, I love dressing up. Lots to do before the Scottish BambinO tour starts in September my heads spinning so I must do a schedule to make sure I fit everything in.

      All my best wishes
      Charlotte

  12. 

    What beautiful photos. Looks like you worked hard and also enjoyed the experience.
    So glad that your family got to see the performance too. Everyone looks terrific in the period costumes. Congrats on your work well done, Charlotte.

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather August 22, 2018 at 7:44 pm

      I learnt so much from this experience. Sarah was like a sister to me and the time just sped by. Thank you Darlene.

      All my best wishes
      Charlotte

  13. 

    This looks and sounds like a wonderful production. I love the Regency costumes and the Waterperry House setting.

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather August 22, 2018 at 7:45 pm

      Regency costumes were very comfortable, our modern long casual dresses made a bit of a comeback this summer too and means you don’t have to wear tights when it gets a bit chilly 😊.

      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  14. 

    You made a beautiful Marie Bertram, wish I had been there!

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather August 22, 2018 at 7:45 pm

      Thank you GP I wish you could have seen it too. It’s very fast paced and the story is a tale as old as time but still relevant today really.

      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  15. 

    Dear Charlotte,
    Beautiful pictures and your acting career is on the way. May the Lord bless you richly my Beloved.

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather August 22, 2018 at 7:45 pm

      It’s hard to keep up momentum because whilst you’re working you can’t get to auditions but there is plenty of learning, admin and singing still to be done during none rehearsal/performance periods.

      All my best wishes
      Charlotte

  16. 

    Such a lovely post. Sounds like you had such a nice time.

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather August 22, 2018 at 7:45 pm

      A really nice time, I ushered one day in the other show and that was fun too.

      All my best wishes
      Charlotte

  17. 

    This sounds amazing! I wish I could have seen it. Having your grandpa there must have made it extra special.

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather August 22, 2018 at 7:46 pm

      I love it when my family can come to watch, even though they are the most critical observers ever! Hehe. My grandparents are exhausted this year travelling around from Cornwall to North Wales to Oxford.

      All my best wishes
      Charlotte

  18. 

    Our (otherwise) lovely guest stayed an extra day, so we didn’t get to this. I am very sad as it looks fabulous (though I can only see half a dozen of the photos). I’ve had a look at Waterperry’s own site and found some more, I was hoping for some video extracts, to give a flavour of the opera… I dream on. What a wonderful hard-working summer you are having, Charlotte.

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather August 28, 2018 at 8:15 pm

      I’d loved to have shared a video, my family said it was much better than they expected it to be (typical of them hehe).

      I could do with another half day each day at the moment trying to find the best place to live where there is space to practice when I’ve been spoilt for the past couple of years with practice rooms with pianos at my student digs 😳, I have a week before I’m off on tour.
      All my best wishes
      Charlotte

  19. 

    Sounds like it always a great show! Always cool when the composer likes the performance. A perfect setting to go with the story.

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather August 28, 2018 at 8:09 pm

      It was lovely when he said it was just as he’d imagined it, Rebecca did a great job bringing it together. I asked him to sign my score which reminds me I must cling film wrap the cover it now 😁.
      All my best wishes Trent,
      Charlotte

  20. 

    Great photography. Thank you for sharing. I’m glad that it went so well. I knew that you were an actress, as well, but it seems more prominent now.

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather August 28, 2018 at 7:55 pm

      Thank you Eric, he took lots of lovely pictures. We all had a great time. Opera is the complete package, singing, acting and dance/movement that’s why I love it so much 😊. Hope you’re well, I was looking at your lovely photo last night it’s very calming.
      All my best wishes
      Charlotte

  21. 

    Lovely costumes and location dear Charlotte. I am sure that your performance was excellent 🙂 <3

  22. 

    You are looking so beautiful, Charlotte, wrapped up with your work, travels, and surroundings ~ continue this amazing adventure you are on. The best to you and your family (especially your grandfather), very special.

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather August 28, 2018 at 7:52 pm

      Thank you Randall, lovely to hear from you, I hope you’re well. I’m trying to find somewhere to live this year at the moment which is a bit stressful, I’ve been in student digs with practice rooms for the last two years in a lovely area of London. I’ll be glad just to find somewhere affordable and quickly.
      All my best wishes
      Charlotte

  23. 

    You know, it’s funny; I’m a big fan of Jane Austen’s work, but Mansfield Park was the one book I had a hard time getting through, HOWEVER, I think I might enjoy it more as an opera. (Also, I wasn’t particularly interested in opera before, but, like your grandpa, thanks to you I’m starting to appreciate it a lot more.)
    Glad everyone involved had a good time. 🙂 Got any new projects in the works?

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather August 28, 2018 at 7:48 pm

      I’m having to use a week to try to find accommodation in London, then I go on a Scottish tour with BambinO with a new cast which is exciting. I’ve got to book in a video session for auditions and learn new songs for bookings I have, I need another 12 hours each day at the moment, it’s a bit 😳.
      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  24. 

    What a beautiful Dreamy place. I love you get to do these things. Great memories.

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather August 28, 2018 at 8:30 pm

      Performing in this wonderful setting helped bring the characters to life and made the whole experience so special.
      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  25. 

    This all sound like great fun as well as hard work! You all look wonderful in Regency costume – I am so pleased it was a success. Congratulations, Charlotte!

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather August 28, 2018 at 8:35 pm

      The costumes do help you to get into character and I loved how the production came together. It was such fun working with the cast in a fabulous location.
      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  26. 

    OMG!!! I just saw Joyce DiDonato’s costume for War and Peace. That is a total knock out. She looks like an opera rock star! Anyway, I wrote you a rather lengthy reply to your comment on my blog. Excited to hear your reply re: sketching you in an Opera Art Gown, just for fun!

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather August 29, 2018 at 9:48 pm

      I’d love to inspire you to sketch your ideas, sounds wonderful. I’ll have a think about opera roles or perhaps a costume for a concert like The Haugtussa as that’s sung in Norwegian it would be interesting to build a costume to tell the story and she is magical/mystical.
      All my best wishes
      Charlotte

  27. 

    Oh for crying out loud! 😜 I already asked you about sketching you! Sorry for the repeat!
    🙃 Also, not all comment replies come through on my annotator in the upper right. I didn’t see your answer until I actually came here. Again, apologies!

  28. 

    You just keep thinking straight which is good for you…You are an Angel 😇

  29. 

    Seems really ironic that you are too busy to look for more work!
    That show and its setting — breathtaking. How lucky those able to see it. As for those able to live it . . . well, of course, that takes talent as well as luck!

Trackbacks and Pingbacks:

  1. » My Summer Reprise Charlotte Hoather - September 13, 2018

    […] back to London for rehearsals, it was on to Waterperry House in Oxfordshire to perform the role of Maria Bertram in Waterperry Opera Festival’s production of Jonathan Dove’s Mansfield Park.  The production received a five-star review in Bachtrack this week by Charlotte Valori,    […]

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.