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.[1]


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.[1] Royal Academy Opera gave two performances of the opera in May 2012,[2] and Hampstead Garden Opera gave ten performances in a new production directed by Bruno Ravella in April 2013.

In 2015 the opera received 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.

The opera was given its Australian premiere in April 2016 by Sydney-based independent opera company, Operantics.

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

Australian Premiere - 2016[3]

  • Fanny Price - Sonya Holowell
  • Lady Bertram - Jermaine Chau
  • Sir Thomas - Ian Warwick
  • Edmund Bertram - Tristan Entwistle
  • Maria Bertram - Katie Miller-Crispe
  • Julia Bertram - Amy Balales
  • Aunt Norris - Jessica Harper
  • Mary Crawford - Samanta Lestavel
  • Henry Crawford - Daniel Folesi
  • Mr. Rushworth - Spencer Darby

List of scenes

Act One

  • 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.

Act Two

  • 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.


  1. ^ a b Quirke, Kieron Mansfield Park, Arcola Theatre – Review, Evening Standard, August 16, 2011. Retrieved 18 January 2013.
  2. ^ Morrison, Richard. "Mansfield Park", The Times, 20 May 2012
  3. ^ Lancaster, Lynne. "Mansfield Park". Retrieved 12 February 2018.