BU Opera Stages Mansfield Park in Booth Theatre for Virtual Audiences
Mansfield Park premieres Friday, April 23, 2021
Over a year of modified performances, upended expectations, and creative problem-solving has led to an incredible virtual production from the Boston University Opera Institute. Staged in BU’s Joan & Edgar Booth Theatre and filmed over the course of several days earlier in the Spring 2021 semester, the opera premieres online on the evening of April 23, 2021.
The opera is based on the novel by Jane Austen, with music by Jonathan Dove and libretto by Alasdair Middleton, by arrangement with C.F. Peters, publisher and copyright owner.
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Jim Petosa • stage director
William Lumpkin • conductor
Angela Gooch, Matthew Larson, Allison Voth • pianists
Fanny Price • Gabrielle Barkidjija
Lady Bertram • Myka Murphy
Sir Thomas Bertram • Hyungjin Son
Maria Bertram • Kaileigh Riess
Julia Bertram • Madalyn Luna
Edmund Bertram • Erik Danielson
Aunt Norris • Maureen Brabec
Mary Crawford • Caroline Corrales
Henry Crawford • Ryan Lustgarten
Mr. Rushworth • Jangho Lee
Scenic Designer • Adam Hawkins
Costume Designer • Emma George
Lighting Designer • Kevin Dunn
Sound Designer • Sean Doyle
Principal Coach/Supertitle Consultant • Allison Voth
Coach • Matthew Larson
Assistant Sound Designer • Jacob Montgomery
Technical Director • Marco Liguori
Technical Director – Decking • Johnathon Utter
Automation Operator • Kendall Khan
Paint Charge Artist • Lydia Anderson
Scenic Artists • Brenda Dziadzio
Master Electrician • Isaak Olson
Assistant Master Electrician • Klara Ballay
Moving Light Programmer • Qian Chengyuan
Deck Electrician • Morgan Strange
Light Board Operator • Molly Beall
Stage Manager • Natalie Main
Assistant Stage Manager • Em Dupcak, Lee Speth
Production Manager • Ricky A. Moats
Associate Production Manager • Eric Sprosty
Videography • Chris Dempsey
Video Operator • Madeline Horvat
Video Editor & Supertitles • Shady Hartshorne
School of Theatre Production Manager • Johnny Kontogiannis
Opera Institute Managing Director • Oshin Gregorian
Behind the Production
According to Opera Institute Artistic Director and conductor William Lumpkin, upon completing the recording of the Virtual Fringe Festival in the fall of 2020, they turned their attention to finding an ensemble opera that could feature each of the ten students in the Opera Institute. “We discovered the wonderful adaptation of Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park by composer Jonathan Dove with a libretto by Alasdair Middleton. The ten characters in Dove’s version are a perfect match vocally (and dramatically) for the ten Opera Institute students, and we are extremely proud of their commitment to the project. After having enjoyed their work on the solo projects for the Fringe Festival, they were eager to work together as an ensemble in rehearsal and in recording, and we developed advanced safety protocols to achieve this.”
Lumkpin continues, “our production continues the highly valued collaboration with our School of Theatre colleagues in set, costume and lighting design as well as stage management, and it was an exhilarating experience to see the students and faculty from both schools enjoy the shared experience of creating art during a pandemic. This type of shared learning is at the heart of the mission at the College of Fine Arts, and as we faced the challenges of finding opportunities for the students in the face of a pandemic, it became astonishingly clear how important and valued these experiences are to all of us.”
The health and safety of students, faculty, and staff was top of mind for the production team, and for the duration of the production process the team abided by the Boston University COVID-19 Health and Safety Protocols, including face coverings, social distancing, symptom monitoring and testing. They created dual rooms for safe coaching, allowing for a singer and the coach to be connected in two separate rooms with a non-latent audio and video connection. In an effort to preserve the critical aspect of the exploration and discovery during staging rehearsals, face coverings were worn at all times and singers employed the method of “marking.” For the final recording, they filmed the company as an ensemble with face coverings and appropriate distancing.
Check out their incredible efforts in the live-streamed premiere! Can’t make it? Check back later to stream Mansfield Park for a limited time.
Mansfield Park premieres on Friday, April 23, 2021 at 7:30pm ET. Tune in to the livestream at bu.edu/cfa/livemusic. Learn more at bu.edu/cfa/opera/news.
Flip through the Mansfield Park program.
Boston University Opera Institute
The Opera Institute at CFA School of Music is an intensive, highly selective two-year performance-based training program for emerging operatic artists. A professional faculty and renowned guest artists provide personal support and training in all areas pertinent to a career in opera, including voice, acting, languages, and movement styles. Additionally, the Opera Institute also selects undergraduate and graduate singers from the School of Music who demonstrate true operatic potential and have mastered an intermediate integration of acting, vocal, and movement skills for the Opera Theater, Opera Workshop, and Opera Project programs. Learn more at bu.edu/cfa/opera.