Latest News


Tuesday, 10 July 2018 15:08

Auditions for 2019

Written by


We’re planning a production of Mansfield Park (by Jonathan Dove and Alasdair Middleton) with two performances at Haslemere Hall in Surrey, conducted by Mark Austin and directed by James Hurley.

Rehearsals in will be in London from 27 January and performances on 22 & 23 February 2019.

Auditions will be held at Royal Academy of Music, London, on 19 & 20 July 2018, and applications are invited from singers with conservatoire training or equivalent standard.

Please send CV and links to two video or audio recordings to with the subject line "Audition Mansfield Park" (without the quotation marks) by midnight on Friday 13 July 2018. Please don't try to send large files.

Friday, 29 June 2018 11:19

February 2019 production

Written by

“People love Jane Austen, even though those books are absurd to us, because we like the clarity of it” Nick Hornby


Our February 2019 production is inspired by Jane Austen's Mansfield Park. Composer Jonathan Dove and librettist Alasdair Middleton’s opera is a witty and approachable interpretation of the novel, and since Austen was a sometime resident of Chawton (Hampshire), we anticipate local interest. The vocal lines combine imagination with enchanting virtuosity.


“I intend to make Fanny Price fall in love with me!”


While Sir Thomas Bertram is away visiting his plantations in Antigua, his Mansfield Park Estate is thrown out of kilter by the arrival of Mary Crawford and her fickle brother, Henry. Hedonists escaping the social whirl of London, they crash into the countryside and corrupt the Bertram family.


At the centre of the chaotic household, Fanny Price, Austen’s own Cinderella, watches helplessly as relationships are tested and the social order is unsettled. Will the Bertram daughters escape untarnished by Henry Crawford’s wanton advances? Will Fanny’s beloved cousin Edmund see through Mary’s superficial social charm?


Join Opera South at Haslemere Hall and prepare to be whisked through this nineteenth-century high-society romance by internationally acclaimed opera director James Hurley and a stellar lineup. Audiences are in for a real treat - a thrilling enactment by a professional ensemble of emerging operatic stars.


Click here to download a .pdf flyer

See #operasouth.

Wednesday, 11 July 2018 10:40

New Year Party 2019

Written by

Opera South's annual New Year Party is at The Georgian Hotel in Haslemere on 5th January 2019 at 6 pm. The number of covers is strictly limited to 100, and tickets are £70 (Champagne, hot and cold canapés, dinner and wine).

As usual, the evening will include an operatic performance and the names of the selected singers will be posted here in due course. At this stage, we're not quite sure what they will perform, but you can be sure that it will be in line with previous years.

Naturally, there will be some fund-raising activities, and credit card facilities will be available. Proceeds will go towards Opera South (Registered Charity No.1057907).

The menu is currently under discussion, but the evening generally gets off to a good start with a Champagne reception.

Please liaise with Sarah Barnes who is organising seating.

Telephone: 01428 643129


Wednesday, 06 December 2017 06:00

Voices from the Heart: an evening of youthful love

Written by

Friday 8 June 2018 - 7:30 pm

The Music Room at Champs Hill, in West Sussex countryside, has become our venue of choice for summer music. To make the most of this magical place, the gardens open at 6 pm (please, no picnics), wine and canapés are served from 6:45 pm.

Margo Arsane (mezzo-soprano)

Freddie de Tommaso (photo: A Bofill)

Margo Arsane (mezzo-soprano) and Freddie de Tommaso (tenor)
Mark Austin (piano)

A powerful programme about feelings: first-, lost- and unrequited-love, jealousy and regret. Tender, emotional operatic content. Songs by Schumann, Tosti, Liszt and Strauss; arias by Verdi, Mozart, Rossini and Donizetti.

Tickets: £35 (includes wine & canapés) from The Little Box Office (+booking fee)

or from Sarah Barnes, Hazel Bank, Hedgehog Lane, Haslemere, Surrey GU27 2PJ
Tel. 01428 643129


Monday, 04 December 2017 12:00

Puccini: the man and the music

Written by

Friday 20 April 2018 - 7:30 pm

Haslemere Educational Museum
78 High Street

We're delighted to announce that opera enthusiast and raconteur Michael Hartnall has agreed to speak about the heart and soul of this incredible composer.

Tickets: £20 to include interval wine and light refreshments from The Little Box Office (+booking fee)

or from Sarah Barnes, Hazel Bank, Hedgehog Lane, Haslemere, Surrey GU27 2PJ
Tel. 01428 643129

Tuesday, 29 May 2018 14:31

Opera Awards Foundation: Margo Arsane

Written by

Margo Arsane sang for Opera South at Champs Hill, 8 June 2018

Monday, 25 February 2019 11:24

Guildford Dragon News review

Written by

Stage Dragon: Mansfield Park – Opera South

By L A Cooper

You’d be forgiven if you’ve never heard of an operatic rendition of Mansfield Park. But Opera South brings together sheer youthful angst, and classic outrageous drama seamlessly in their latest production showing at Haslemere Hall.

Based on Austen’s classic novel, the opera follows Fanny Price and the Bertram family as their lives are jolted into action by the flirtatious, manipulative Crawfords. Over the course of an hour and a half, you’re hurtling along so quickly you’ll think you’re on Mr Toad’s Wild Ride. And you won’t want to get off.

Jonathan Dove’s composition is brought to life by a two-man, one piano ensemble, that somehow, partnered with the diverse harmonies, makes you forget you’re not listening to a 30-piece orchestra. Under the direction of James Hurley, the cast relay the fun, colourful awakening of Austen’s 20-somethings, bounding about society looking for matches.

Fanny, played by Kamilla Dunstan, may seem overshadowed (I forgot about her on more than one occasion), but her on-stage presence as Austen’s protagonist was faithfully observant, and her voice mirrored the quiet power and influence Fanny has on the Bertram family.

And she didn’t stand alone. James Corrigan, playing Fanny’s amour, Edmund Bertram, had the audience so enraptured at one stage, you could hear the rustle of paper in his hand from the back stalls. Simon Gfeller as the jilted Mr Rushworth may have oozed energy, but his heartbreak could melt the hardest of hearts, while April Frederick’s Mary Crawford was the unabashed prima donna, hitting notes so high it made me wince.

Mansfield Park’s artistic direction will trick you into thinking you’re seeing a lot more than you are. As immersive and innovative as it is striking, the sharp, quick choreography embodies every love triangle, suitor and will-they-won’t-they storyline. When the cast hops on a make-shift buggy (or barouche, if we’re to play into Julia Bertram's penchant) and make for Sotherton, the stage is flooded with golden hour-esque lighting. So convincing, in fact, you’ll wish you were sitting outside, Pimm’s in hand.

And yes, the cast chimes “Fanny Price” so many times in the first ten minutes you’ll want to take a shot every time you hear her name. But in the story’s final throws, we’re treated to a harmony so strong it requires no other instrument. The stage quietens, and as Fanny turns and realises her love is requited after all, an array of notes sing out so sweetly it gave me butterflies.

Sure: the audience is about as diverse as your local Waitrose shoppers on a Tuesday afternoon. But with Hurley’s palpable energy and innovation, it’s difficult to understand why. Enough dynamism and sexual conflict to appeal to the Hair generation, a letter sequence to compete with Phantom’s Notes/Prima Donna, and a ten-part cast who’ll either convert you or [theatrically] die trying, Opera South prove that opera is open to the masses.

See original article at The Guildford Dragon News

Join our free mailing list

Opera South incorporating Opera Omnibus (founded in 1984) Registered Charity No 1057907

Company limited by guarantee Registered in England and Wales No 3243724

© 2019 Opera South | Terms & Conditions | Privacy Policy | Sitemap | Design by Wingnut