Bronteana: Bronte Studies Blog Archives

May 27, 2006


Filed under: Uncategorized — by bronteana @ 1:13 am

Michael Berkeley’s Jane Eyre Opera has its American premiere

There have been some changes made to the work which premiered in 2000 at the Cheltenham Festival. The two acts have been combined into one with the addition of transitional music. The changes were suggested by Opera Theatre’s artistic director Colin Graham. The reason given here is to make the work ‘more dramatically immediate’. The work now runs 80 minutes. The work focuses on the ‘kernel’ of the drama at Thornfield, ‘distilling’ the story down to Adele, Jane, Mr Rochester, and Bertha Mason.

“We have walked round the piece and viewed it very much from the terrible predicament of the first Mrs. Rochester up in the attic. Jean Rhys’ ‘Wide Sargasso Sea,’ feminism and the developments in psychology in recent years mean that we necessarily see the scenario with a contemporary eye,” Berkeley said. “Jane is a very single-minded girl. Ultimately, it is a timeless story of ‘three into two won’t go,’ and in the effort to make it go, a terrible price is paid. It’s not just, ‘Reader, I married him,’ because we have, at the end, the corpse of the original Mrs. Rochester and Rochester himself burnt and blinded.”

Where: Loretto-Hilton Center, Webster University
When: 7 p.m. June 4 and 8 p.m. June 8, 10, 14 and 16.
Should you take the children: Older teens
More info: 314-961-0171 or

Image is of soprano Kelly Kaduce, with famed costume designer Jane Greenwood and draper Rick Tuckett. (Photo by Ken Howard)


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