Jane Austen Festival Port Alberni, BC Canada Performances 7:30pm Thursday, July 5 & Friday, July 6 Alberni District Secondary School
The original musical adaptation of Persuasion will be featured in two shows, Thursday, July 5 and Friday, July 6, to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the publication of Austen’s novel of the same name.
In autumn, every year, hundreds of lovers of all things Austen descend on the city of Bath, England, for the largest gathering of Jane Austen enthusiasts in the world.
During the course of ten days, there are over eighty events including the world-famous record breaking Grand Regency Costumed Promenade. This spectacular parade through the city centre literally stops the traffic and is always held on the first Saturday. Another unique event is the Regency Costumed Masked Ball with its drinks reception around the Roman Baths and dancing in the historic Pump Rooms. While many participants take the opportunity to immerse themselves in the spirit of the Festival and dress for the entire ten days in costume, apart from for the Promenade and the Masked Ball, costume is not obligatory.
Other events include theatricals, bus and walking tours of Austen sites, public readings, theatricals, dance workshops, talks and discussions on all sorts of subjects from food and 18th Century fashion to health and gardens. Taking place in historic venues around the city, such as Bath Abbey, the Assembly Rooms, the Guildhall and of course the Pump Rooms.
The 2017 Touring Cast of Jane Austen's Persuasion posing in front of taken in front of the Jane Austen House Museum in Chawton
In PERSUASION, Anne Elliot has rejected a proposal of marriage from the one man she truly loved, Captain Frederick Wentworth. She was persuaded by her godmother that Captain Wentworth was unworthy, but after a separation of almost a decade, he returns from sea with both rank and fortune. The tables have turned, Anne is nearly an old maid and her once rich family is on the verge of bankruptcy. Can Anne win him back? Can he forgive her for breaking off their engagement rather than following her heart? And can their lost love be rekindled? One of the most powerful love stories ever written, this authentic rendering of Jane Austen’s novel will transport you back in time!
View the Trailer for Persuasion
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Jane Austen's Persuasion A Musical Drama The Reviews are Spectacular!
The Art Theatre was a perfect setting for this opera and provided a similar atmosphere to the Buxton Opera House. The opera gains it's authenticity from meticulous research using music that was known to Jane Austen and composed by Beethoven, Corelli, Handel, Haydn as well as several others. The cast contained both Americans and non Americans but the accents were all British no doubt due to the efforts of the dialect coach listed in the programme. The quality of the singing was uniformly excellent especially given the size of the cast which exceeded the cast sizes usually seen at the Buxton Festival. This was a comic opera reflecting the humour as well as the romance of Austen's novel. On occasion the actors/singers were required to play scenes for laughs and occasionally sing intentionally out of tune and this very much added to the fun of the production. An interesting addition to Austen's story was the inclusion of Irish dancing. This is authentic since many Irishmen served in the British navy at the time. The exuberant sight of Irish dancers in naval uniforms provided an enjoyable interlude and change of pace. The staging was creative and very effective. The movement between locations was signified by projecting the location onto the main stage backdrop and subtle staging effects were achieved by projecting onto a transparent half curtain and using a raise platform erected to one side of the stage. All that was then required was a few relevant pieces of furniture and the audience was transported in an instant between the homes of the various protagonists or to Austen's favourite location of Bath.The Buxton Festival fringe is very fortunate that Chamber Opera Chicago has brought this substantial production to the festival. Alex Watts, 2017
There is perfect synchronicity between the cast and the impressive chamber orchestra. One of the most striking observations for Austen fans is Barbara Landis’ commitment to retaining much original dialogue which is complemented superbly by Austen’s favourite music and luxurious costumes. There are a great many highlights to this performance – not least the rousing sailor songs which demonstrate the vocal talents of the entire company and treat us to Irish tap routines of the highest order.~ Joshua Clarke, Broadway Baby, 4-star review featured in the 2015 Edinburgh Fringe Festival
This is a big budget show with fabulous costumes and incredibly detailed projection on the backdrop to show changes in location, time and weather. The cast were undeniably talented, with some incredibly strong voices on show in both solo and group numbers, and the band were faultless. The narrative stayed very faithful to the original book, was easy to follow without ever feeling clunky, and the script contained enough detail to properly establish each scene and character in full...~ Steve Griffin, Edinburgh 49
No 'Persuasion' needed to see this treat......astounding!~ Emily Scotcher, Isle of Wight County Press
Landis's touring production takes music from Austen's own collections as well as by many other composers to create an operetta version of the story. It's very faithful to the novel… the acting as well as the singing is of a high standard~ Anne Morley-Priestman, WhatsOnStage.com
The vocal performances were so powerful they pushed you backwards into your seat while successfully able to convey the romance that you always seem to find in Jane Austen’s novels.~ Suzanne Day, In Suffolk
A very real affection for Jane lies at the heart of Barbara Landis’ adaptation…Rousing sailors’ chorus and quicksilver Irish dancers were wonderful - all the ensemble moved with grace and skill..~ Louise Schweitzer, Brighton Argus
The intriguing narrative is driven by an excellent supporting ensemble that delivers a powerful performance as well as the highlight of the show. Their portrayal of Irish sailors, featuring dancers from the Trinity Irish Dance Company, is superbly executed and moved the audience to an extra-long applause. Credit must also be paid to the orchestra who were fantastic, filling the Thames Street theatre with the music of Beethoven, Handel and Haydn.~ Sam Murray, The Royal Burrough Observer, Windsor
There were flashes of humour, plenty of over-acting and some great dancing (the two Irish dancing lads were definitely scene-stealers, and rightly so), all held together by a multi-talented group of musicians in the small but perfect orchestra…I’ve not even mentioned the costumes, the choreography, the clever scene changes - mainly with very well done projections onto translucent curtains – and the cast of over 30 all playing their roles to perfection. In case you haven’t yet got the message – I was totally blown away by one of the best evening’s entertainment I’ve had at the beautifully restored Regency Theatre Royal. ~ John Bottle, Bury Free Press