Professional premiere available.
ELIZABETH BENNET, second daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Bennett: Mezzo
MR. DARCY, fiend of Mr. Bingley: Baritone
JANE BENNET, eldest daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Bennet: Soprano
MR. BINGLEY: Tenor
MRS. BENNET: High soprano
MR. BENNET: Bass
MR. COLLINS, a clergyman: Bass-baritone
LADY CATHERINE DE BOURGH, Darcy's aunt: Contralto
LYDIA, youngest daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Bennet: Soprano
MR. WICKHAM, an officer in the militia: Baritone
CHARLOTTE LUCAS, Elizabeth's intimate friend: Soprano
MISS BINGLEY, sister of Mr. Bingley: Mezzo
"It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife." So begins Jane Austen's novel, but 21st-century audiences may need to be reminded that in Austen's time, it was also true that a woman with no fortune needed to marry well, as there were few opportunities for her to make a living herself. The Bennets must find husbands for their daughters, who have no dowry. By law, Mr. Bennet's estate can be inherited only by the nearest male heir, the ridiculously pompous vicar Mr. Collins. We must also remind ourselves that in the England of 200 years ago, social classes were more distinct and immutable than they are today.
A wealthy and single young man from London, Richard Bingley, has just moved into the Netherfield estate. At a ball he gives for his neighbors, Mrs. Bennet is overjoyed to see that Bingley is attracted to her eldest daughter, Jane. But her second daughter, the witty and independent Elizabeth, is slighted by Bingley's even wealthier friend, the proud and aristocratic Darcy. The spirited courtship between Darcy and Elizabeth — who at first cannot abide one another — is the main story of the opera. They not only misjudge each other, but are both victims of their own pride and prejudices. Only after much sparring and indignant misunderstandings do they come to recognize their own faults and true feelings, and can forgive themselves and each other.