Vanderbilt Opera Theatre to perform ‘The Ghosts of Gatsby,’ ‘Mansfield Park’ Oct. 17-20

Social status, unrequited love, marriage and madness are central themes of two upcoming chamber operas presented by Vanderbilt Opera Theatre and Vanderbilt University Orchestra.

The Ghosts of Gatsby and Mansfield Park will be staged at Ingram Hall in the Martha Rivers Ingram Center for the Performing Arts at Vanderbilt Blair School of Music. The productions are led by VOT director Gayle Shay, and music director Jennifer McGuire.

The Vanderbilt University Theater Opera presents The Ghosts of Gatsby, starting Thursday, Oct. 17. (Anne Rayner/Vanderbilt)

Vanderbilt undergraduates are cast in the acting and musical roles in these productions, which feature authentic period costumes, choreography and live music.

All performances are free and open to the public.

The Ghosts of Gatsby

The Ghosts of Gatsby spends a day on the French Riviera circa 1924 with acclaimed author F. Scott Fitzgerald and three different versions of his wife Zelda.

Scott is obsessed by his work on his novel, The Great Gatsby, and is jealous of Zelda’s recent affair.

Locked in her bedroom, Zelda has visions of both a younger and older self.

The Ghosts of Gatsby runs Thursday, Oct. 17, at 8 p.m., and Saturday, Oct. 19, at 8 p.m. Run time is 90 minutes.

The Ghosts of Gatsby, and all VU Theatre Opera Productions are free and open to the public. (Anne Rayner/Vanderbilt)

As the audience arrives, they will be greeted by a 30-minute curtain-raiser scene featuring the players from the Blair School’s award-winning jazz program performing jazz standards from the 1920s.

Vanderbilt Theatre Opera’s production of Mansfield Park starts this Friday, Oct. 18. (Anne Rayner/Vanderbilt)

A pre-show talk with the composer, Blair alumnus (B.Mus. ’03) Evan Mack, and the librettist, Blair Senior Lecturer Joshua McGuire, will be held both nights at 7:15 p.m. in the Choral Hall.

Mansfield Park

Mansfield Park is a chamber opera in two acts based on the eponymous Jane Austen novel. It tells the story of Fanny Price, who is sent at age 10 to live with her wealthy uncle, Sir Thomas Bertram, at his family estate.

As she comes of age, she must choose between her old life and a new love.

Mansfield Park runs Friday, Oct. 18, at 8 p.m. and Sunday, Oct. 20, at 2 p.m. Run time is 1 hour and 45 minutes with one intermission.

A pre-show talk with Blair Musicologist Joy Calico and Belmont University Professor of English Douglas Murray will be held prior to the Friday evening show at 7:15 p.m. in Choral Hall.

Vanderbilt Blair School of Music offers a world class music program exclusively for undergraduates within a top-20 university.

The productions are sponsored by the Mary Cortner Ragland Master Series Fund and presented with gratitude to the parent of a Blair School graduate and to an anonymous friend for their generous support.