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Schmidt Taking Stage For Opera Modesto
A graduate of Oakdale Charter School, 17-year-old Darby Schmidt will be featured in the Opera Modesto production of Mansfield Park on Jan. 11 and 12 at The State Theatre in Modesto. Photo Courtesy Opera Modesto

Oakdale teen Darby Schmidt will be on stage this weekend for the Opera Modesto production of Mansfield Park, based on the novel by Jane Austen. Performances are scheduled at The State Theatre in Modesto on Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 11 and 12, at 2 p.m. each day.

Schmidt, 17, took part in the Opera Modesto Summer Institute for teens and is also one of 10 participants selected nationwide to attend the Metropolitan Opera Guild High School Opera Singers Intensive in New York City, set for February.

The daughter of Dr. Dennis Schmidt and Amelia Schmidt, the teen has been a part of the Opera Modesto Chorus, performing there for two years. She will be featured in the role of Maria Bertram in Mansfield Park.

Ticket prices are $30 and $25, with students of any age admitted for $20, student ID required. Also featured prior to both performances and included in the price of admission will be an ‘Opera Insights Pre-Opera Talk; at 12:30 p.m.

For tickets, visit

Based on the book by Jane Austen, Mansfield Park tells the story of Fanny Price, who is sent away from her family at a young age to live with distant relatives. She is described as a “Cinderella-like heroine finding her place in the world.”

The story focuses on family, powerlessness and power, dependence and independence and is set in England’s early 19th century high society.

Schmidt is one of three Summer Opera Institute teens that will make their professional opera debut in the show; others are Brylan Finley, 18, of Modesto and Luca Mitchell, 18, of Riverbank. Finley and Mitchell graduated from Whitmore Charter High School in Ceres, Schmidt is a graduate of Oakdale Charter School.