Tuesday, August 16

Tag: Ellen Kent

Carmen – Opera House, Manchester
North West

Carmen – Opera House, Manchester

Written by French composer Bizet and first performed in 1875, and an adaptation of Prosper Merimee’s novella Carmen, which was judged by French society to be utterly improper.  This may explain why the opera was initially delayed because of fears that the themes of betrayal and murder may offend.  The opera received negative press, Bizet was accused of plagiarism by Gounod whose music had a great influence on Bizet, and died aged 36, believing that his opera was a failure.  Bizet was described as a child prodigy, admired by Liszt and even though Bizet himself felt that he had written something special, he did not live to see its success. In Ellen Kent’s and Opera International’s adaptation with the Ukrainian National Municipal Opera, the opening Act I reveals a set desig...
Ellen Kent: Madama Butterfly – Floral Pavilion
North West

Ellen Kent: Madama Butterfly – Floral Pavilion

Puccini may have been a philanderer and scoundrel, with a Hitchcock-like tendency to put his heroines through merry hell, but my goodness, he could write an aria. Madama Butterfly, one of the most widely performed operas in the world, boasts its fair share, and is deemed to be one of the most accessible to audiences. Set in one location - a hillside house in Nagasaki, Japan - we follow Cio-Cio-San, nicknamed ‘Butterfly’, the young bride of an American naval officer, Lieutenant Pinkerton, as her romantic ideals are tested to their limits when he seemingly abandons her, yet she still waits hopefully for his return. The sense of tragedy is embedded from the get-go, as we know as an audience that Pinkerton has no intention of coming back, seeing the match as a short-lived one until he can ...
Ellen Kent: Carmen – Floral Pavilion
North West

Ellen Kent: Carmen – Floral Pavilion

Carmen is a four-act opera by French composer Georges Bizet, first performed in Paris on 3rd March 1875 with audiences initially objecting to the wild and immoral behaviour on view. Sadly, Bizet's sudden death in June meant he did not get to see its resounding success in Vienna later that year and its subsequent international acclaim. It is now one of the most popular and frequently performed operas. Set in Seville, Spain around 1820, Carmen tells the story of the downfall of Don José (Sorin Lupu) a naïve corporal who falls head over heels in love with Carmen (Katerina Timbaliuk), a seductive, free-spirited gypsy girl. The infatuated Don José abandons his childhood sweetheart, Micaela (Alyona Kistenyova), and neglects his military duties much to the annoyance of his senior officer Zuni...