Thursday, October 6

Tag: Ukrainian National Municipal Opera

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 ...