Following critically acclaimed tours of Carmen, Tosca and Die Fledermaus, award-winning opera producer Ellen Kent brings two new productions to the Alhambra Theatre, Bradford in February 2017. With magnificent new sets, international soloists, highly praised chorus and full orchestra, the grandeur of Egypt is recreated in Aida on Sunday 5 February, whilst one of Puccini’s most romantic operas La Bohème is brought to the stage on Monday 6 February.
Aida is one of Ellen Kent’s grandest operas and for spring 2017 this stunning new traditional production boasts an impressive new set built by Set-Up Scenery in the UK, who also build sets for the Royal Opera Covent Garden.
In Aida, the splendour of Egypt is set against the grandeur of the Coliseum of Rome with Ellen Kent’s direction influenced by the ancient Greek dramas of Euripides and symbolising the powerful religious hold of the priests of Egypt.
This tragic story of war, jealousy and revenge, at whose heart is the doomed love of the beautiful Ethiopian slave girl, Aida, and the Egyptian hero, Radames, is brought to life in a production set against one of the greatest pieces of music Verdi ever wrote, including the well-known arias Celeste Aida, Ritorna Vincitor and the classic Triumphal March. The production features a temple dance, cascades of glittering gold, magnificent seven foot tall ebony statues with gold replicas from the Tutankhamen collection, a huge set and many other authentic additions with spectacular dancing Poi fire spinners.
Ellen said, “I have produced and directed many Aida’s over the years and it still remains the biggest challenge a producer can face. My vision of Aida matches Verdi’s vision and I try and give Aida the grandeur which Verdi achieved in the first production in Egypt when he was commissioned to write an opera for the opening of the Suez Canal and premiered in Cairo 1871. I want all my public to enjoy the grandeur of this magnificent opera, in my opinion the best score Verdi ever wrote – not an easy task. My Aida’s have been described as ‘The Las Vegas of operas’ which I regard as a compliment.”
The production stars French soprano Olga Perrier* as Aida together with the celebrated Romanian mezzo Liza Kadelnik* as Amneris. Aida will be sung in Italian with English surtitles.
Regarded as Puccini’s most romantic operas, Ellen Kent’s production features beautiful sets and costumes that reflect the Bohemian art of the period, together with a brass band, snow effects, and Musetta’s dog will also make an entrance.
Puccini’s masterpiece, La Bohème, is based on Henri Murger’s novel Scenes De La Vie De Bohème. Set in Paris, this tragic tale of hopeless romance focuses on the love between seamstress and consumptive Mimi and the penniless poet Rodolfo. After falling in love instantly, Rodolfo later leaves Mimi due to her flirtatious behaviour. Wracked by guilt Rodolfo returns to Mimi, but in true tragic opera fashion the pair reunite briefly before Mimi dies.
Ellen said, “The scene when Mimi and Rodolfo meet and she sings They Call Me Mimi always makes me cry. It’s a lovely piece of music. I try to do opera that the audience can emotionally connect with, not just on a musical level but with the personal drama happening on the stage.”
Starring the French soprano Olga Perrier*, La Bohème features many famous arias including Your Tiny Hand is Frozen, They Call Me Mimi and Musetta’s Waltz. Sung in Italian with English surtitles.
Alhambra Theatre: Aida, Sun 5 February & La Bohème, Mon 6 February 7.30pm. Tickets: £36.50 – £21.50
Concessions & Group Prices available. £5 off each show when booking for both Aida & La Bohème
Please call the Box Office on 01274 432000 or visit bradford-theatres.co.uk for more information.