Oxford welcomes two operas in early March

Aida is a big budget production

Ellen Kent Operas return to Oxford’s New Theatre with Madama Butterfly and Aida both performed by the Ukrainian Opera & Ballet Theatre Kyiv.

Puccini’s Madama Butterfly tale takes to the stage on Friday, March 3rd. This is the heart-breaking story of the beautiful young Japanese girl who falls in love with an American naval lieutenant – with dramatic results. Highlights include the melodic Humming Chorus, the moving aria One Fine Day and the unforgettable Love Duet.

The following day, Saturday March 4th, the stage will be transformed for a production of Verdi’s Aida. Aida is the grandest of all Ellen Kent operas and returns with a new traditional production and 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, for this tragic story of war, jealousy and revenge. At the heart is the doomed love of the beautiful Ethiopian slave girl, Aida, and the Egyptian hero, Radames, which is brought to life in a production set against one of the greatest pieces of music Verdi ever wrote – the well-known arias ‘Celeste Aida’, ‘Ritorna Vincitor’ and the classic ‘Triumphal March’. This production features a temple dance, cascades of glittering gold, magnificent seven foot tall black, ebony statues with gold replicas from the Tutankhamen collection, huge set and many other authentic additions with spectacular dancing Poi fire spinners.

The international Korean Soprano Elena Dee returns to sing her critically-acclaimed role as Cio Cio San, together with Ukrainian soprano Alyona Kistenyova in Madama Butterfly. Also joining them for the Oxford productions is Ukrainian mezzo-soprano Natalia Matveeva, Ukrainian tenor Vitalii Liskovetskyi, Romanian tenor Sorin Lupu and celebrated Ukrainian baritone Olexandr Forkushak.

Aida is a big budget production

Artistic Director and Producer, Ellen Kent 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.

“From dancing alabaster fountains, Las Vegas style and made in India, life size bejewelled elephants, walls of fire, fire spinners, ballet and Bedouin dancers, enormous sets which have to fit into large to smaller spaces and now for the first time I am introducing a black stallion into the larger venues.

“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.”

For tickets to Aida view www.atgtickets.com/shows/ellen-kents-aida/new-theatre-oxford.

For tickets to Madama Butterfly view www.atgtickets.com/shows/ellen-kents-madama-butterfly/new-theatre-oxford