Opera producer Ellen Kent is bringing her latest production, Bizet’s Carmen, to York’s Grand Opera House this Saturday (April 20) and it promises to be a spectacular.
Ellen, who grew up in the Andalucia region of Spain, says that she’s starting from scratch with new sets and costumes that reflect the atmosphere of the region and the paintings of Goya. “All set against the backdrop of the bullring. It’ll look magnificent.”
With a build-up like that it’s hard not to be enticed. Ellen has a track record of bringing something extra to her shows and this one also promises choir boys, rescue donkeys and an Andalucian stallion. (The small print, though, reveals that the stallion will not appear at all venues so we’ll have to wait to see if York gets a magnificent equine specimen or one of Berwick Kaler’s panto cast-offs!)
Carmen flopped at its first performance in Paris but today it’s one of the best-known and popular operas. It’s the tale of the young soldier José who’s seduced by the fiery, passionate gypsy Carmen. Passion gives way to tragedy but the story is carried along by Bizet’s sparkling score with some of the best-known tunes in all opera.
In this production the Bulgarian mezzo Nadia Stoianova stars as Carmen with the National Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus of Chisinau.
- Tickets cost £15-£35 and are on sale now from the Grand Opera House box office: 0844 847 2322 or at the website