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What's On, Culture, Theatre

Ellen Kent Returns to Oxford’s New Theatre

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Award-winning producer Ellen Kent returns to Oxford’s New Theatre in Spring 2024 with the Ukrainian Opera & Ballet Theatre Kyiv presenting stunning classical productions of Bizet’s Carmen on Wednesday 17th January and Puccini’s Madama Butterfly on Thursday 18th January.

Bizet’s masterpiece, Carmen, is an evening of passion, sexual jealousy, death and unforgettable arias. Carmen is the story of the bewitching gypsy girl whose tantalising beauty lures a soldier to desertion and leads to her own murder. The opera includes some of the most evocative and best-loved melodies in opera; ‘The Habanera’, ‘The Seguidilla’, ‘The Flower Song’, ‘The Chanson Bohème’ and perhaps the best-known baritone aria of all ‘The Toreador’s Song’. The stunning set reflects the magnificent architecture of Seville with its Roman and Moorish influences, which includes the main square, the bull ring and the famous tobacco factory. The set was built for Ellen Kent in England by Setup Scenery, who also build sets for the Royal Opera Covent Garden.

Carmen will star Ukrainian mezzo-soprano’s Natalia Matveeva and Irina Sproglis.* Sung in French with English surtitles. Directed by Ellen Kent.

“Impassioned and sultry” - The Observer

Ellen Kent’s Madama Butterfly, winner of the 'BEST OPERA AWARD' by the Liverpool Daily Post Theatre Awards, returns in a new production with exquisite sets including a spectacular Japanese garden and fabulous costumes including antique wedding kimonos from Japan. One of the world’s most popular operas, Puccini’s Madama Butterfly tells 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’.

In Madama Butterfly the fabulous Korean soprano Elena Dee returns alongside Ukrainian soprano Alyona Kistenyova and Ukrainian mezzo-soprano’s Natalia Matveeva and Irina Sproglis.* Madama Butterfly will be sung in Italian with English surtitles. Directed by Ellen Kent.

“Above all it was a production which captured the raw emotion at the centre of the opera. Don’t take a handkerchief with you, take a box of them.” - The Independent

Alike Ellen’s past UK and Ireland opera tours, Ellen personally hand-picks and directs all soloists to create visually beautiful and moving productions. Ellen Kent said ‘I am delighted to be working with the Ukrainian Opera & Ballet Theatre Kyiv again after the huge success of the spring 2023 tour. I started working with Ukraine in 2000 and have continued these strong relationships ever since, working with the Odessa National Opera for which I was awarded The Golden Fortune Honorary Medal from the President of the Ukraine, as well as the Kharkiv National Opera and for the last couple of years with the brilliant Opera & Ballet Theatre Kyiv.’

Tickets for Carmen (17 January 2024) and Madama Butterfly (18 January 2024) at Oxford’s New Theatre are available from atgtickets.com/oxford.

For full tour listings please visit ellenkent.com or senbla.com. Cast is subject to change. *Fees apply.

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