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Ellen Kent's operas La Boheme and Aida to come to the Regent Theatre

By Leek Post and Times  |  Posted: January 31, 2014

By Belinda Hargreaves

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AWARD-WINNING opera producer Ellen Kent is bringing two stunning and emotional productions to The Regent Theatre in March.

The powerful and emotional La Boheme, which performs at The Regent Theatre on Friday, March 21 at 7.30pm is the tragic tale of hopeless romance between the doomed, consumptive Mimi and penniless writer Rodolfo.

Jealousy, revenge, hopeless romance and a breathtaking wall of fire brings epic opera Aida to life on Saturday, March 22 at 7.30pm, also at The Regent Theatre.

Ellen said: “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.”

Puccini’s masterpiece, La Boheme, is based on Henri Murger’s novel Scenes de la vie de boheme. Set in Paris, with sets reflecting the Bohemian art of the period, it focuses on the love between seamstress Mimi and poet Rodolfo.

After falling in love instantly, Rodolfo later leaves Mimi due to her flirtatious behaviour, although he wracked by guilt since their life together has probably worsened Mimi’s delicate constitution. In true tragic opera fashion, the pair reunite briefly at the end before Mimi dies.

The tour features celebrated international soloists soprano Elena Dee as Mimi and introducing Olga Perrier, as Musetta and tenors Sorin Lupu and Petru Marcello.

Verdi’s Aida focuses on Ethiopian princess Aida, who is captured and brought into slavery in Egypt. Military commander Radames falls in love with Aida and struggles between his feeling for her and his loyalty to the Pharaoh. Pharaoh’s daughter Amneris also loves Radames and they are due to be wed, although Radames still yearns for Aida, who persuades him to flee into the desert with her. But Radames is found out and surrenders, condemned to be entombed alive. As he is sealed into the vault, he discovers Aida has hidden herself there so they can be together in death.

Ellen added: “Basically, it’s the big one. The biggest, most spectacular opera. In my opinion, it’s the best score Verdi ever wrote. It’s exotic and interesting and the music is simply spectacular.”

Aida includes temple dancers, cages of exotic birds and parrots, ballet sequences, beautiful pillared sets with intricate tomb paintings, Bedouin dancers, a bathing scene and the ceremonial march with a pyrotechnic display where a wall of fire extends across the stage in a massive burst of flames.

Tickets are now on sale and are available in person from The Regent Theatre Box Office, by calling 0844 871 7649 or visiting www.atgtickets.com/stoke.

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