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A mix of shows on offer at the Regent Theatre

By Leek Post and Times  |  Posted: February 11, 2014

By Belinda Hargreaves

  • Buddy – The Buddy Holly Story will be at The Regent Theatre in March.

  • Ellen Kent's Aida will be at The Regent Theatre on Saturday, March 22.

  • Ellen Kent's powerful and emotional La Boheme will be at the Regent Theatre on Friday, March 21.

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BOTH opera and rock 'n' roll are on the cards for audiences of The Regent Theatre next month.

Celebrating an amazing 25th year anniversary with a 2013-14 UK and Eire national tour, Buddy – The Buddy Holly Story, which will be appearing at the Hanley venue from Monday, March 3 until Saturday, March 8, has helped inspire a generation of multi-million selling juke-box musicals, including Mamma Mia and We Will Rock You.

Seen by over 22 million music fans since it opened in London's West End in 1989, Buddy speaks an international language and continues to have audiences from eight–80 rockin' in the aisles across the globe. Loved by critics and audiences alike, Buddy tells the enduring tale of the musical icon's meteoric rise to fame and his final legendary performance at the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, Iowa, before his tragic and untimely death at the age of 22. In 18 short months the Texas-born boy revolutionised the face of contemporary music influencing everyone from The Beatles to Bruce Springsteen.

Award-winning opera producer Ellen Kent is bringing two stunning and emotional productions to The Regent Theatre next month. The powerful and emotional La Boheme, which performs at the theatre on Friday, March 21 at 7.30pm is the tragic tale of hopeless romance between the doomed, consumptive Mimi and penniless writer Rodolfo.

And jealousy, revenge, hopeless romance and a breathtaking wall of fire brings epic opera Aida to life on Saturday, March 22 at 7.30pm.

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, and much more.

Tickets are now on sale for all three of the above shows, available in person from The Regent Theatre Box Office, by calling 0844 871 7649 or visiting www.atgtickets.com/stoke.

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