Carmen on stage with Derby Live

Carmen-Kiss-A3-landscape-smallARTSBEAT OPERA: Award-winning opera producer Ellen Kent is back – bringing the heat of Spain to a new production of Carmen.

Reviving her role as promoter after a four-year break, Ellen takes her own shows on the road again this year. And she has chosen the fiery wilfulness of Carmen to mark the return of Opera and Ballet International.

After two tours of Madama Butterfly and La Traviata under another promoter, director/producer Ellen is back in Derby with Carmen at the Assembly Rooms on Thursday March 28, 7.30pm.

It’s a trip down memory lane for Ellen, who grew up in the beautiful surroundings of Andalucia in Spain.

She said: “I’m starting from scratch with Carmen; there’ll be brand new sets influenced by the wonderful paintings of Goya and reflecting the architecture of Seville with its balconies, orange trees, fountains and flowers.

“It’s hot, dusty, Moorish architecture with that amazing coloured stone. The costumes will also reflect Goya’s paintings of the Spanish people of that era. And of course, it’s all set against the backdrop of the bullring. I can picture it now. It’ll look magnificent.”

Bizet’s dramatic and sensuous opera Carmen tells the story of the downfall of soldier Don Jose, who is seduced by the fiery, beautiful and passionate gypsy Carmen.

Abandoning both his childhood sweetheart and his military career, Jose pursues Carmen but loses her to the glamorous bullfighter Escamillo. In true tragic operatic fashion, Jose can’t bear to be without Carmen and stabs her in a jealous rage.

The celebrated National Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus of Chisinau perform, alongside international soloist mezzo soprano Nadia Stoianova as Carmen.

Ellen added: “This is a powerful epic opera with heartbreaking stories of love and loss that many people will identify with. The costumes are fabulous and the sets will transport you to Europe.”

Tickets are priced at £21.25 – £33.25, with concessions available through the Derby LIVE box office on 01332 255800 or go online at