Dramatic tales of love and loss in spectacular touring operas

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OPERA lovers have a treat in store as Aylesbury’s new Waterside theatre plays host to spectacular new productions of two of the best-loved operas.

Award-winning producer Ellen Kent is bringing Verdi’s La Traviata to the theatre for the very first time on Friday, October 7.

This is followed on Saturday, October 8, with Puccini’s Madama Butterfly.

Ellen Kent is the biggest supplier of opera and ballet in the UK.

Focusing on large-scale productions, particularly in arenas, she has joined forces with one of the biggest international promoters in the entertainment industry, Derek Block Concert Promotions.

The collaboration has resulted in the current tour of major UK theatres, featuring the Ukrainian National Opera of Kharkiv and the esteemed Kharkiv theatre orchestra, conducted and led by Vitalii Kutsenko.

It follows a very successful visit by the Kharkiv Ballet to the UK in 2009.

The magnificent new productions boast beautiful sets and new costumes from the well-known Russian designer Nadia Shvets, the resident designer for the Kharkiv Opera & Ballet Theatre.

Puccini’s popular Madama Butterfly, which was used as the basis for the West End musical Miss Saigon, is a heartbreaking tale based on a real-life event.

It tells the tragic story of a beautiful Japanese girl, Cio Cio San, who falls in love with an American naval lieutenant, Pinkerton, who marries but then abandons her.

La Traviata is the operatic version of Alexandre Dumas’ novel La Dame Aux Camelias, a romantic true story about a courtesan, Violetta, who finds herself forced to chose between happiness with her lover, Alfredo, and duty.

The beautiful Korean soprano Elena Dee and the American-Korean soprano Rosa Lee Thomas will be singing the roles of Cio Cio San and Violetta.

Pinkerton and Alfredo will be played by Andriy Perfilov and Ruslan Zinevych, who has sung with Pavarotti and performed in Ellen Kent’s operas at London’s Royal Albert Hall.

Both operas will be sung in Italian, with English surtitles.

Tickets can be booked at the theatre box office on 0844 871 7607 or visit www.atgtickets.copm/aylesbury