Traditional opera ...with a sexy feel at Ipswich Regent

Passion, tragedy, doomed love; yes the opera is back in town.

Award-winning producer and director Ellen Kent returns to the Ipswich Regent on February 8 with a stunning and emotional production of La Traviata.

Sung in Italian with English surtitles, it’s the tragic true story of the life and love of the passionate but consumptive Violetta.

Verdi’s interpretation of one of the most popular love stories of the 19th Century, La Dame aux Camelias, includes the best-known drinking song in opera, the Brindisi as well as the duet Un Di Felice and the haunting aria Addio Del Passato.

Ellen’s new productions feature beautiful sets and gorgeous costumes designed by well-known Russian designer Nadezhda Shvets.

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“When the curtains open I want people to say ‘wow’. I want to do opera people actually want to see. I think this is my best La Traviata ever – and I’ve done it dozens of times. It’s a very real performance I think people will identify with and feel moved.

“My operas have to be emotional and beautiful. Mine isn’t minimalist – it’s traditional opera with a sexy feel.”

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After producing her own shows for 29 years, Ellen changed direction to focus on developing her role as an artistic director in larger-scale productions.

She couldn’t resist the lure of the regional tours and last year teamed up with Derek Block Concert Promotions, one of the biggest international promoters in the entertainments industry.

“It’s so rewarding to hear how much enjoyment people get from my operas. It’s good to know I haven’t lost my touch,” she laughs.

I try to make my operas engaging and sometimes I get carried away with interesting additions but with these there is no spin – just the drama and the beauty. I honestly think they are the best I’ve ever done.”

The internationally acclaimed Ukrainian National Opera of Kharkiv are joined by a host of handpicked soloists from across the world.

International sopranos Maria Tsonina and Elena Dee will sing the role of Violetta, while ladies’ favourite Andriy Perfilov is Alfredo.

They are joined by a 70-strong company including Ruslan Zinevych, who has sung with Pavarotti and performed Ellen’s operas at the Royal Albert Hall in London.

Conductor Gheorghe Stanciu, artistic director of the Constanta Opera in Romania, has joined the tour with music by the esteemed Kharkiv Theatre Orchestra.

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