A tragic story of war, jealousy and revenge will be brought to life when award-winning producer Ellen Kent returns to St David’s Hall with Aida performed by the Ukrainian Opera & Ballet Theatre Kyiv, on Wednesday 1 February 2023.
The opera tells of the doomed love of the beautiful Ethiopian slave girl, Aida, and the Egyptian hero, Radames, and is set against one of the greatest pieces of music Verdi ever wrote with the well-known arias “Celeste Aida”, “Ritorna Vincitor” and the classic “Triumphal March” featuring a temple dance, cascades of glittering gold, magnificent seven foot tall black, ebony statues with gold replicas from the Tutankhamen collection, huge set and many other authentic additions with spectacular dancing Poi fire spinners.
Artistic Director and Producer, Ellen Kent is one of the top opera producers in the UK and has been the biggest supplier of opera and ballet in the UK and Ireland for twenty-nine years.
Ellen first worked with the Ukraine on her opera tours in 2002, when Ellen Kent and Opera and Ballet International launched the Ukrainian National Opera Odessa with a summer tour of the UK with La Traviata and The Barber of Seville. In 2005, as a thank you for introducing the Ukrainian Opera to the UK, Ellen Kent was awarded The Golden Fortune Honorary Medal by the Ukrainian president Vladimir Yushchenko.
“I have produced and directed many Aida’s over the years and it still remains the biggest challenge a producer can face,” says Ellen, “My vision of Aida, matches Verdi’s vision and I try and give Aida the grandeur which Verdi achieved in the first production in Egypt when he was commissioned to write an opera for the opening of the Suez Canal and premiered in Cairo 1871.
“From dancing alabaster fountains, Las Vegas style and made in India, life size bejewelled elephants, walls of fire, fire spinners, ballet and Bedouin dancers, enormous sets which have to fit into large to smaller spaces and now for the first time I am introducing a black stallion into the larger venues. I want all my public to enjoy the grandeur of this magnificent opera, in my opinion the best score Verdi ever wrote – not an easy task.
“My Aida’s have been described as “The Las Vegas of operas” which I regard as a compliment. “Even now, it’s my ambition to stage Aida on the banks of the Nile with a cast of thousands.”
As with all of Ellen Kent’s shows, Ellen has hand-picked all the soloists and is directing Aida to create a visually beautiful and moving production. Ellen Says, “My operas have to be emotional and beautiful.”
The tour, which includes operas Madama Butterfly and La Boheme, features celebrated international soloists sopranos Elena Dee, Olga Perrier, Alyona Kistenyova and the stunning international soprano Natalia Matveeva, the Romanian International tenor Sorin Lupu and Vitalii Liskovetskiy from the Ukrainian National Opera, Kiev.
Vasyl Vasylenko, artistic director and conductor for the National Municipal Opera and Ballet Theatre, Kiev, returns along with guest conductor and artistic director of the National Opera of Moldova, Nicolae Dohotaru plus members of the Ukrainian Opera & Ballet Theatre Kyiv.
Aida will be sung in Italian with English surtitles, and will be performed at St David’s Hall on Wednesday February 1, 2023. Tickets start at just £20.00 and are available from www.stdavidshallcardiff.co.uk or call the Box office on 02920 878444. Please note that certain seats may have restricted views of the surtitles. Please check when booking tickets. All information is correct at time of release. *Cast subject to change.