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A touch of Seville in Cardiff; REVIEW: Carmen at St David's Hall, Cardiff.

ATASTE of Spain will be brought to Wales next week when Ellen Kent Opera brings a production of Carmen to Cardiff.

The awe-inspiring architecture of Seville complete with its main square of fountains, flowers and orange trees will be recreated in St David's Hall for the one-night performance.

The company is renowned for its groundbreaking sets and it has previously toured with Madama Butterfly, La Traviata and Rigoletto.

Carmen - based on Prosper Merimee's novella - revolves around a bewitching gypsy girl whose tantalising beauty lures a soldier to desertion and leads to her own murder.

Accompanying this tragic tale is some of the most evocative and best-loved melodies in opera - The Habanera, The Seguidilla, The Flower Song, The Chanson Boheme and perhaps the best-known baritone aria of all The Toreador's Song.

Carmen marks the return of the internationally acclaimed Nadezhda Stoianova following her performances in the title role in 2013 and Aida last year.

Sharing the stage with Nadezhda is mezzo-soprano Liza Kadelnik from the Romanian National Opera.

Ellen Kent has led many exciting productions in her 24 years of being an opera producer and in 2004 she embarked on a journey to the Middle East in 2004 for the first ever staging of Carmen in the Gulf, which was screened live on Al Jazeera.

And as the founder of an animal sanctuary, many of her productions feature her rescued animals. Carmen will include a white stallion horse called Caspian as well as a donkey.

"I'll rescue anything given half a chance. So if we can include animals in the shows I can. Including the donkeys helps to raise their profile for much needed charities which rescue donkeys. Audiences will thoroughly enjoy seeing Caspian. He is a trained film horse so he can dance, it's a magnificent sight."

Carmen will be staged at St David's Hall in Cardiff on November 11 at 7.30pm. For tickets, call the box office on 029 2087 8444 or visit www.

stdavidshallcardiff.co.uk

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Nov 3, 2015
Words:329
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