Carmen down to the Grand for top opera

Carmen, starring the Russian State Opera
Carmen, starring the Russian State Opera

The critically acclaimed Russian State Opera will be bringing ‘Carmen’ to the Blackpool Grand Theatre on Sunday, September 18.

Georges Bizets’ Carmen, described as “The most powerful and enjoyable opera”, features a live orchestra with more than 30 musicians. The songs are in French but there will also be English subtitles available for those, like myself, whose French vocabulary stretches as far as ‘bonjour’ and ‘au revoir’.

Set in 19th century Seville, It tells the story of the downfall of Don José, a naïve soldier who is seduced by Carmen, free-spirited femme fatale. José abandons his childhood sweetheart and deserts from his military duties, yet loses Carmen’s love to the glamorous toreador Escamillo.

The music from the opera, which was first performed in 1875, is widely acclaimed and the ‘Toreador Song’ is among the best known of all operatic arias.

Producer Alexej Ignatow, of Amande Concerts Ltd, who has co-ordinated the UK tour, said: “We are constantly on the lookout for new challenges, to ensure that our opera and ballet audiences get a chance to experience a wide spectrum of various classic pieces.

“With extensive national tours that get our productions seen the length and breadth of the country, we are able to offer national audiences in various theatres an unforgettable experience at a fraction of the price, all without sacrificing quality. So, it is very close to my heart to continue working with theatres all over the UK to deliver top quality productions every year and make new converts wherever we go.

“No experience is needed to enjoy these classics. Our sets and costume designs, as well as the informative programmes make the productions very accessible and most of all, enjoyable. For opera, English surtitles make it easy to follow the story as you listen to the performance sung in its original language.”

If you’ve never been to an opera before but have always been interested, then this might be the perfect opportunity. With exciting themes such as love, treachery, passion and betrayal, as well as the English subtitles, this might just be the perfect way in.

Tickets are priced between £18.50 and £35.50. A special discounted price of £12.50 is available to under 26’s, subject to availability. Call 01253 290 190.