REVIEW: Carmen: Connaught Theatre

September 30, 2015


Ellen Kent Productions.

Connaught Theatre


Directed by Ellen Kent, this traditionally staged, romantic production was set in Seville, with an impressive horse-show included, this great production features Bizet’s unforgettable melodies including the best known baritone aria of all, The Toreador’s Song.

The brand new set reflects the stunning architecture of Seville and its main square with Roman and Moorish influences and even has a wonderfully calm rescue donkey that the audience loved.   It was an evening of passion, romance and tragedy. One of the most famous and seductive operas of all time, Bizet’s irresistibly emotional Carmen presents an evening of passion and romance.

27600_fullCarmen was technically accomplished although not quite as seductive and fiery as I felt she could have been, this is the story of a bewitching gypsy girl whose tantalising beauty lures a soldier to desertion and ultimately leads to her own murder. Kent’s personal touch ensured that the evening was full of spectacle and the audience were delighted by this production.

The chorus were good and sang with precision and Don Jose allowed his lyrical voice to fill the theatre with emotion. The male chorus are all superbly handsome and the female singer very pretty. The orchestra kept the narrative energy up all evening with passion and allowed this most passionate of Bizet operas to shine musically, teasing out all the nuances of the famous arias and melodies and giving the singers a firm musical base.

carmen gscene 2We had the pleasure of chatting with Ms Kent during the interval and she chatted about touring around Georgia, Romania and Moldavia cherry picking the most handsome singers to join the chorus for her British audience. The adorable Ellen Kent has been producing Opera for more than 16 years and is accomplished at bringing the most well-loved operas to an audience in a traditional and accessible way.  See her website for more information on this and up and coming productions.

This was a fun night out at the Connaught Theatre and the steely but charming Ms Kent who directs – and keeps her beady and very experienced eyes on all the details of these productions – continues to provide audiences with what they want, know and love. This is culture, but fun and there were many folk humming the tunes as they left happy out into the moonlit seafront.


Ellen Kent

Currently on tour and heading to Brighton soon.

For more info on the tour and to book tickets for up and coming Ellen Kent opera productions see the website here: