Donkey star is set to steal the limelight in new production of Carmen
For example Guinness, will take a break from his home to tread the boards alongside international stars, a celebrated chorus and full orchestra when they come to Blackpool on the 18th November.
Award-winning producer/ director Ellen Kent spent her teenage years in Spain and has a rich store of experiences to draw as she weaves passion and drama into the show at The Grand Theatre Blackpool.
Ellen said: “Incorporating a donkey into the production lends it a real taste of Spain. My mother used to run the equivalent of the RSPCA in Spain when I was growing up and the farm was full of 30 to 40 donkeys, the same number of dogs and even more cats”.
“We used to travel miles across the countryside to festivals when they were planning to use a donkey. We’d buy the donkey off them and run – often chased by villagers. There was never a dull moment”.
“The animals were always my mother’s top priority. It’s a tribute to her really, that I use donkeys in the show – she would have been delighted and the audience always love it, especially as we try to use rescue donkeys from the local area.”
Guinness, a black and white Irish donkey, is no stranger to the limelight and has taken part in nativity shows as well as staring in Carmen in 2012. He has quite a mischievous character, and is known to escape from fields by crawling under the fence and has a penchant for ice-cream.
A collection to raise money for donkey welfare will be made on the night.
As well as magnificent sets, luxurious costumes and heavenly singing, the shows also feature local children from the Stagecoach Theatre Arts Kendal.
Ellen is drawing inspiration from paintings by Goya for her production of Carmen, set against the backdrop of the bullring and the hot, dusty Moorish and Roman architecture.
Introducing Liza Kadelnik the celebrated international mezzo-soprano from the Romanian National Opera, together with the stunning international mezzo-soprano Zarui Vardanean as Carmen.
Bizet’s dramatic and sensuous opera Carmen tells the story of the downfall of soldier Don Jose, who is seduced by the fiery, beautiful and passionate gypsy Carmen. Abandoning both his childhood sweetheart and his military career, Jose pursues Carmen but loses her to the glamorous bullfighter Escamillo. In true tragic operatic fashion, Jose can’t bear to be without Carmen and stabs her in a jealous rage.
For more information on the tour of the UK and Ireland, go to www.ellenkent.com .
Tickets are on sale now from the box office on 01253 290190