First Opera for Newbies – Give the Classics a Go!
Last week, we were lucky enough to go along to watch the Ellen Kent production of Georges Bizet’s opera Carmen in Blackpool’s Grand Theatre.
It was spectacular.
This was the team’s first opera experience, so we were unsure what to expect as we took our seats in the dress circle.
We feel that Carmen is very accessible to people who perhaps hadn’t considered attending an opera before.
Whenever you head to this venue, arrive in plenty of time to absorb the theatre’s magnificent architecture and decor. There is gold, filigree, beautiful paintings and pretty lighting in every direction.
We were pleasantly surprised to see a full orchestra tuning up just in front of the stage. It was wonderful to be able to watch the musicians throughout the show from our seats.
Many people are put off by thinking that performance in another language mean that they won’t be able to follow the story. The Grand Theatre has English subtitles on a screen above the stage. They’re positioned high enough that they don’t distract from the performance, but they’re there to help you.
The passion is evident from the off, and it really is so intoxicating. It must demand a really high level of energy to execute such an intense performance – all parties delivered. We won’t give too much away for newbies like us though!
The Habanera aria performed by Carmen was a highlight. Don Jose’s tenor voice was sensational, and his intensity and presence was almost suffocating. He truly embodied a man drive wild with infatuation.
We feel that the real star of the show was the soprano who played Micaëla. She was flawless. Every note was beautifully hit clear as a bell and she really evoked our empathy given her short amount of stage time.
You get the sense that it won’t really end all that well, but we were perched on the edge of our seats with our hearts in our mouths during Act IV nonetheless.
The Grand Theatre has a unique scheme to encourage more young people to engage with the theatre, and have an ‘under 26s’ scheme. Fifty tickets are available for specific shows for a reduced price of £12.50 – bargain!
Are you interested in maybe trying something new? Perhaps you’ve not been to the opera for a long time and would like to see how they’re being staged in newer productions?
Keen to try a classic? Coming next to Blackpool’s Grand Theatre is Aida!
This is a tragic story of war, jealousy and revenge. At the heart of the story is the doomed love of the beautiful Ethiopian slave girl, Aida, and the Egyptian hero, Radames. The story is brought to life in a production set against one of the greatest pieces of music Verdi ever wrote. See a preview here!
An exclusive release has announced that Ellen Kent’s La Bohème will be coming to the Grand Theatre in February 2017. Tickets will be on sale soon!
Perhaps you’re more interested in attending the ballet?
The Russian State Ballet of Siberia returns to Blackpool, bringing to life three of the worlds most powerful and evocative seasonal ballets.
Early 2017 will see The Nutcracker, where we are swept away to a fairy-tale world w
here nothing is quite as it seems, Coppelia, which is a witty combination of antics and abracadabra, set in a doll maker’s workshop . . . and of course Swan Lake, the greatest romantic ballet of all time. See a preview here!