Jealousy, revenge, hopeless romance and a breathtaking wall of fire bring epic operas Aida and Nabucco to life at Hull New Theatre.
Pyrotechnic displays and lighting effects help bring Ellen Kent’s productions to life.
Ellen said: “I feel I can indulge myself in these operas. I try my best to give the audience the feeling of something epic.”
The Chisinau National Opera and Philharmonic Orchestra, with international guest soloists, visit the New Theatre on Friday 21 February – Nabucco – and Saturday 22 February – Aida.
Ellen’s production of Aida includes temple dancers, cages of exotic birds and parrots, ballet sequences, beautiful pillared sets with intricate tomb paintings, Bedouin dancers, a bathing scene and the ceremonial march with a pyrotechnic display where a wall of fire extends across the stage in a massive burst of flames.
About 40 local dancers, children and adults, join the 80-strong cast as slaves and soldiers on stage.
The tale focusses on Ethiopian princess Aida, who is captured and brought into slavery in Egypt
Ellen said: “Basically, it’s the big one. The biggest, most spectacular opera. In my opinion, it’s the best score Verdi ever wrote.
Nabucco has a similar place near Ellen’s heart as it is the first opera she ever staged in 1993 in an open- air production to an audience of 7,000 at Rochester Castle with a 200-strong cast .