Butterflying high!

PUBLISHED: 12:00 07 September 2006 | UPDATED: 14:49 12 May 2010

Ellen Kent, bringing Puccini to Cambridge Corn Exchange

Ellen Kent, bringing Puccini to Cambridge Corn Exchange

ELLEN Kent has played a leading role in bringing Eastern European opera and ballet companies to the UK. And her latest production is no exception with the Chisinau National Opera giving a performance of Puccini s Madama Butterfly at the Cambridge Corn Exc

Madama Butterfly: Award-winning set and costumes

ELLEN Kent has played a leading role in bringing Eastern European opera and ballet companies to the UK.

And her latest production is no exception with the Chisinau National Opera giving a performance of Puccini's Madama Butterfly at the Cambridge Corn Exchange.

Ellen said: "I chose to produce Madama Butterfly again because it is popular and a nice story.

"It's visual and exotic, and there are always opportunities to dress prettily and have a poignant story."

The new set and costumes for the production led to Ellen receiving the Best Opera Award from the Liverpool Daily Post Theatre Awards,

She said: "There's a new Japanese garden, which is very Zen, with lots of bamboo plants. I have also changed the costumes and I am using antique wedding kimonos.

"In my view, everyone knows the tunes, but if you don't dress it properly, or sit it in something that sets the emotions, it kills them dead.

"I feel my sets, costumes, and special effects are there to enhance the tragedy and emotion. It's an integral part of Madama Butterfly."

Ellen, who lives in Norfolk, has produced many successful operas and ballets, including, Carmen, Turandot and Aida.

She said: "I get my inspiration through drawing on my life history, from my early years in India, to my education in Norfolk."

During her career, Ellen has received a number of highly-regarded awards, including a medal from the president of Ukraine.

She said: "I put my heart and soul into my productions, but it always comes as an unexpected surprise when I receive an award."

Ellen grew up wanting to be an actress, and was one for several years before becoming a producer.

She said: "I've always been a drama queen. But I don't think I could do what I do now without my acting background."

Ellen has a hectic work schedule and is currently working on five other productions.

"I hardly have time to breathe," she said. "But I wouldn't have it any other way because I would get bored.

"Expect an emotional, visual treat."

- For details call the Box Office on 01223 357851.

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