LA TRAVIATA and MADAMA BUTTERFLY Come to Edinburgh Playhouse

LA TRAVIATA and MADAMA BUTTERFLY Come to Edinburgh PlayhouseIntroducing the celebrated soprano Maria HeeJung Kim* from the Korean National Opera, Seoul and the international soprano Alyona Kistenyova* with Vasyl Vasylenko, artistic director and conductor for the National President's Orchestra of Ukraine, Kiev.

Madama Butterfly is Puccini's popular tale which the hit West End musical Miss Saigon is based. One of the world's most popular operas, Puccini's Madama Butterfly tells the heart-breaking story of the beautiful young Japanese girl who falls in love with an American naval lieutenant - with dramatic results. Highlights include the melodic Humming Chorus, the moving aria One Fine Day and the unforgettable Love Duet.

With exquisite sets including a spectacular Japanese garden and fabulous costumes including antique wedding kimonos from Japan designed by the renowned Russian designer Felix Bessonov, from St Petersburg.

International Korean soprano Maria HeeJung Kim from the National Opera House of Seoul will be making her debut in the UK singing the role of the tragic Cio Cio San. The talented young star studied in Milan and made her debut as Madama Butterfly at La Scala,Milan. HeeJung Kim has sung Madama Butterfly and La Traviata at major Opera Houses in Europe.

Alyona Kistenyova, the international soprano from Odessa National Opera will be returning after her critically acclaimed performances of Aida, La Boheme, Carmen, Tosca and Die Fledermaus to sing Cio Cio San, Violetta and Ghilda.

Spanish tenor Giorgio Meladze has been invited to open the tour at Bristol Hippodrome, after a successful tour of Aida, La Boheme and Nabucco, and will be singing the parts of Pinkerton Alfredo in Traviata and The Duke of Mantua in Rigoletto. , Meladze, has acquired critical acclaim in Europe, singing in Milan, Spain and across Europe. He also sang in Austria together with Jose Carreras in 2014.

Making his debut as Pinkerton in an Ellen Kent production is the Ukrainian tenor Vitalii Liskovetskyi from the Kiev National Opera. Liskovetskyi, originally trained as a military pilot, has made his debut on an Ellen Kent tour in 2015 in Carmen and Tosca, followed by a huge success in Aida, La Boheme and Nabucco.

Zara Vardanean, the American mezzo-soprano, trained at the Vienna State Opera, returns to sing the part of Suzuki.

The operas will be conducted by Vasyl Vasylenko, who is the artistic director and conductor at the National President's Orchestra of Ukraine, Kiev, and the guest conductor and artistic director of the National Opera of Moldova, Nicolae Dohotaru. With 30 members of the National Ukrainian Orchestra.

Ellen Said: "My operas have to be emotional and beautiful."

As with any of Ellen Kent's shows all of the soloists have been hand-picked and directed by Ellen to create a visually beautiful and moving production of Madama Butterfly.

Starring the international sopranos Alyona Kistenyova* and Maria HeeJung Kim*, with Vasyl Vasylenko, artistic director and conductor for the National President's Orchestra of Ukraine, Kiev.

La Traviata is Verdi's outstanding interpretation of one of the most popular love stories of the 19th century, La Dame aux Camelias by Alexander Dumas, a tragic tale of searing passion and memorable music Dumas made no secret of the fact that his book and play were autobiographically based on his own affair with Marie Duplessis, who died in 1847 of tuberculosis at the age of 23. Kent was fascinated by the book which she read whilst rehearsing Traviata in the Ukraine in 2011. Kent adds a scene from the book to the overture where Dumas, known in the book as Amand, attends an auction at a Paris apartment not realising it is his ex mistress who has recently died and her effects are being sold off to pay her debts.

Alyona Kistenyova, the international soprano from Odessa National Opera will be returning after her critically acclaimed performances of Aida, La Boheme, Carmen, Tosca and Die Fledermaus to sing the part of Violetta...

International Korean soprano Maria HeeJung Kim from the National Opera House of Seoul will be making her debut in the UK singing the role of the tragic Cio Cio San and Violetta. The talented young star studied in Milan and made her debut as Madama Butterfly at La Scala,Milan. HeeJung Kim has sung Madama Butterfly and La Traviata at major Opera Houses in Europe.

Making his debut as Alfredo in an Ellen Kent production is the Ukrainian tenor Vitalii Liskovetskyi from the Kiev National Opera. Liskovetskyi, originally trained as a military pilot, has made his debut on an Ellen Kent tour in 2015 in Carmen and Tosca, followed by a huge success in Aida, La Boheme and Nabucco.

Spanish tenor Giorgio Meladze has been invited to open the tour at Bristol Hippodrome, after a successful tour of Aida, La Boheme and Nabucco, and will be singing the parts of Pinkerton Alfredo in Traviata and The Duke of Mantua in Rigoletto. , Meladze, has acquired critical acclaim in Europe, singing in Milan, Spain and across Europe. He also sang in Austria together with Jose Carreras in 2014

Zara Vardanean, the American mezzo-soprano, trained at the Vienna State Opera, returns to sing the part of Suzuki.

The operas will be conducted by Vasyl Vasylenko, who is the artistic director and conductor at the National President's Orchestra of Ukraine, Kiev, and the guest conductor and artistic director of the National Opera of Moldova, Nicolae Dohotaru. With 30 members of the National Ukrainian Orchestra.

This operatic version of La Dame Aux Camelias tells the romantic story about the love and life of the courtesan, Violetta. Based on a true story, it tells of the passionate consumptive Violetta and her doomed love for the aristocratic Alfredo. There are many echoes of Verdi's own life in Traviata and he threw himself into the music. This was also Verdi's venture into operatic realism as was Rigoletto, rejecting distant historical settings. The highlights include the Brindisi, the best known drinking song in opera, the duet Un Di Felice and the haunting aria Addio Del Passato.

The clarity of the plot seems matched by a single moral idea - that enduring love can and does survive despite all efforts to corrupt it. If in Puccini's Madama Butterfly, it is Pinkerton's callous abandonment of Butterfly on which the tragedy hinges, in Traviata it is Alfredo's dogged determination to stand by his fallen woman, against all odds, which brings out a sense of redemption. Brilliantly, only in death, are Violetta's bourgeois values relinquished, and she is redeemed, ultimately, not as a fallen woman, but a risen one.

This production will be sung in Italian with English surtitles.

*Cast Subject to Change

La Traviata is at the Edinburgh Playhouse on Thursday 29th March.

Madama Butterfly is at the Edinburgh Playhouse on Friday 30th and Saturday 31st March.

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