Students are being encouraged to experience the opera with a special deal on forthcoming productions.
Ellen Kent productions returns to Blackpool Grand Theatre later this month to stage ‘operas of passion’ Die Fledermaus and Carmen.
And there’s a special guest appearance in the Spanish-set tale of Carmen; William the donkey, who will take time out from giving visitors a ride on Blackpool beach to join the cast. Producer and director 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.
“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 love it.”
Johann Strauss’ Die Fledermaus is set in late 19th-century Vienna and features colourful characters, in a light-hearted opera of love, laughter and sweet revenge - all sung in English with English surtitles. Bizet’s Carmen will be sung in French with English subtitles, to tell the seductive and beguiling story – including the celebrated baritone’s aria The Toreador’s Song.
The two works are regarded as favourites among opera fans, but also considered as perfect introductions to anyone new to the genre, with the Grand aiming to encourage the latter in an £8 on-the-day ticket, as well as 50 tickets at £12.50 for under 26s.
Marketing manager Andrew Howard said: “We think opera and theatre is for everyone, and that’s why we’re offering great price tickets for students and under 26s.
“Seeing the magic of an Ellen Kent opera on stage is an unmissable experience, so this is a great opportunity for students studying theatre, music or drama to see these productions first-hand.
“Our regular theatre-goers can also benefit from our link offer, which saves them money if they book for two or all three of the Ellen Kent operas coming up – Die Fledermaus, Carmen and Tosca in February.” * Die Fledermaus and Carmen, Grand Theatre, Tuesday and Wednesday, November 17 and 18. Call (01253) 290190.