Ellen Kent deserves accolades for directing the Ukrainian National Opera of Kyiv in its current tour. She and her team are overcoming many logistical challenges in bringing these performers to us in the current situation and enabling them to go on working and offering musical triumphs despite war and invasion.
The founder and director of Ellen Kent Opera and Ballet International, https://www.ellenkent.com/ Ellen has been staging opera and ballet productions for over forty years and has brought us many exciting new stars from Eastern Europe. She has worked with the Romanian National Opera, https://operanb.ro/en/ and the Moldovan National Opera, https://www.tnob.md/en discovering talent and putting on prize-winning productions. Her company has performed in venues as varied as Manchester Opera House, Rochester Castle and the Albert Hall. Their productions have been well-received beyond British shores from Eire to Lebanon. In 2008 Ellen launched ‘Ellen Kent & Amphitheatre Productions’ at Leeds Castle in Kent, with an arena production of Carmen to an audience of 12,000.
She started working with artists in Ukraine in 2000 and has continued this strong relationship ever since, working with the Odessa National Opera and the Kharkiv National Opera. She was awarded The Golden Fortune Honorary Medal by the President of the Ukraine, Vladimir Yushchenko. For the last couple of years she has worked with the brilliant Opera & Ballet Theatre of Kyiv, who perform Carmen and Madame Butterfly in Oxford this week.
In 2020, Ellen was planning to retire, but when Ukraine was invaded she felt she could not stand by idle while its splendid musicians were forced to become refugees, and seek work permits abroad. She took on the immense task of helping them emigrate and continue to perform all over Europe. The current tour is part of that admirable undertaking.
Since she and her company are is doing such a magnificent job, why aren't they getting any British awards and why hasn't Ellen been named on any honours list? She should be made a Dame at least. When so many dubious candidates with murky pasts and failed careers get handed out CBEs, OBEs and knighthoods, why is it that the truly deserving people are passed over? It is high time that Britain recognized the sterling achievements of this awe-inspiring woman. Show her and the Ukrainian National Opera your support by seeing these superb productions at the New Theatre Oxford this week! There should not be one empty seat in the house.
Carmen stars Lisa Kadelnyk [https://www.operabase.com/artists/liza-kadelnik-24414/en], Davit Sumbadze [https://www.operabase.com/artists/david-sumbadze-2174739/en ] Iurie Gîscă [https://www.operabase.com/artists/iurie-gisca-60989/en] and Alyona Kistenyova [https://www.operabase.com/artists/alyona-kistenyova-31560/en] .
Sung in French with English surtitles. https://www.atgtickets.com/venues/new-theatre-oxford/