Ellen Kent Opera Rigoletto to include rescue dogs and golden eagle at the Bristol Hippodrome 18th JanuaryPosted on: 10 Jan 2018
Following her recent critically acclaimed tours of Nabucco, Aida and La Bohème, award-winning opera director and producer Ellen Kent returns to the Bristol Hippodrome with two stunning, traditional productions: Puccini’s Madama Butterfly, one of the world's most popular operas, and Verdi's Rigoletto. Rigoletto will be showing on Thursday 18th January and will feature a magnificent golden eagle and two royal greyhounds.
Not only will the appearance of the breath-taking animals make for a very unique production, but their inclusion aims to raise awareness and funds for their ongoing care as rescue animals. The greyhounds are from Bristol DAWG (Greyhound & Lurcher Rescue) and a collection will be taking place at the theatre on January 18 following the performance of Rigoletto.
After talking to a representative from a local greyhound charity outside her local supermarket and hearing how the beautiful dogs can be so cruelly and cold-heartedly abandoned once their running days are over, Ellen was determined to help by raising awareness and funds by featuring two hounds in her lavish opera, Rigoletto.
Bristol DAWG (Greyhound & Lurcher Rescue) is a small registered charity with no paid employees who rescue, rehabilitate and re-home the ex-racing dogs. Running costs for the charity are between £3,500 and £3,800 every month. No funding is received and therefore numerous fundraising activities are undertaken.
Ellen said: “To be able to promote animal welfare and preservation of endangered species through the drama and spectacle of my operas is a great joy and privilege for me.”
Colin Watkins from the charity says “Amber, who is 10 years old, was rescued from a pound in Ireland at 16 months, where she was due to be destroyed as she was just not fast enough for the track. A very sweet girl, who loves people, she is one of our best fundraising dogs."
“Six-year-old Trevor was rescued from Ireland. He’d had 24 races, only won four, never really got the hang of ‘ready, steady, go’ and so was deemed a failed racer at three years old and was due to be put to sleep. A really goofy lad, who loves life and more importantly his sleep!"
Roy the Golden Eagle will be joining the talented cast of Rigoletto on the Hippodrome stage. He is from Black Mountain Falconry in Abergavenny, Wales, an organisation that is dedicated to the protection and preservation of the magnificent birds.
Ellen sees her production as an ideal platform to remind people of the breath-taking beauty of these birds while also under-lining why they are under such threat to begin with - it was exactly noblemen like the Duke in Rigoletto, who hunted and captured them to demonstrate their wealth, power and dominance over all they surveyed, who reduced numbers of this species to such critical levels.
Ellen says: “Roy the golden eagle represents all that I love in these wonderful eagles and enhances the opening scene in Rigoletto as well as providing a much-needed platform for The Black Mountain Falconry and their dedicated love of protecting these eagles from extinction.”
Ellen Kent's Rigoletto at The Bristol Hippodrome on Thursday, January 18 at 7.30pm. Tickets cost £19.90 to £46.90 and are available online here.
Ellen Kent's Madama Butterfly at The Bristol Hippodrome on Friday, January 19 at 7.30pm. Tickets cost £19.90 to £46.90 and are available online here.
Hannah recently graduated with a degree in English with Writing. She is an avid writer, freelancer and creative. She is currently writing her first full-length novel and a collection of poetry. Always out and about in Bristol's music scene, she attends music events on a weekly basis.