Ellen Kent announces operas Carmen and Tosca at the Liverpool Empire
In April 2013 she'll be bringing Carmen and Tosca to the Lime Street theatre - productions that feature an Andalucian stallion, rescue donkeys and choir boys.
The National Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus of Chisinau will perform alongside international soloists mezzo soprano Nadia Stoianova as Carmen and soprano Elena Dee, reprising her first ever leading operatic role as Tosca.
She says: "I'm starting from scratch with Carmen; there'll be brand new sets influenced by the wonderful paintings of Goya and reflecting the architecture of Seville with its balconies, orange trees, fountains and flowers.
"It's hot, dusty, Moorish architecture with that amazing coloured stone. The costumes will also reflect Goya's paintings of the Spanish people of that era. And of course, it's all set against the backdrop of the bullring. I can picture it now. It'll look magnificent.
"These are powerful epic operas with heartbreaking stories of love and loss that many people will identify with. The costumes are fabulous and the sets will transport you to Europe. I just can't wait for rehearsals to begin."