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News Report Page 12 of 22
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Wavertree Aquatics Centre to reopen following major repairs

Splashdown: Finishing touches being made to the pool before it reopens - 50 metre pool - March 2020.

THE 50 metre pool, located at Wavertree Aquatics Centre, in Liverpool, is to reopen on Monday, 9 March 2020, following a huge repair programme costing almost ½ a million pounds. The facility has been shut since April 2019 following an electrical fault caused a high level light fitting to explode and shower the pool with lots of small shards of glass. The light fittings have been replaced with new longer lasting LED lights.

The glass entered the underside of the moveable floor which meant it needed to be completely drained so the pool tank could be thoroughly cleaned. Unexpectedly, it led to a majority of the floor and wall tiles lifting off due to defective concrete, which was discovered following the use of specialist x-ray equipment and the removal of rendering. The extent of the remedial works meant it took time to source the correct type of tile and other associated pool products to match the remaining pool tiles. Engineers have now refilled the pool and tested the moveable floor, while water samples have passed quality tests.


During the closure, the 20 metre pool has been open as normal and aqua fit and aqua running clubs have been operating as usual, together with most Swim Academy activity. Elite squads have been accommodated at alternative Lifestyles centres and had a reduction on their direct debits, while other members who have the Aquatics Centre as their home club had their membership frozen. Deputy Mayor of Liverpool, Councillor Wendy Simon, said:- "We know that this news will be welcomed by swimmers who regularly use the Aquatics Centre who have been understandably frustrated at its closure.  We encountered a number of unprecedented difficulties relating to defects from the construction of the pool over a decade ago, which meant we had to carry out detailed and complex investigative work to uncover the extent of the problem. I hope people will understand that took the time and care to look properly at the issue and work out the best way to carry out a repair. Despite the fact we have real financial challenges, we have found almost ½ a million pounds to carry out this work because we know how popular the Aquatics Centre is and make it fit for the future."

Puccini's Madama Butterfly heading to Southport Theatre

THE award winning producer Ellen Kent returns in Spring 2020 with the tragedy, Madama Butterfly featuring international soloists, full chorus and orchestra. Ellen Kent's stunning traditional production of Puccini's masterpiece Madama Butterfly, 1 of the world's most popular operas to Southport Theatre, on 12 March 2020.

The fabulous international Korean soprano Elena Dee returns to sing her critically acclaimed role as Cio Cio San, together with the international soprano Alyona Kistenyova. Vasyl Vasylenko, artistic director and conductor for 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, Kiev and the National Moldovan Opera.

Madama Butterfly is Puccini's tragic tale which the hit West End musical Miss Saigon is based on. 1 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 Un bel di vedremo (One Fine Day), the famous tenor aria Amore o grillo (Love or fancy) and the unforgettable Bimba, Bimba, non piangere (Love Duet).

With exquisite sets featuring a spectacular Japanese garden and fabulous costuming including antique wedding kimonos from Japan, the story will be told in the original Italian with English surtitles. As with any of Ellen Kent's shows, Madama Butterfly is set to be a visually beautiful and moving production.

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

Elena Dee the international Korean soprano returns to delight us with her poignant and emotional performance. She was spotted by Ellen Kent when she was working under the musical direction of the great Moldovan baritone, Vladimir Dragos. She was a talented classical pianist but was hoping to become a soprano. Ellen auditioned her and suggested she came back when she had acquired more experience vocally, Ellen auditioned Elena again some years later and the rest is history. She went on to sing Aida, Tosca and Mimi in Ellen's productions. Her portrayals of these roles were stunning both musically and dramatically.

Alyona Kistenyova, the international soprano from Odessa National Opera will be returning after her critically acclaimed performances in Aida, La Boheme, Carmen, Tosca and Die Fledermaus, Rigoletto and La Traviata.

The Ukrainian tenor Vitalii Liskovetskyi from the Kiev National Opera originally trained as a military pilot and made his debut on an Ellen Kent tour in 2015 in Carmen and Tosca, followed by subsequent successes in Aida, La Boheme and Nabucco, Rigoletto, La Traviata and Madama Butterfly. He will be reprising his roles as Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly and Rodolfo in La Bohème.

Giorgio Meladze, the International Spanish tenor, who has sung in all the major opera houses in Europe including with José Carreras in 2014, returns after his critically acclaimed performances in Aida, La Bohème and Nabucco and will be singing the parts of Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly and Rodolfo in La Bohème.

Myroslava Shvakh-Pekar, Mezzo soprano from the Ukrainian National Opera of Lviv will be making her debut in the role of Suzuki. She has been part of the chorus for several opera tours for Ellen Kent and on the last tour in 2018 Spring, she understudied the role. Ellen gave her Contessa di Ceprano in Rigoletto and the small part of Kate Pinkerton in Butterfly. She stood out vocally and dramatically and was asked to audition for the role of Suzuki. Ellen will be directing her in Suzuki and feels Myroslava will go onto greater roles. She already has auditioned her for Carmen for the Spring 2021 tour.

Iurie Gisca the celebrated Moldovan baritone, returns to sing Sharpless, the American consul. He triumphed in his debut of Rigoletto in Spring 2018 and has also sung Nabucco, Amonasro in Aida and excelled in Carmen as Escamillo.

Madama Butterfly will be conducted by Vasyl Vasylenko, who is the artistic director and conductor at the National President's Orchestra of Ukraine, Kiev, together with the Guest Conductor and Artistic Director of the National Opera of Moldova, Nicolae Dohotaru, together with 30 members of the National Ukrainian Orchestra, Kiev and the National Moldovan Opera.

This production will be sung in Italian with English subtitles. Cast Subject to Change.  Tickets available from:- WaterfrontSouthport.Co.UK/Events.

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