The theoretically laudable habit of involving local arts groups in an Ellen Kent production can throw up some oddities, such as the initial march-up presence of a brass band (more Viva Espana than Viva Toreador) and the unaccompanied traditional lament which brings down the final curtain. In between we see a lively production with the sung Guirand recitatives. Eugen Ponomariov's surtitles are needed; the cast struggles to enunciate French.
The heart of Verdi's 1871-2 opera is in the two- and three-person private confrontations, for all that it's most familiar to the public for pomp, pageantry and public circumstance. Ellen Kent's production makes that clear, for Act Two doesn't really create much of an impression. Touring companies offering grand opera in multi-purpose venues have to balance stage width with stage depth; they are seldom in the ideal proportion.