HISTORY will be made in Harwich as an arts festival present a full length opera for the first time.

One of the UK’s leading chamber music companies, Opera a la Carte, will be staging Puccini’s Madam Butterfly at St Nicholas Church as just one of the highlights of this year’s Harwich Festival of the Arts.

Rising stars Elizabeth Roberts and Alex Tsilogiannis take the lead roles in the production where an American naval officer stationed in Japan arranges to take a new bride.

Both are sure for bright futures and Miss Roberts came to national attention when she had a starring role in the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games.

The festival’s artistic director Diana Burrell is hopeful the world class show on June 27 will be warmly received by opera aficionados and novices alike.

“I know some of the performers from Opera a la Carte and when I went to see them in London and they were great,” she said.

“It was lively and there was always something going on so I just thought I must have them for the festival.

“The whole 12 days should be about securing the best we can possibly get to make it special so I am delighted we have this group.”

To purchase tickets and for full listings go to harwichfestival.co.uk.