Royal Opera all set to host variety of shows

By: Lakshmi Kothaneth

MUSCAT: The next season is full of anniversary celebrations for the Royal Opera House Muscat. More than 70 performances are lined up at Royal Opera House Muscat for 2015-2016 Season from September to May. The new programme comprises of Arab and Omani music, opera, ballets, shows, concerts, jazz, world music and special events.

The new season, which sees the opera house in its fifth year of operation, coincides with the Sultanate of Oman’s celebration of 45th National Day.

The programme commences on September 16, 2015 with an operatic concert by the world’s greatest tenor of his generation, Jonas Kauffman with the Royal Oman Symphony Orchestra, followed by a special symphonic concert in celebration of ROSO’s 30th anniversary. On October 1, 3 and 4 the Royal Opera will mark the fifth year of the Royal Opera House by presenting its own specially commissioned inaugural opera, Puccini’s Turandot.

The opera season will see productions by Gaetano Donizetti, Budapest Operetta Theatre and the Vienna State Opera. With eight months of 40 different events and more than 70 performances, the season is expected to conclude with a spectacular show by the Golden Dragon Acrobats from China, recently acclaimed on Broadway.

Tickets will be on sale from June 7 onwards. About 11 Arab productions are in line — an evening of Tarab singing with Wael Jassar from Lebanon, a concert by Egyptian singer Hani Shaker, the Omani Women’s Day, Songs for Humanity by International Arab superstar Maher Zain, Kulthumiyat by Shahd Barmada and Asma Lamnaear, and a night of special Music of Iraq as well as the annual Military Music of Oman.

His Highness Sayyid Kamal bin Fahad al Said, Assistant Secretary-General of the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister for Cabinet Affairs, speaking to the media said: “In 2015-2016 we will take you on another incredible journey into the world of performing arts in the hope that you will enjoy everything the Royal Opera House Muscat has to offer.”

He said the Supreme Committee and Board of Directors of the Royal Opera House Muscat who on a constant basis try to uncover new ways to expand and increase the services it offers to the public.

The Cuban National Ballet will be presenting Don Quixote in October and in November it is the Foundation of Bakhchisarai, inspired by the poem of the same title by Alexander Pushkin and will be danced by Russia’s Perm Opera and Ballet Theatre. The New Year treat is going to be The Silk Road by Ornina Theatrical Dance. The English National Ballet from London will be performing their version of Le Corsaire, a thrilling ballet about captive maidens, pirates, kidnap, rescue, disguise and conspiracy.

Equally exciting is the concert list featuring Russian baritone Dimitri Hvorostovsky with the Orchestra of Teatro Carlo Felice of Genua; pianist Helene Grimaud with Kammerorchester Basel; Sopranos Sondra Radvanovsky with the Prague Philharmonic Orchestra and Diana Damrau with the Orchestra of the Teatro Massimo of Palermo.

An artistic coup for ROHM, the internationally acclaimed Arab pianist, Saleem Ashkar will perform with the Bamberg Symphony under the baton of Christoph Eschenbach; a joyful concert gala with the Belgradde Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by David Levi, with tenor Michail Schade, Soprano Fatma Said and violinist Anna Tifu. Keeping the families in mind ROHM will be presenting the Palestine Youth Orchestra and the world renowned Regensburger Boys Choir.

“We strongly believe we need to promote young talent. We came across Fatma Said while practicing at the Opera and just listening to her voice we felt we must include her in this season and the next,” said Umberto Fanni, Artistic Director and Acting General Director at ROHM.

Jazz concerts is a distinct flavour of the next season with the famous Cuban Buena Vista Social Club, singer and song writer Natalie Cole who won a number of Grammy Awards for her celebrated album Unforgettable; Cassandra Wilson singing in homage to Billy Holiday; Sitar player Anoushka Shankar and the acclaimed African star Salif Keita.

To the delight of youngsters The Magic Flute for Children, a ROHM production returns due to the popular demand. “In this production, we worked with hundreds of school students and it took us months of prior preparation and setup. Over 2400 male and female students participated in the students’ performances. Students joined the artists and sang in Arabic and Italian. This year there will be a new touch,” said Dr Nasser bin Hamad al Taee, Adviser to the Board of Directors for Education and Outreach at the Royal Opera House Muscat.


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