x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

A full house of opera

As the curtains close on this year's Abu Dhabi Festival tonight at the Emirates Palace, the Russian baritone Dmitri Hvorostovksy will leave many opera fans wanting more. And for those of us with more enthusiasm than expertise, The National's Arts & Life section takes us through our paces today with a rundown of the action.

As the curtains close on this year's Abu Dhabi Festival tonight at the Emirates Palace, the Russian baritone Dmitri Hvorostovksy will leave many opera fans wanting more. And for those of us with more enthusiasm than expertise, The National's Arts & Life section takes us through our paces today with a rundown of the action.

Tonight's gala is the culmination of a series of events that have been well received by aficionados and newcomers alike. Whether it is the crisp bel canto or the dialogue of the recitative (the "boring bits", as our writer Feargus O'Sullivan helpfully points out), the opera and dance on offer has been a newfound experience for many.

As such, an evening at the opera is not only high-culture entertainment, but an opportunity to broaden our horizons. While it may be considered a rarified world, everyone should be encouraged to at least sample the fare to see if it is to their taste.

But with many seats allocated to corporate sponsors, some are left empty. That leaves some members of the public who want tickets scrambling, without much luck, to buy them. Of course, sponsors want to watch the events they help bring to town - indeed, The National is one such sponsor of the Abu Dhabi Festival. But if these events are to prosper, and such talent attracted in the future, it is better if we offer a full house.