x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 January 2018

The Emirates Opera Project captivates audience at The Ivy

In the back room of The Ivy on Thursday night, opera singers prepare for the show, from left: Maria Glück, Christine Belbelian and, with his back to the camera, Paul Bester. Photo by Ann Marie McQueen
In the back room of The Ivy on Thursday night, opera singers prepare for the show, from left: Maria Glück, Christine Belbelian and, with his back to the camera, Paul Bester. Photo by Ann Marie McQueen

If there was a little confusion over when to serve the food and clear the plates (not when anyone was singing, thank you very much) it didn’t matter: Opera at The Ivy seems to be a smashing success.

The increasingly visible and talented The Emirates Opera Project has teamed up with the Jumeirah Emirates Towers eatery for their second Opera at the Ivy show on Wednesday night.

It was French night, and so alongside music lovers dining on short ribs and chicken liver pate, the group’s members performed classics including Belle nuit, ô nuit d’amour (Barcarolle) and Sous le dôme épais (Flower Duet). Among them was Paul Bester, who moved to Dubai from South Africa last year. (He performed the surprise part of waiter-turned-opera singer at the opening of Carluccio’s at the Eastern Mangroves Promenade in March); the German soprano Maria Glück who moved to Dubai five years ago for her husband’s job and has since performed on many of the country’s stages, including at Emirates Palace; and Christine Belbian, the lyrical soprano from Armenia and, with Glück and several others, co-founder of the group.

Stay tuned. The Ivy evenings, which are now done for the summer but are tentatively planned to resume this autumn, are just one indication of this group’s momentum. There are an increasingly number of corporate gigs and in November, a concert at the Madinat Theatre.

amcqueen@thenational.ae