Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 24 August 2019

The Royal Opera House Muscat announces new season with Cliff Richard and a Pavarotti tribute show

An Anita Rachvelishvili concert, Giuseppe Verdi’s Aida opera and a tribute show to the legendary tenor Luciano Pavarotti are part of the jam-packed new season of the Royal Opera House Muscat.
Giuseppe Verdi’s grand masterpiece, Aida. Courtesy Royal Opera House Muscat
Giuseppe Verdi’s grand masterpiece, Aida. Courtesy Royal Opera House Muscat

A Cliff Richard concert, Giuseppe Verdi’s Aida opera and a tribute show to the legendary tenor Luciano Pavarotti are part of the jam-packed new season of the Royal Opera House Muscat.​

The Royal Opera House Muscat (ROHM) has announced its 2017-2018 season which opens in September.

The ROHM 2017-2018: A Legendary Season will have concerts, five famous operas, a coproduction in collaboration with Opéra de Rouen from France, ballet and Arabic performances in this year’s lineup.

Opera singing will be at the forefront of the programme with tenors such as Roberto Alagna, Jose Cur and Fabio Armiliato taking the stage, along with international women stars, including Olga Peretyatko, Aleksandra Kurzak, Rosa Feola and Kristin Lewis.

The season is also dedicated to the 20th century Italian operatic tenor Luciano Pavarotti to mark the 10th anniversary of his death. Fiorenza Cedolins, Sumi Jo, Marcello Giordani, and Francesco Meli will be among the world-class tenors that will pay a tribute to the legend this season. The opera house homage to Pavarotti will include an exhibition featuring memorabilia and his iconic costumes from December 14, 2017 until January 6, 2018.

Moving away from classical, the opera house will also be flying in Cliff Richard for a concert this season. The British star has sold more than 250 million records worldwide since he began his career in 1958.

French tenor Roberto Alagna will perform with internationally acclaimed Polish soprano Aleksandra Kurzak.

Grammy-award winners Dianne Reeves and Brazilian singer and guitarist Gilberto Gil will also be performing at the opera house this year.

Platinum award-winning singer and songwriter Ann Hampton Callaway will sing some of Barbra Streisand’s timeless classics such as Cry me a River and The Way We Were.

British musician Sami Yousuf will showcase the marriage of Arabic and Western tunes in a special concert dedicated to the region.

The grand opera house stage will also be set up for three historic romantic and tragic productions that have equal relevance in today’s times.

The season will be kicked off with the four-act opera set in Egypt, Aida, on September 14. The opera will be directed is directed by American film director William Friedkin.

With the aim to blend in classic works with modern stage brilliance, the opera will also bring to stage Ruggero Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci (The Clown), directed by Franco Zeffirelli. Gioachino Rossini’s L’Occasione fa il Ladro (Opportunity Makes a Thief) will be directed by Jean–Pierre Ponnelle for the opera show and Vincenzo Bellini’s La Sonnambula (The Sleepwalker), will be led by Argentinian director Hugo De Ana.

ROHM has also collaborated with the French company Opéra de Rouen to produce Vincenzo Bellini’s Norma, under the guidance of artistic director Frédéric Roels. Norma is a tragedy about a Druid priestess whose ill-fated love for an unfaithful Roman conqueror leads to frightful consequences.

The romantic classical ballet Swan Lake, set to a striking backdrop and period costumes, will be performed by Astana Opera and the Orchestra of Teatro Carlo Felice of Genoa conducted by Giuseppe Acquaviva.

The costumes have been created by academy-award winning costume designer Franca Squarciapino and sets have been conceived by Italian designer Ezio Frigerio.

On the bill is also the larger-than-life modern ballet Cinderella by Opera de Lyon. The ballet is set in a doll house with choreography and staging by Maguy Marin. Sergei Prokofiev’s music will be played by the Prague Philharmonia.

There will also be a concert twist to classical ballet with Pas de Deux for Fingers and Toes. Movement and music will merge in this special show with Violinist Vadim Repin and Étoile Svetlana Zakharova.

Traditional dance will be highlighted with special events with Russian folk dance company Igor Moiseyev Ballet.

World dance will also be in the spotlight with ROHM’s two original shows Recital CanTango and A O Original Vietnamese Show. Recital CanTango will be a fusion of tango guided by songs by Fabio Armiliato. The tenor will take the audience through the history of the dance, showcased by Los Guardiola dancers to music arrangements by Fabrizio Mocata.

The A O Show will be a display of Vietnamese dance with acrobatic performances.

The award-winning musical Peter Pan will be a family affair with action-packed sequences and music by pop singer Edoardo Bennato.

Russian violinist Sergej Krylov will play pieces by Mendelssohn, Tchaikovsky, Saint-Saëns, Rimsky-Korsakov and Ravel’s Bolero with the prestigious Russian National Orchestra conducted by the Pier Carlo Orizio.

The world renowned Alexandrov Red Army Chorus and dance troupe will bring singing and acrobatic action to the concert.

The pipe organ will be celebrated one evening with a performance by the Royal Oman Symphony Orchestra, conducted by British organist, pianist and conductor, Wayne Marshall.

A special children’s programme will feature The Moth Princess based on Puccini’s masterpiece Turandot and Peter and the Wolf & other Animal Tales performed by Orchestra of Opera de Rouen, led by conductor Fabrizio Maria Carminati. The concert will explore the animal world with a shadow puppet show by the Arab Puppet Theatre Foundation and the projection of the Oscar-winning animated film Peter & the Wolf Live on Prokofiev’s score.

This year’s outreach programme will aim to encourage the youth into performing arts with workshops, discussions and exhibitions. The Animal World workshops will be open to children to learn more about puppetry and the Clown for a Day session will teach them about make-up and carnival masks.

ROHM’s successful Coffee & Dates sessions with artists will also be back this season. There will be pre-performance discussions with the performers on certain nights, as well.

This year, the opera house is also introducing concerts during lunchtime, where festival-goers can enjoy operatic arias in the Galleria and other venues between main stage shows.

The Royal Opera House Muscat’s new season is from September until May 2018. For details, visit www.rohmuscat.org.om

Updated: July 21, 2017 06:43 PM

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