Legendary season ahead at Royal Opera House Muscat
The Royal Opera House Muscat has announced its 2017- 2018 season with a programme that includes a Cliff Richard concert, Giuseppe Verdi’s Aida opera and a tribute show to the legendary tenor Luciano Pavarotti. The ROHM 2017-2018: A Legendary Season, which kicks off on September 14, will have concerts, five famous operas, a co-production in collaboration with Opéra de Rouen from France, ballet and Arabic performances in this season’s line-up.
Opera singing will be at the forefront of the programme with tenors such as Roberto Alagna, José Cura 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, marking the 10th anniversary of his death. Fiorenza Cedolins, Sumi Jo, Marcello Giordani, and Francesco Meli will be among the worldclass tenors who will pay tribute to the legend.
The opera house’s homage to Pavarotti will include an exhibition featuring memorabilia and his iconic costumes from December 14 until January 6.
Richard fans will be pleased to know the opera house will be flying the British music legend in for a concert on October 7. The star has sold more than 250 million records worldwide his career began in 1958.
French tenor Roberto Alagna will perform with internationally acclaimed Polish soprano Aleksandra Kurzak too, while Grammy-award winners Dianne Reeves and Brazilian singer and guitarist Gilberto Gil are also on the 2017/2018 calendar.
Platinum award-winning singer-songwriter Ann Hampton Callaway has agreed to sing some of Barbra Streisand’s timeless clas- sics such as Cry Me a River and The Way We Were on November 30.
British musician Sami Yousuf too 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 kicks off with Aida, the four-act opera set in Egypt, on September 14. It will be 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 and Vincenzo Bellini’s La Sonnambula (The Sleepwalker) will be led by Argentinian director Hugo De Ana.
The opera house has also collaborated with the French company Opéra de Rouen to produce Vincenzo Bellini’s Norma from February 22-25, 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.
Swan Lake fans though won’t have to wait that long, with the romantic classical ballet, set to a striking backdrop and period costumes, to be performed by Astana Opera and the Orchestra of Teatro Carlo Felice of Genoa from Sep- tember 28. Larger-than-life modern ballet, Cinderella, by Opera de Lyon, will follow in December.
Set in a doll house with choreography and staging by Maguy Marin, Sergei Prokofiev’s Cinderella music will be played by the Prague Philharmonia.
For traditional dance enthusiasts there’s something for you too. A highlight will be Russian folk dance company Igor Moiseyev Ballet. World dance will also be in the spotlight with the opera house’s two original shows Recital CanTango and A O Original Vietnamese Show. Recital CanTango is 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 provide audiences with a display of Vietnamese dance with acrobatic performances. Award- winning musical Peter Pan will entertain the family next May with action-packed sequences and music by pop singer Edoardo Bennato.
For classical music enthusiasts you’ll want to mark April 4 in your diaries as that’s when 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.
Meanwhile, this year’s outreach programme aims to encourage youth into taking part in performing arts with workshops, discus- sions and exhibitions. The opera house’s Animal World workshops will be open to children to learn more about puppetry, while the Clown for a Day session will teach them about make-up and masks.
The Coffee & Dates sessions with artists are making a comeback. There will be pre-performance discussions with the performers on certain nights as well.
The opera house is also introducing lunchtime concerts, where festivalgoers can enjoy operatic arias in the Galleria and other venues between shows.
The new season runs from September 14 to May 2018. Visit www.rohmuscat.org.om for more information and ticket prices
Italian opera composer Giuseppe Verdi’s grand masterpiece Aida, which will be performed at the Royal Opera House Muscat.