Placido Domingo, Russia’s legendary Mariinsky Ballet and Welsh bariton Bryn Terfel are among the cultural luminaries performing at next year’s Abu Dhabi Festival, it was announced at a press conference on Monday.
The 2013 Abu Dhabi Festival (ADF), starting March 3, 2012, will celebrate its 10th anniversary with 29 productions and 100 events in 28 days across the Emirates with performances from globally-reknowned acts and local highlights.
“The success of this festival is measured by whether it mirrors the minds and thinking of the people of the UAE, and how much it resonates within them,” said Huda Al Khamis-Kanoo, founder and artistic director of the festival at the conference.
A highlight of the event will see the Czech Philharmonic accompanying Domingo, one of the celebrated “Three Tenors”, and Grammy award winning soprano Ana Maria Martinez in an event called Plácido at the Palace on March 22.
The opening event on March 3 is a performance of Romeo and Juliet by the UK theatre company Globe Education at Shakespeare’s Globe. Previous performances by the company at the festival have sold out in previous years.
Terfel will perform for the first time in the region on March 26 at Festival Gala with Bryn Terfel, a night of opera arias, popular favorites and traditional Welsh songs alongside Viktoria Yastrebova. The evening will also premiere the ADF’s anniversary commission, “Poème Orientale”, composed by the Franco-Lebanese poet and composer Bechara Al Khoury.
For jazz fans, there’s a treat in the shape of music all-rounder (and former Brazilian Minister of Culture) Gilberto Gil. The Grammy winner is a UNESCO Artist for Peace and will be playing an acoustic concert with a mixture of jazz, samba and bossa nova, African music, rock, roots and reggae.
Ballet lovers should look out for the Mariinsky Ballet’s” Homage to Fokine” performance. The St Petersburg-based company is one of the world’s most acclaimed ballet companies, and will perform four short ballets choreographed by Michel Fokine.
The legacy of Lebanese composers Assi and Mansour Al Rahbani (who created the music sung by Fairuz) will be celebrated by Osama Al Rahbani and his brother Ghadi. “Genius has to be created and nurtured through education. The festival is supporting the youth of the Emirates especially by sponsoring future generations, as the UAE continues to educate them and give priority to art,” Osama Al Rahbani said at the conference.
The UAE’s spoken word tradition will be embraced in Bil Arabi, a new production by Dr Habib Gholoum Al Attar. The production will tour the capital, Al Ain and Ajman.
ADF will also present ‘25 Years of Arab Creativity’, an exhibition by Institut du Monde Arabe, curated by Ihab el-Labban. Making its debut in the region, the exhibition has works by more than 30 artists from 13 Arab nations, including two Emirati artists.