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Royal Opera House Muscat woos Arabic audience

Diverse line-up of artists set to usher in new season

Gulf News

Muscat: The new season at the Royal Opera House Muscat (ROHM), starting from mid-September, will witness a strong Arabic presence with a ‘diverse’ selection of programmes.

“Arabic music will be strongly represented by artists from all over the region,” Dr Essam Al Mallah, adviser to the board for programming and events of ROHM, said at a media briefing on Wednesday. He added that the opera house will continue to promote Omani artists, with performances to celebrate Omani Women’s Day and performances by a military band from Oman’s Royal Guard among programmes on the cards.

Dr Al Mallah said that 26.1 per cent of the 3,000 performers who will feature during the new season would be Omanis. “For a taste of the region [GCC], Kuwait’s Abdullah Al Ruwaishid [Al Rowaished] will sing,” he said adding that Arab musicians from Palestine, Tunisia and Morocco will also feature prominently.

He said that the diversity of the nationalities and cultures performing this season would reflect the broad programming of the opera house through international events and genres from around the world, including opera, symphony music, ballet, jazz, and Arabic tara band.

Musicians or ensembles who proved hugely popular in past seasons are also part of the mix. They include cellist Yo-Yo Ma, Lebanese diva Magida Al Roumi, the Mariinsky Ballet, and the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, which will play for the Vienna State Opera’s production of Mozart’s opera composition The Marriage of Figaro.

Dr Nasser Al Ta’ei, adviser to the Board for Education and Outreach, announced that there would be educational and outreach events including ‘Music for and from children’ concerts, special matinee performances for students and families, symposiums, workshops with visiting artists, open house events, daily public tours and pre-performance talks.

The Royal Opera House Muscat’s 2013-2014 season, which will begin in September with Rossini’s comic opera, The Barber of Seville, will feature 81 performances by 42 different groups and conclude in May, 2014.