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Review: ‘Vivaldianno’ brings RAK's majestic Jebel Jais mountains alive with music

Unique concert on top of the Jebel Jais featured a modern interpretation of Antonio Vivaldi’s works

  • Image Credit: Supplied
  • Image Credit: Supplied
  • Image Credit: Supplied
  • Image Credit: Supplied

If Antonio Vivaldi were alive now, he’d be a rock star.

Vivaldianno — City of Mirrors, an interpretation of the famed Italian Baroque composer’s works, descended on the mountains of Jebel Jais in Ras Al Khaimah on Friday night.

The sold-out show, with a 1,200 capacity, earned the distinction of the highest concert venue in the UAE — and it was undoubtedly a night to remember. Classical music aficionados came in droves from across the UAE, with the evening also attended by His Highness Shaikh Saud Bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah, and other dignitaries.

The show, a mixture of 3D visual effects and lights, began with the scene of an earthquake that terrified Venice in 1678, the year Vivaldi was born.

Then came some of the composer’s best-known works in a series of violin renditions — to bring out the experience of the four seasons. With magnificent 3D effects — Winter, Spring, Summer and Autumn — came to life.

The fusion of classical and modern interpretations with the latest electronic musical instruments rendering Vivaldi’s original scores captured the audience with breathtaking performances of the live orchestra. Towards the end of the show, which dramatises Vivaldi’s death, some Mozart compositions had been inserted.

“Such a delight to the ears and the eyes as well as to the heart and the soul,” said Arne Sunico Lubasan, 53, the musical director of the Dubai Camerata Singers.

“The concert is a synergy of music, the old and the new. It is a fusion of two ‘contradicting’ styles, that of Baroque and Rock, particularly techno music,” Lubasan said.

Lubasan also pointed out that the venue of the concert.

“Imagine a concert on a mountaintop. Coming up the mountain already set the mood to what is expected to happen up there. Kudos to the Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority for organising such an orderly event. Even the parking was arranged meticulously. Everything went smoothly. The view on the way up was incredible. The mountaintop view is unrivalled. It has a singular appeal which only Jebel Jais can offer.”

Christian Sell, who works in an Air Navigation Services, drove all the way from Abu Dhabi to Jebel Jais to witness the show.

“This was an extraordinarily experience being an outside event with the weather playing along and excellent and great classic-rock music. We came across this event through social media. It was not advertised widely in Abu Dhabi.

"My first time in nine years in the UAE that I have been to RAK. Compliments to the organisers and respect for the RAK police who handled all the traffic very well. We need more events like this. It was just awesome,” he added.