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AR Rahman. Image Credit:

Time’s running out for all those women who wish to audition for Oscar winner AR Rahman’s nationwide talent hunt in the UAE. The deadline is February 4 and it’s your sole chance to receive training and mentorship by the legendary musician. The orchestra, cherry-picked by Rahman, will compose music for the much-anticipated Expo 2020 inaugural ceremony.

“It’s a great opportunity to have something like this. This is a great statement from this country which stands for unity, progress, coexistence and all things that humanity is wishing for,” Rahman told Gulf News in a 2017 interview.

This contest is a part of Expo 2020 cultural highlights and they are calling all female intermediate to semi-professional musicians from the Arab world to apply for the Firdaus Orchestra. A total of 100 women will be first chosen from auditions. The orchestra aims to feature 50 female musicians and showcase their talent to a global audience.

“Expo 2020 provides an exciting platform to demonstrate the region’s culture and creative talent to the world, while also highlighting our ability to bring the world together to promote collaboration. We are seeking female musicians from the region of all ages and backgrounds to join our ensemble, that will collectively spur so much creativity and innovation and inspire a legacy long after Expo 2020 closes its doors in March 2022,” said Noora Sulaiman, Senior Associate, Firdaus Women’s Orchestra, Expo 2020 Dubai, in a statement.

Rahman, in the same interview during a visit to the Expo 2020 site in 2017, also described Expo 2020 as a fascinating event.

“Expo 2020 Dubai is the most fascinating thing that I have worked in the last 20 years because here you have almost 200 pavilions and the whole world will be here. So it’s a great opportunity to have something like this … The aspiration is to exchange and give ideas and probably show the world how to be together, especially in this divisive world,” said Rahman.

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Expo 2020 Dubai — the first World Expo to be held in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia region — will run from October 1, 2021 to March 31, 2022.

How to audition

Musicians can apply by sending through a video and registration is now open online.