Image Credit: Supplied

Get your Union Flag ready: Come March, it will be time to wave it in the air to the sounds of Edward Elgar as the BBC Proms Dubai take place at Dubai Opera.

The BBC Proms, an annual festival of classical music has taken place in the UK for over 120 years, and will travel outside the country for only the second time for four days of performances from March 21-24.

The music will be performed by the BBC Symphony Orchestra and BBC Singers, the musicians’ first visit to the UAE (the only other time the Proms have been performed overseas was this year in Australia).

The best news? Tickets start from Dh50 per person.

The Dh50 tickets are the 600 “promming” tickets, standing tickets available daily. Other tickets go on sale on November 3 at dubaiopera.com

So what can you hear at the Proms?

The six concerts over four days include classical repertoire, British music and new music — including works by Dubai-based composers Joanna Marsh and Mohammad Fairouz, and Australian-Egyptian composer Joseph Tawadros’ Quartet. The BBC Proms Dubai concerts will be recorded for broadcast on BBC Radio 3.

It wouldn’t be the BBC Proms without the Last Night Of The Proms, the traditional end to the festival that sees flag-waving music fans sing along to Henry Wood’s Fantasia on British Sea-Songs, Thomas Arne’s Rule, Britannia! and Edward Elgar’s Pomp and Circumstance March No. 1 (aka Land of Hope and Glory).

The festival is all part of the UK/UAE 2017 Year of Cultural Collaboration led by the British Council, meaning there will also be workshops, masterclasses and open rehearsals.

David Pickard, Director, BBC Proms says: “I am delighted that the BBC Symphony Orchestra and BBC Singers will be performing at Dubai Opera for the inaugural BBC Proms Dubai, giving audiences in the UAE an opportunity to sample a taste of the BBC Proms experience. Through this series of concerts and learning events we hope to give the audience an idea of what the Proms are all about, making classical music accessible through quality music-making, outreach work, affordable ticket prices and broadcasts.”

“The BBC Proms is a magical festival which I know extremely well from my time at the Royal Albert Hall and I’m thrilled that for the first time ever, residents of and visitors to Dubai will be able to enjoy a taste of the world’s greatest classical music festival right here at Dubai Opera,” said Jasper Hope, Dubai Opera chief executive said. “This is yet more evidence that Dubai Opera is becoming the definitive destination in the GCC for the very best music and entertainment from the whole world, as well as being a stage on which we can celebrate the best in local and regional talent to the broadest possible audience.”


Here’s the full list of concerts at the BBC Proms Dubai concert listings:


March 21, 8pm


Gary Carpenter: Dadaville

Mohammad Fairouz: Pax Universalis

Britten: Piano Concerto

Walton: Symphony No. 1 In B Flat Minor

Performed by the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Edward Gardner, conductor, Benjamin Grosvenor, piano


March 22, 8pm

Inspiration in Song

Finzi: My Spirit Sang All Day (From Seven Partsongs, Op. 17)

Judith Bingham: Distant Thunder

Parry: My Soul, There Is A Country (From Songs Of Farewell)

Parry: Never Weather-Beaten Sail (From Songs Of Farewell)

Parry: There Is An Old Belief (From Songs Of Farewell)

Mohammad Fairouz: Different Ways To Pray

Judith Bingham: The Drowned Lovers

Stanford: The Blue Bird

Delius: To Be Sung Of A Summer Night On The Water

Tippett: Dance, Clarion Air

Joanna Marsh: Arabesques

Tippett: Five Spirituals From ‘A Child Of Our Time’

Richard Rodney Bennett: By Strauss; Every Time We Say Goodbye

Performed by the BBC Singers, James Burton conductor


March 23, 7.30pm

Joanna Marsh: Flare World Premiere

Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 20 In D Minor, K466

Mendelssohn: Calm Sea And Prosperous Voyage

Elgar: ‘Enigma’ Variations

Performed by the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Edward Gardner conductor, Benjamin Grosvenor, piano


March 23, 11pm

Late Night Prom: Tawadros Quartet


March 24, 2pm

Voices from the Isles

Stanford: Three Motets, Op. 38

Tippett: Four Songs From The British Isles

Edward Cowie: Lyre Bird Motet

Grainger: Stormy, Brigg Fair, Irish Tune from County Derry

Gershwin, Arr. B. Chilcott: Fascinating Rhythm

Sigler, Goodhart & Hoffman: Everything Stops For Tea

Arr. Philip Lawson: Last Night at the Christmas Proms

Performed by the BBC Singers, James Burton conductor


March 24, 8pm

Last Night Of The Proms

Shostakovich: Festive Overture

Saint-Saens: Piano Concerto No. 2 In G Minor

Debussy: La Mer

Handel: Zadok The Priest

Joseph Tawadros: New Commission For Oud And Orchestra (world premiere)

Henry Wood: Fantasia On British Sea-Songs – Excerpts

Arne, Arr. M. Sargent: Rule, Britannia!

Elgar: Pomp and Circumstance March No. 1 in D major

Performed by the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Edward Gardner conductor, Benjamin Grosvenor piano, Joseph Tawadros oud, James Tawadros percussion