Emirates Palace Abu Dhabi
Emirates Palace Abu Dhabi Image Credit: GN Archives

Abu Dhabi: The 20th edition of Abu Dhabi Festival, held under the theme “The Will for Evolution”, is hosting a series of musical events at the Emirates Palace in March, with the participation of the most brilliant musicians and artists from around the world.

Abu Dhabi Festival will kick off its first event on March 1 with Juan Diego Flórez and Friends by celebrated Peruvian operatic tenor, Juan Diego Flórez, who is acclaimed for his command of the high tenor range. Flórez gives a spectacular performance in a 120-minute concert featuring a programme of arias along with melodies from Peruvian and Latin American musical cultures, followed by a repertoire of Peruvian and Latin American songs accompanied by an orchestra.

On March 10, the Emirates Palace will host the Middle East premiere of De Scheherezade a Yo, Carmen. Throughout the mesmerising performance, Vanguard flamenco dancer and choreographer María Pagés transcends the legendary female character— Carmen, the gypsy cigarette girl from Mérimée's novella.

On March 11, two-time Grammy Award-winning Jazz musician Gregory Porter makes his UAE debut, performing a set of his smooth original tracks from his albums Liquid Spirit and Take Me to the Alley, as well as captivating renditions of the classics joined by Chip Crawford on piano, Emanuel Harrold on drums, Tivon Pennicott on Saxaphone/Horns, and Jahmal Nichols on bass.

For the first time in the Middle East, the Emirates Palace will host “From West to East: A Classical Odyssey”, on March 17. Academy Award-winning composer Tan Dun conducts the Orchestra of Teatro Comunale di Modena Pavarotti-Freni, joined by world-famous Chinese cellist Jian Wang, in an unforgettable musical journey from West to East featuring an iconic classics repertoire of Mozart, Tchaikovsky, and Mussorgsky, followed by the UAE premiere of his original Pipa Concerto.

On March 18, Abu Dhabi Festival will present the Middle East premiere of “Buddha Passion” by Grammy and Academy Award-winning composer Tan Dun. Spanning the boundaries of classical music and Eastern and Western traditions, the performance is a 95-minute oratorio illustrating six Buddha parables and stories, with the sixth being the Buddha's ascension into Nirvana. The performance captures the ancient narratives of the Buddha's teachings and the timeless, universal concepts of love, forgiveness and sacrifice.