Shaped like a dhow, in a true representation of the UAE’s sea-faring culture, the Dubai Opera is a beautiful ode to the arts located in sparkly Downtown Dubai. The venue has just released their full calendar for the season as it marks its seventh year.
The 2,000-seat, multi-format, performing arts centre opened to public on August 31, 2016. The innovative structure can transform as required depending on the event or the show. The building houses the Auditorium – a multi-form theatre that can transform into three modes – from a proscenium arch theatre into an acoustic concert hall or a 2000 sq.m. flat floor banquet hall.
This season promises around vibrant performances and shows, which are not limited to what one may expect to see at a traditional opera house. From opera, ballet, musicals, comedy and drama, to jazz, film scores, pop, rock, electronic and world music, the fall/winter season of events at Dubai Opera has a wide variety of events from diverse genres to suit the interests of all art and performance lovers.
“As we embark on the new season, we are filled with immense pride in the remarkable artistic diversity that characterizes our lineup of performances and productions, catering to the entire community and bringing together prestigious companies and celebrated artists from around the world onto the stage of our exceptional venue,” says Dr Paolo Petrocelli, Head of Dubai Opera.
Ballet and theatre
Swan Lake (Classic Ballet)
Immerse yourself in the timeless tale of love and magic as the Hungarian State Opera and the Hungarian National Ballet bring their exquisite rendition of Swan Lake to Dubai.
Dates: September 8, 9 and 10
Madama Butterfly (Opera)
Witness the tragic and heart-wrenching story of love, sacrifice, and cultural clashes in Puccini's beloved opera, Madama Butterfly. Presented by the Hungarian State Opera, this performance promises to be a captivating experience for all.
Dates: September 12 and 13
Witness the gripping tragedy of Macbeth as the acclaimed theatre company ETT returns to Dubai Opera following the success of their critically acclaimed tour of Othello in 2018. Brace yourself for a riveting performance as Macbeth embarks on a treacherous journey for power and redemption.
Dates: November 3, 4 and 5
Slava’s Snowshow (Theatre)
A non-verbal show featuring a captivating performance by clowns, the award-winning show led by Slava Polunin made its world debut in 1994. This will be their first time performing in Dubai.
Dates: December 8, 9 and 10
The Ballet Theatre and State Opera Orchestra of Astana (Kazakhstan) will offer an enchanting rendition of "The Nutcracker," inviting the Dubai Opera audience into a realm of magic.
Dates: December 15-17
Orchestra of the Teatro alla Scala in Milan (Gala concert)
On December 1, during the COP28 summit in the UAE, Dubai Opera will mark the historic debut of the celebrated Orchestra of the Teatro alla Scala in Milan set to present a memorable gala concert titled “A Concert for Tomorrow.” The concert aims to unite audiences in a powerful display of solidarity and hope in support of the global effort to protect the planet and safeguard the well-being of future generations.
Date: December 1
The legendary Brazilian singer-songwriter Gilberto Gil takes the stage for his farewell tour this season. Accompanied by his talented family, Gil will treat the audience to a mesmerizing performance of his iconic songs.
Dates: September 29
Prepare to be amazed by the virtuoso violinist David Garrett as he takes you on a musical journey with his new album "Iconic." Known for his electrifying performances, Garrett's blend of classical and contemporary music will leave you spellbound.
Dates: October 26
Experience the soulful and melodic jazz of Kenny Garrett as he presents his latest album, "Sounds from the Ancestors." With his captivating saxophone solos and infectious energy, Garrett is sure to leave the audience wanting more.
Dates: October 28
Prepare to be enchanted by the soulful voice and mesmerizing performance of Ali Sethi. Known for his captivating blend of classical and contemporary Pakistani music, Sethi promises a musical journey that transcends borders and resonates with the heart.
Dates: November 11
Prepare to be captivated by the extraordinary talent of Matteo Bocelli as he showcases his rich and powerful voice. Following in the footsteps of his renowned father, Andrea Bocelli, Matteo will serenade the audience with his enchanting interpretations of classical and contemporary songs.
Dates: December 21
Bands and groups
Experience the legendary rock band Jethro Tull as they embark on "The Prog Years" tour, bringing their iconic sound and progressive rock masterpieces to Dubai. Get ready to be transported back in time as Ian Anderson and his bandmates deliver a mesmerizing performance filled with intricate melodies, powerful rhythms, and unforgettable classics.
Dates: November 24
Immerse yourself in the hypnotic rhythms and soulful melodies of Tinariwen, the Grammy-winning group from Mali who will be showcasing their new album Amatssou. Experience their unique blend of traditional African music and blues as they take you on a musical journey through the Sahara Desert.
Dates: December 12
2024 shows and performances
Ballet and theatre
La Scala Theatre Ballet School from Milan, one of the globe's preeminent classical ballet academies, is set to make its Dubai Opera debut on February 17-18, 2024. This prestigious academy has produced renowned A-list stars such as Roberto Bolle and Jacopo Tisci, both former Bolshoi principal dancers.
Back by popular demand, 'The Phantom of the Opera' will enrapture spectators with its soul-stirring music and compelling narrative from February 22 to March 10, 2024. Viewers can also enjoy an imaginative adaptation of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry's timeless classic, 'The Little Prince,' from January 26-28, 2024.
Film Music Week
The venue will host its first ever Film Music Week May 9-10, 2024 paying tribute to one of cinema's most revered composers - Ennio Morricone - directed by Andrea Morricone, the late maestro's son. Following this are showings of two blockbuster films: "Star Wars: A New Hope" and "Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of The Black Pearl" on May 10 and 11, respectively. These screenings will be accompanied by live performances of John Williams' and Hans Zimmers’ iconic scores.
The week concludes with a nod to the unparalleled talent of Charlie Chaplin. Audiences will enjoy a screening of a Chaplin classic, The Kid, celebrating its score composed by Chaplin himself.
The Dubai Opera is set to host acclaimed musicians including pianists Ludovico Einaudi and Alice Sara Ott, legendary British band Incognito, Grammy-winning trumpet virtuoso Chris Botti and Gidon Kremer & Kremerata Baltica. The venue will celebrate jazz with a performance by saxophonist Ravi Coltrane in April.
Heading to the opera
Dubai Opera also houses The Promenade, an acoustically soundproof outdoor semi-private venue of 2,760 square metres located in front of Dubai Opera, with a full view of the iconic Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest tower. You can also marvel at the famous chandelier Symphony in The Grand Circle Foyer – it is made up of 3,000 LED lights and thousands of hand-blown crystal elements.
There is an outdoor venue as well, called The Garden, and The Studio on the Grand Circle – a functional event space.
How to get there
If taking the Dubai Metro, get off at the Dubal Mall/Burj Khalifa Metro Station. A 25-minute walk from the exit through Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Boulevard will get you to the opera house.
By taxi or by road, you can use Google Maps or Waze to get to the location. Parking will cost Dh30 on event/performance days.