Despite concerns that the weather could turn for the worse, nothing could deter fans and classical music enthusiasts from attending Andrea Bocelli's concert in the West Garden of Emirates Palace Hotel on March 27.
Members of the audience, some as young as 6, their attire ranging from casual to dressed to the nines, showed that music unites people from all walks of life as they settled in to enjoy the musical feast, courtesy of tenore Bocelli, soprano Paola Sanguinetti, baritono Gianfranco Montresor and the Bolshoi Theatre Orchestra under maestro Marcello Rota.
The evening began with Glinka's overture from Russlan and Ludmilla, performed by the Bolshoi Theatre Orchestra.
Once the energetic piece ended, the visually impaired Bocelli was escorted across the stage by maestro Marcello amid enthusiastic applause.
Once he reached the microphone, a hush descended.
Launching into Verdi's La donna e mobile from Rigoletto, Bocelli set the tone for what became apparent to all would be a night to remember.
Afterwards, it was Montresor's turn to shine as he joined Bocelli for a piece by Bizet from The Pearlfishers entitled Au fond du temple saint.
Sanguinetti then showcased her remarkable voice in her solo rendition of Puccini's O mio babbino caro from Gianni Schicchi.
She was followed by Montresor, who took to the stage again for a solo performance of Sortita Escamillo from Bizet's Carmen.
Bocelli then returned to the stage, much to the audience's delight, and performed Di quella pira from Il Trovatore by Verdi with a passion that left everyone breathless.
The first half ended with all three artistes performing two pieces from Puccini's La Boheme — O Mimi tu piu non torni and O soave fanciulla.
The intermission only heightened anticipation, the buffeting winds notwithstanding.
And what followed, ensured that the audience was not disappointed.
The second half saw the Bolshoi Theatre Orchestra start things off with a spirited rendition of L'Arlesienne from Farandole by Bizet, which was followed by Bocelli performing three solos: Vieni sul mar by Aniello, Voglio vivere cosi by D'Anzi and Granada by Llara.
Every piece was accompanied by a beautiful backdrop depicting scenes that served to enhance the emotions, whether solemn or lively.
Bocelli, Sanguinetti and Montresor then performed several pieces in both solo and duet performances, including The Merry Widow from Lehar's Vilja-Lied and Cannio's Osurdato namurato.
The Bolshoi Theatre Orchestra then provided the audience with an unexpected treat by playing tracks from the Godfather movies.
Bocelli then returned to the stage with Sanguinetti to perform Denza's Funiculi funicula that had the people tapping their fingers and feet in time to the vigorous piece.
Once the performance ended, Bocelli reached out to the microphone to address the crowd, the first and only time for the evening.
"I really wanted to tell you something in your language but it's too difficult. My English is not very good either, but I want to thank everyone here tonight," he said softly in Italian, much to the delight of the crowd, which approved of the maestro's candidness.
The evening then ended with all three artistes performing a magnificent rendition of Verdi's Brindisi from La Traviata.
For his encore, Bocelli performed perhaps what is his best known song — Con te partiro (Time to say goodbye) — with Sanguinetti.
As soon as he finished, the 11,000 strong audience rose to give what would be a series of standing ovations to the legendary tenor and the other artistes who helped make the night a crowning achievement in the Capital.