Thursday, 8 September 2016

Dubai Opera House – A New Landmark of Dubai

The UAE’s cultural scene took a great stride forward on Wednesday night with the huge opening of the Dubai Opera, inaugurated in well glorious fashion by a man popularly dubbed the ‘king of opera’.

With a stunning opening concert by legendary tenor Placido Domingo, presenting the Spaniard’s vocal virtuosity over popular arias, duets and Broadway staples alike. Strolling the scene theatrically, the 75-year-old star made his gusto entrance with Giordano’s Nemico Della Patria, Domingo’s generous charisma beaming from the stage.

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Performing alongside various co-star, soprano Ana Maria Martinez, the first half climaxed with a couple of stunning duets from much-loved operas La Traviata and Il Trovatore, both from the pen of the Italian master, and Domingo favorite, Verdi.
Things took a moderate turn in the second half, with works from Broadway breaks My Fair Lady and West Side Story, a full production of the Broadway crash will reach Dubai Opera in February.
Throughout, Domingo was supported by Trieste’s 65-piece Fondazione Teatro Lirico ­Giuseppe Verdi, who were given the limelight to open the evening with the dynamic approach to Wagner’s Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg.
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Domingo is famous beyond the opera community as one of the record-breaking 3 Tenors trios, alongside the late Luciano Pavarotti and Jose Carreras, who also on stage at the Dubai Opera on October 4 and 8.
While there was no formal dress code, most of the fans turned out in style to stroll the red carpet, with many of the men in black ties, while women wore showy ball gowns.
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The 2,000-capacity Dubai Opera has been praised as the region’s first world-class, purpose-built concert venue. The opening weeks will highlight a mix of classical orchestras, dance, ballet, world and Arabic music, as well as hits musicals and family shows.
Chief executive Jasper Hope, who came after 7 years heading London’s Royal Albert Hall, addressed the opening as a new phase in Dubai’s evolution as a world-class city.
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The 47-year-old British expatriate said; ‘This is a time of history, not just in Dubai, but in an even deeper sense, Countries don’t make their first opera house very frequently. Countries don’t spend in culture and art with such a very clear account. That’s part of the idea of Dubai, and it is amazing to find oneself a part of.’
Making of the dhow-shaped venue began in March 2013, a year after the project was declared by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, who visited Wednesday night’s concert and practices earlier in the day.
The concert venue will form the centerpiece of the wider Dubai Opera District, a different downtown cultural neighborhood mixing hotels, residential buildings, parks, shops, and a waterfront walk.
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Mr. Hope said; ‘Everybody understands something about Dubai, but at the time, they don’t understand anything about music or opera in Dubai, I would like people to start recognizing that we have Burj Khalifa, we are presenting Expo 2020 but we also have a wonderful opera house.’
The Dubai Opera’s memorable opening weekend continues on Thursday night with a concert of Bizet’s opera The Pearl Fishers, while tomorrow Rossini’s excellent comedy, The Barber of Seville, takes to the scene.


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