15 things you'll be able to see at Dubai Opera this year
Legendary Plácido Domingo leads a stellar calendar of events at Dubai Opera. Here’s the full lineup of shows that you’ll be able to see until the end of the year…
The much-anticipated Dubai Opera will officially open its doors on August 31 and legendary Spanish tenor and conductor Plácido Domingo will be the first musician to see the curtain rise.
Described as the ‘King of Opera,’ and the ‘greatest operatic artist of modern times,’ Domingo has sung over 4,000 performances of 147 roles as well as conducting more than 500 performances.
He’s most famous to non-opera-buffs for being one third of the 3 Tenors with José Carreras (who will also be singing at Dubai Opera this year) and the late Luciano Pavarotti, and he will be the first person to sing in the new theatre in the heart of Downtown Dubai.
While there will be plenty for fans of the operatic arts, Dubai Opera will host a diverse lineup of talent, and Jasper Hope, the Chief Executive of Dubai Opera told us, “I can guarantee we’ll see a West End show in 2016”.
“Unlike 100-year-old buildings we can change the stage to suit our needs, moving it seamlessly from an opera space to an ice rink,” Hope, who used to run Royal Albert Hall in London explained.
“That means the variety of performances you’ll see at Dubai Opera will be unlike anywhere else. We’re going to be able to showcase every genre and every style because we can. There are so many nationalities and cultures here in Dubai and that must reflect in the cultural diversity of our programming.”
But can Dubai sustain a 2,000 capacity theatre? “Having created this extraordinary venue we absolutely will use it,” Hope insists. “It’s not going to stand there like a white elephant.”
WHAT’S AT DUBAI OPERA IN 2016
Here are the shows confirmed for the Dubai Opera so far… (we’re thinking November might be when we see that promised West End show, as there’s a great big gap in the line up then. Tickets go on sale on April 24.
Plácido Domingo: The opening night will be a grand affair, with one of the greatest operatic voices of all time – Placido Domingo – taking to the stage.
Here’s a reminder of just how beautiful Domingo’s voice is:
SEPTEMBER 1 & 3
The Pearl Fishers: The three-act opera by the French composer Georges Bizet serves as an ode to the rich pearl-diving heritage of Dubai.
Here, Andrea Bocelli & Bryn Terfel sing the famous duet from the opera:
Italian opera: Opera without Words will be an evening of Italian Opera’s greatest overtures and interludes performed by Fondazione Teatro Lirico Giuseppe Verdi, Trieste and conducted by Francesco Quattrocchi.
The Russian State Ballet & Orchestra of Siberia: This prestigious company will perform Giselle which is considered as one of the great Romantic ballets. It’s about the love of a peasant girl who dies of a broken heart after discovering her lover is betrothed to another.
Here are moments from the Russian State Ballet’s 2014 performance of Giselle:
SEPTEMBER 15 & 17
The Russian State Ballet & Orchestra of Siberia: Also by The Russian State Ballet and Orchestra of Siberia, Coppélia is a family-friendly ballet based on a story by E.T.A. Hoffmann about an eccentric toymaker who has built a life-sized doll, Coppélia, and daydreams of her coming to life.
The Vienna Concert Verein Orchestra: This orchestra’s repertoire includes the works of Viennese classical composers, as well as contemporary Austrian music. It includes Grammy Award-nominated pianist Sebastian Knauer.
SEPTEMBER 26 to 30
Impossible: Described as the ‘most dangerous show’ the city has ever seen Impossible is a live illusionist show (and so is sure to be a crowd pleaser).
Here’s a bit of what to expect:
OCTOBER 4 & 8
José Carreras live: Renowned Catalan tenor, José Carreras, brings his A Life in Music final world tour to Dubai Opera in October. One of the Three Tenors along with Domingo and Luciano Pavarotti, Carreras is highly acclaimed for his performances in the operas of Verdi and Puccini.
Hussain Al Jassmi live: Emirati singer Hussain Al Jassmi takes centre stage – this is sure to be a sell out show considering Al Jassmi has racked up 240 million views on YouTube.
Fabio Biondi and Europa Galante: Italian violinist Fabio Biondi will be playing the works from Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons with his ensemble Europa Galante. The ensemble is known as one of the best for delivering Italian baroque music (and they’ve played in most of the prestigious theatres around the world).
OCTOBER 13 & 14
Sara Baras flamenco: Spain’s foremost Flamenco superstar, Sara Baras, comes to Dubai Opera with Voces, Suite Flamenca, a show that pays tribute to six flamenco luminaries. Her performance is sure to be intense. Here’s a bit of what she’s about:
Anoushka Shankar live: The wonderful sitar player, and five-time Grammy award nominee Anoushka Shankar will take to the stage. She’s sure to perform her 2016 song Land of Gold, which focuses on the refugee crisis in the world.
Bejart Ballet Lausanne: Bejart Ballet Lausanne is a Swiss ballet company and they will be performing Ballet for Life (on one night) and a Ballet Gala of Seven Greek Dances, Piaf and Bolero (on a separate evening).
NOVEMBER 10 to NOVEMBER 24
Les Misèrables: Read all about that here.
DECEMBER 6 to DECEMBER 10
The Nutcracker on Ice: Dubai Opera will transform into a giant ice rink for a special production of The Nutcracker featuring the Imperial Ice Stars Set against a backdrop of colourful projections, opulent costumes, magic tricks and special effects. World, European and National Championship level skaters will dance to Tchaikovsky’s glorious score during this show.
DECEMBER 21 to DECEMBER 29
Slava’s Snowshow: This multi-award winning show was created and is staged by Russian performance artist Slava Polunin. Expect a dream-like world that culminates in a blizzard leaving audiences literally knee deep in snow.
To book your tickets, visit www.dubaiopera.com. Tickets will go on sale April 24 9am for all announced shows.
Here are some more angles of the beautiful building…
– Featured photo: Getty & Instagram/dullahbank