Four encores, standing ovations, and a seamless evening as Plácido Domingo performs at Dubai Opera’s inauguration. 

It was a monumental night for performing arts last night as Dubai Opera held its first performance. Offering a first glimpse at one of the most anticipated venues to open in the UAE’s history, a sold-out auditorium witnessed a breathtaking performance of arias and songs by the world-class tenor Plácido Domingo.

The evening’s programme was an amalgamation of classic opera including a trio of Verdi classics followed by more familiar orchestral pieces such as a medley from The Sound Of Music, South Pacific, and My Fair Lady.

The programme:

Dubai Opera Programme

“He’s in a fantastic mood tonight,” said audience member Oliver Drews to What’s On during the interval. The German expat has watched Plácido Domingo perform over 40 times around the world and was delighted to see the 75-year old still going strong. “His voice is still powerful, and so moving. He is a joy as always to watch.”

*Les Miserables is coming to Dubai Opera*

Despite his age, the pro looked fantastic and there was plenty of good-natured stage antics between him and his glorious soprano Ana Maria Martinez who has been performing by his side for decades.

Dubai Opera

After four encores, standing ovations and flowers strewn across the stage, Plácido managed to hush the adoring crowd to make a final remark: “Tonight has been a beautiful honour to perform here on the first opening night of Dubai Opera. The city has been growing and growing and culture is an essential part of Dubai. I hope that you, your children and your children’s children will be able to grow and enjoy this Opera House for a very, very long time.”

*ALSO: Dubai Opera’s full 2016 schedule – what you’ll be able to see this year*

Speaking about the evening’s events Jasper Hope, Chief Executive of Dubai Opera said: “Tonight was a musical moment in history. Dubai Opera looked stunningly beautiful tonight and those fortunate enough to be inside can confirm it sounded spectacular with a wonderful performance by the legendary Plácido Domingo. We are very much looking forward to welcoming many more people to the venue over the next few days, weeks and months and firmly intend for Dubai Opera to make a major and lasting contribution for the future.”

Dubai Opera interior

Set to host an incredible range of world-class talent already, Dubai Opera can seat up to 2,000 people for opera, theatre, concerts, art exhibitions, orchestra, film, sports events and seasonal programmes and is the centrepiece of The Opera District. Here’s a look inside: