Including international sensation Gregory Porter…

The Abu Dhabi Festival returns this March, for a landmark 20th edition and it includes a truly exciting and diverse musical and theatrical line-up.

Tickets for the events, five of which unravel in the regal glamour of Emirates Palace, are live on the website now and start at just Dhs75.

Conducted under the patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Shamsa Bint Hamdan Al Nahyan, the 2023 volume of the Abu Dhabi Festival has been curated under the theme “The Will for Evolution”. The busy schedule includes operatic performances, flamenco, jazz, orchestral concerts and a show from an Academy Award-winning composer.

Juan Diego Flórez and Friends

Kicking proceedings off on March 1, 2023 — Peruvian operatic tenor, Juan Diego Flórez is hosting an evening of high-tenor heroics, a 120-minute concert of dazzling arias along with nostalgic refrains from the rich Peruvian and Latin American collective songbook. Flórez’s performance will receive support from his titularly referenced ‘friends’ as well as a full orchestra.

De Scheherezade a Yo, Carmen

On March 10, we have the Middle Eastern premiere of De Scheherezade a Yo, Carmen. The legendary flamenco dancer and choreographer, María Pagé gets under the skin of and explores the character of Carmen, the gypsy cigarette girl from Mérimée’s novella.

Gregory Porter

The two-time Grammy Award-winning Jazz musician Gregory Porter hits the stage at Emirates Palace on March 11. Expect live versions of Porter originals from his hugely popular albums, Liquid Spirit and Take Me to the Alley, and bluesy cover versions of contemporary classics. Joining Gregory on stage will be Chip Crawford on piano, Emanuel Harrold on drums, Tivon Pennicott on saxophone and horns, and Jahmal Nichols on bass.

From West to East: A Classical Odyssey

March 17 is reserved for a regional first. Academy Award-winning composer Tan Dun conducts the Orchestra of Teatro Comunale di Modena Pavarotti-Freni, and is assisted by world-famous Chinese cellist Jian Wang. The result is — from West to East, a sonic safari through dual musical hemispheres and featuring the work of Mozart, Tchaikovsky, and Mussorgsky, alongside the UAE premiere of Dun’s original Pipa Concerto.

Buddha Passion

This second night of a tantalising Tan Dun double act will unfold on March 18. The performance is a 95-minute oratorio giving life to six sacred Buddha parables, culminating in the tale of Buddha’s ascension to Nirvana. The performance is built around Buddha’s teachings and conceptss of love, forgiveness and sacrifice.

You can find the full lineup of concerts, including enchanting recitals scheduled to headline at NYU, via the website.

Images: Provided