The beautiful new Royal Opera House Muscat is receiving it's final touches of paint and polish, while the city's opera and ballet lovers await what is going to be an amazing first year of performances by renowned artists and troupes.
We begin on October 14th with world-class tenor Placido Domingo, in Franco Zeffirelli's production of Puccini's Turandot.
This performance has been specially commissioned by the Royal Opera House, and with Oman's inspirational leader, Sultan Qaboos, being a highly regarded music aficionado, one feels he might have personally chosen this commission himself.
Aiming to become the leading arts and cultural beacon of Oman, the Royal Opera House will strive to enrich the lives of all through diverse cultural and artistic programs which are already reflected in this year's events calendar.
The opera house will also be used to introduce the world to the deep and rich Omani heritage of song and dance. Traditionally, men and women dance for display in Oman and the author has seen some spectacular shows of song and dance, especially during the 40th anniversary celebrations of the Omani Renaissance. The colors and sounds of that particular festival is something that will not be forgotten.
As well as Domingo, artists who are due to perform for the 2011 - 2012 season include:
- Andrea Bocelli
- The London Philharmonic Orchestra with Yo-yo Ma
- Rene Fleming & the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
- Mariinsky Ballet
- American Ballet Theatre
- Teatro Alla Scala Ballet Company
The interior is state of the art, with an auditorium that holds 1,100 people, and has been described as acoustically perfect. There will also be a full organ within performance shell which has been designed by Theatre Projects in the UK. There is also a digitally controlled lighting and sound system that was specifically designed for the space.
The opera house is located in the Qurm Beach area of Muscat which is close to some of the major hotels in the area and also contains an exclusive retail centre, landscaped gardens, luxury restaurants and an arts centre.