ROYAL OPERA HOUSE MUSCAT SEASON 2018-2019
Added: (Sun May 13 2018)
Pressbox (Press Release) -
A Message from His Highness Sayyid Kamil Mahmood Al-Said, Member of ROHM’s Board of Directors:
“The reputation of the Royal Opera House Muscat for world class standards in quality and excellence has brought the institution firmly into the hearts of many thousands in Oman and around the world over the past seven years and it is with great pleasure that we announce the 2018–19 season, marking ROHM’s eighth year of operation with the very finest talent and productions from Oman and abroad.
The Royal Opera House Muscat continues to grow and undertake exciting new initiatives in order to serve the public and further connect the institution to the community. Important initiatives for 2018-19 include a new ticketing platform, low and uniform pricing schemes, guaranteed seats for outdoor events, a new refund policy, and a more efficient system for company block booking. Our education and outreach initiatives have also been revised with a new project for toddlers and childcare services during events. In addition, we hope to develop activities for children with special needs, orphans and children with cancer. We are also proud to announce the world premiere of an opera produced by ROHM and to introduce a major new ROHM coproduction with leading international opera houses. There will undoubtedly be many more milestones as the Royal Opera House Muscat continues on its historic journey. We look forward to our regular patrons and many new faces joining us on another exciting journey around the world with the Royal Opera House Muscat in 2018-19.”
AN OVERVIEW OF SEASON 2018-2019
From September to May, the season offers 40 new programmes and a total of 69 performances.
With some of the best conductors in the world leading the world’s finest orchestras, the concentration of orchestral talent appearing at ROHM this season is impressive. Among the most famous are Plácido Domingo who will conduct the Orchestra and Chorus of Teatro Massimo di Palermo in Guiseppe Verdi’s blockbuster opera, La Traviata; and Maestro Valery Gergiev who conducts the Orchestra, Chorus and Ballet of Mariinsky Theatre in the opera, Prince Igor as well as in a symphonic concert featuring Stravinsky’s The Firebird and Prokofiev’s Alexander Nevsky.
Gustav Mahler’s renowned Third Symphony will be conducted by Emmanuel Villaume with the Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra and Choir, and the Bratislava Boys Choir.
ROHM’s impressive roster also includes outstanding performers from a new generation of conductors. Marco Armiliato will lead the Orchestra of Ópera de Bilbao and Chorus of Gran Teatre del Liceu in Puccini’s Madama Butterfly; and, Daniele Rustioni, the compelling young Principal Conductor of the Opéra de Lyon, will lead that orchestra in Strauss’ operetta, Eine Nacht in Venedig (A Night in Venice).
ROHM is presenting six outstanding operas by famous composers. From historic epics to comedies, romantic classics and beautiful tragedies from the world repertoire, these great operas cover the range of human passions with spellbinding plots.
Advancing along the road to becoming a production as well as a hosting facility, ROHM presents its own production of Delibes’ Lakmé and a new co-production of Strauss’ Eine Nacht in Venedig.
For the first time, ROHM is presenting an Arab operatic drama, Antar and Abla.
ROHM’s ballet selection for the new season, includes a new genre blending ballet and flamenco, Fuego and two classic ballets from the world’s best loved repertoire – The Sleeping Beauty and La Bayadère (The Temple Dancer).
History will be made with the world premiere of an epic Arab ballet, Al Hamama Al Mutawwaqa, The Ring Dove Story.
The stage will be transformed into a real ice rink for Opera on Ice, a spectacular show featuring world class skaters and opera stars.
The season’s musical show, Namaste India is a spectacular theatrical musical, produced by first class Bollywood talent.
The world music programme brings an evocative new voice in Portuguese Fado - Claudia Aurora.
ROHM’s Jazz programme features British singer and songwriter Sarah Jane Morris and the Chucho Valdés Quintet with the phenomenal Afro-Cuban jazz musician, Chucho Valdés.
ROHM’s tremendously popular Omani and Arab programme includes the annual women’s day celebration, the annual military music spectacle, and a wonderful lineup of nine concerts with some of the greatest names in the world of Arab music, such as Wael Kfoury and Kadim AlSahir.
In another first for the ROHM, the Oman World Festival of Folk Music brings a host of exciting folk music groups from Oman and across the globe.
ROHM’s 2018-2019 Education & Outreach programme is presenting new projects, such as From Russia With Love, an exhibition of mementos from the Mariinsky Theatre; and BambinO, a ground breaking creation in music theatre for infants.
SEASON 2018-2019 PROGRAMMES
Six Great Operas
The panoply of operas this season begins with Alexander Borodin’s grand epic, Prince Igor’, a chronicle of a twelfth century Russian Prince’s courageous, but ill fated campaign against marauding Polovtsians, presented by the Mariinsky Theatre. Johann Strauss’ Eine Nacht in Venedig, a delightful romantic comedy of errors coproduced by ROHM with Opéra de Lyon and Oper Graz, takes place one night at a masked ball on Venice’s famous Piazza San Marco. Giacomo Puccini’s great masterpiece, Madama Butterfly tells the heart wrenching story of a beautiful, butterfly-like geisha, accompanied by the Orchestra of Ópera de Bilbao and Chorus of Gran Teatre del Liceu under the baton of the charismatic conductor, Marco Armiliato.
Giuseppe Verdi’s eternal classic, La Traviata is presented by LA Opera in an updated version by Marta Domingo, with the Orchestra and Chorus of Teatro Massimo di Palermo conducted by Plácido Domingo who also sings on two nights. La Scala di Seta, Gioachino Rossini’s charming farce about about a beautiful woman and her secret ladder of silk, is performed by Rossini Opera Festival. Ivan Lopez Renoso conducts the Orchestra Sinfonica Gioachino Rossini.
Directed by Davide Livermore, Léo Delibes’ beautiful tragedy, Lakmé is brilliantly interpreted in the world premiere of a production by ROHM in collaboration with LA Opera, Teatro Dell’Opera di Rome, Fondazione Arena di Verona, Teatro Carlo Felice di Genova, Cairo Opera House, Astana Opera, Shanghai Oriental Art Center, and Opera Australia. The Orchestra and Chorus of Teatro Carlo Felice di Genova is conducted by Jordi Bernàcer.
All six operas are world class in quality with suberb staging, amazing artistry, first class stars and the finest orchestras. ROHM’s own collaborative production of Lakmé and ROHM’s coproduction of Eine Nacht in Venedig were made possible by the productive relationships that ROHM has built with many of the world’s great opera houses and are a result of ROHM’s remarkable track record of consistently presenting operas of the highest quality.
The great Plácido Domingo sings with soprano Ana Maria Martinez and tenor Arturo Chacón Cruz in the Gala Zarzuela which opens the new season. Plácido Domingo also sings Germont on two nights in Verdi’s La Traviata.
Soprano Kristine Opolais who appears on the world’s greatest stages, including the Metropolitan Opera with performances broadcast in HD worldwide, sings unforgettable arias from Puccini, Dvořák, Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninov and other great masters.
One of the leading tenors of his generation, Vittorio Grigolo will sing in a dazzling Opera Gala.
Juan Diego Flórez, one of the world’s finest tenors performs in a programme that features well loved arias from bel canto masters including Rossini, Bellini, Donizetti.
Australian baritone, Markus Werba who regularly performs on the world’s greatest stages, sings in a starring role in Opera on Ice.
Maria José Siri, one of today’s foremost sopranos, performs the title role in Madama Butterfly, a role that she has sung on the great stages of Europe.
Commanding an impressive repertoire, Italian tenor, Roberto Aronica has a starring role as Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly, while Sharpless is played by Georgian baritone, George Gagnidze who has the distinction of appearing at the Metropolitan Opera every season for the past decade. Veronica Simeoni, who recently won the Pavarotti International Voice Competition and had her debut at the Metropolitan Opera, sings Suzuki.
Specialising in the bel canto repertoire and especially in Rossini’s operas, baritone Paolo Bordogna sings Blansac in the La Scala di Seta.
Fresh Young Talent
ROHM takes pride in supporting emerging artists in their quest to become opera’s new stars. Russian soprano Kristina Mkhitaryan, second prize winner at Operalia, the World Opera Competition in 2017, performs the starring soprano role of Violetta in La Traviata.
Some of the most promising young Rossinian singers, such as Spanish soprano Marina Monzó and Italian tenor Piero Adaini, enrich the cast of La Scala di Seta.
All the singers in ROHM’s Lakmé are making debut appearances as rising stars. Among these are Russian tenor, Sergey Romanovsky; Italian mezzosoprano Raffaella Lupinacci; and the extraordinary Mexican soprano, Karen Gardzeadabal who debuts in the title role.
Other prominent rising stars include award winning Egyptian soprano, Fatma Said who performs in a recital with Juan Diego Flórez; Canadian lyric mezzosoprano, Wallis Giunta, highly praised winner of the 2018 International Opera Awards Young Singer of the Year competition sings Flora in La Traviata; and, Kazakh lyric soprano, Maria Mudryak sings with Vittorio Grigola in his gala concert.
Also performing in the Grigolo gala concert is the virtuosic 25 year old concert pianist, Arseny Tarasevich-Nikolaev who has toured throughout Europe and in China, Japan, the Levant, the USA and Mexico, among other places.
ROHM’s ballet selection for 2018-19 begins soon after the opening of the new season, with a fantastic fusion of ballet and flamenco in Fuego (Fire), an elegant, dream-like ballet that is cinematic in scope and enacts the story of a beautiful but tormented gypsy girl. It was created by Spain’s greatest dancer and choreographer, Antonio Gades and the brilliant filmmaker, Carlos Saura. Jordi Bernàcer conducts the Orchestra Fondazione Arena di Verona.
The Tokyo Ballet presents La Bayadère, a classic work set in ancient royal India that pits fate against vengeance and love. A temple dancer and a noble warrior have sworn eternal fidelity, but powerful figures intervene. The ballet features a love scene known as The Kingdom of the Shades, which has become one of the most celebrated pieces in classical ballet.
Freshly interpreted by the State Ballet of Georgia, Tchaikovsky’s The Sleeping Beauty, a timeless, magical fairytale about a princess who sleeps for a hundred years and is then awakened by a prince, comes alive in a wonderful new production. The superb PKF – Prague Philharmonia Orchestra will perform under the baton of Alevtina Ioffe.
Audiences will be especially privileged to experience the performance of the great Valery Gergiev who reigns as one of the world’s most illustrious conductors. Maestro Gergiev will conduct the Orchestra, Chorus and Ballet of Mariinsky Theatre of Saint Petersburg in a sumptuous production of Alexander Borodin’s grand opera, Prince Igor. On a separate evening, the great Gergiev conducts the Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra and Chorus in Stravinsky’s spectacular orchestral work, The Firebird and Prokofiev’s magnificent Cantata, Alexander Nevsky.
ROHM is proud to present Gustav Mahler’s celebrated Third Symphony with the Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Emmanuel Villaume. This represents a milestone as it will be the first time that a Mahler symphony has been performed in Oman. Gustav Mahler was one of the leading composers of his generation in the late Romantic period. His Third Symphony was voted the tenth greatest of all time in a BBC Music Magazine Survey.
In an entirely new kind of concert, the incredibly virtuosic castanet artist, Lucero Tena performs with Accademia Teatro alla Scala Orchestra and the young, phenomenally talented violinist, Giovanni Andrea Zanon.
Spectacular Shows, World Music and Jazz
ROHM’s stage will be transformed in a real ice rink for the breathtaking show, Opera on Ice, which combines the inspirational artistry of operatic singing with the virtuosic talent and grace of world class ice skating.
Described as an exuberant theatrical coup never before created outside the movies, Namaste India takes audiences on an authentic cultural tour of India, capturing the searing beauty of Indian dance in a truly spectacular musical produced by the very best of Bollywood’s creative talent.
In one of the very special highlights of the season, ROHM presents a fabulous evening with superstar Zucchero, the multiple award winning singer songwriter known as King of the Blues. Famed for his unique sound and gorgeous lyrical talent, Zucchero has sold over 80 million records and played in prestigious venues around the world.
Portuguese Fado returns to the Royal Opera House Muscat with Claudia Aurora and her unique and magnificent voice. Aurora takes fado into the twenty-first century, while keeping the evocative qualities of this compellingly fateful music. Accompanied by superb instrumentalists, Aurora’s music embraces elements of flamenco and tango.
With her strikingly sensual voice, British singer and songwriter, Sarah Jane Morris straddles rock, blues, jazz and soul. She has been called “one of the world's great jazz soul vocalists of the past twenty years”.
Muscat loves jazz, and ROHM presents the Chucho Valdés Quintet led by the celebrated jazz pianist, composer and arranger, Chucho Valdés, the most influential figure in modern Afro-Cuban jazz.
Great Arab Performances
The Royal Opera House Muscat continues its tremendously popular series of Arab performances with shows such as ROHM’s amazing annual Military Music concert. A wonderful lineup of concerts features some of the greatest names in the world of Arab music.
The acclaimed Iraqi oud musician and composer, Naseer Shamma who performs in his unique style as an "Artist of Peace" has composed countless works for theatre, television and radio, receiving high honours and winning many awards.
The special guest at the annual Omani Women’s Day Celebration is Egyptian artist Manal Mohieddine who ranks among the world’s top ten harpists. The incredibly charismatic Lebanese singer songwriter, composer and musician, Wael Kfoury performs as the guest star for Omani Women’s Day, followed the next night by a solo concert. Kfoury’s brilliant compositions combine tarab with youth song.
Renowned as the “Caesar of Arab Song”, Kadim AlSahir has a wide audience in both Arab and European countries. He radiates a special charisma that connects him intimately with audiences.
Saudi singer and composer, Abadi Al Johar, one of the greatest artists in the Arab world, performs with the renowned Yemeni singer and gifted composer, Ahmed Fathi. This winning combination makes for an unforgettable evening.
Kuwaiti singer and music icon, Nawal El Kuwaitia, known as Qaitharat Al Khaleej or The Harp of Khaliji Song, sings to enthusiastic audiences in the Arabian Gulf and in many countries worldwide.
Mayada Al Henawi, the Syrian ‘Singer of a Generation’ is a star performer in a concert called The Best of Classical Arab Songs. Also appearing on stage is Egyptian artist Reham Abdel Hakim whose beautiful voice and charismatic presence mesmerize audiences.
In a concert of Timeless Arab Songs, Tunisian vocalist, Leila Hejaiej sings her own songs along with classic Tunisian pieces and those of great artists such as Umm Kulthum and Fayrouz, while her popular singing compatriot Mohamed Jebali gives wonderful interpretations of the songs of the legendary Egyptian singer Abdel Halim.
An evening of inspiring Inshad and Sufi Praise features performances by Oman’s Al Zawiya Band; Al Masarra, a traditional Yemeni band; Morocco’s Arhoom Al Baqali Band; Syrian singer, Bashar Al Zarqan; and, Tanzanian vocalist, Yahya Balhaqi.
Among the unique features of ROHM’s 2018-2019 Arab programme are some very special productions including notably, The Oman World Festival of Folk Music, a first for the ROHM, with companies from Oman and around the world. ROHM is also presenting the world premiere of the epic Arab ballet, Al Hamama Al Mutawwaqa, The Ring Dove Story by Hrant Minas Keshishian based on the age old story of Kalila and Dimna. This charming ballet has an endearing cast of animal characters. One by one, the characters become friends, and with each new friend a dance is performed.
And as the season’s grand finalé, ROHM presents the Arab operatic drama, Antar and Abla. This balladic production by Opera Lebanon is based on a fabled tale from the Arab mediaeval era at a time of conflict and danger, when the heroic Antar triumphs both in battle and love. The drama features a fabulous cast of 100 solo and choral singers, dancers and musicians.
Excellent Entertainment for Families and Children
The season also features delightfully entertaining shows for families and children. Created by the venerable Italian Carlo Colla family, a cast of wonderful wooden puppets bring The Sleeping Beauty to life. With the Orpheus Radio Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Alevtina Ioffe, and featuring dance and spoken dialogue, Tchaikovsky’s entrancing music is poetically woven into a magical show for children and people of all ages.
The genius of Niccolò Paganini, the most celebrated violin virtuoso of the early nineteenth century, his complex music and incredible virtuosity is made accessible in the highly entertaining comic show, PAGAGNINI which plays around with classical music and also throws in a little pop, rock and folk.
For the first time, the Royal Opera House Muscat will present a show for infants aged six to eighteen months. Produced by Scottish Opera in collaboration with Manchester International Festival and Improbable, BambinO is a pioneering production that successfully introduces infants to music theatre.
Expertly played by talented young artists from the Papageno Wind Quintet, ROHM’s Woodwind Presentation reveals fascinating aspects of the family of woodwind instruments. Dynamic actors on stage illustrate the distinctive sound of woodwinds and explain their role in the orchestra.
Education & Outreach
ROHM’s 2018-2019 Education & Outreach programme, in addition to regular offerings such as open houses, tours, workshops and exhibitions, presents school performances of the season’s family and educational productions.
Open House events include fascinating exhibitions as well as creative workshops and music activities led by guest educators and artists. Especially exciting will be a flamenco class with mesmerising flamenco dancers from the Fuego perfomance.
ROHM’s popular Coffee & Dates series featuring exciting talks with world class artists has been given a high profile and will include some of the new season’s big name stars. The popular Lunch Music series in the Opera Galleria will be an important feature of the new season, with a range of excellent performances by artists from the season’s programme. The general public is invited to stop by and enjoy wonderful arias from famous operas and fine instrumental music. Opera Galleria cafés and restaurants offer discounts for those who wish to have a bite to eat during the concerts. For the coming summer months, ROHM will arrange Dinner Music concerts offering an informal experince of opera in anticipation of the new season.
The Royal Opera House Muscat will again recruit Omani extras to appear on stage for ROHM’s large scale performances, to be announced in the press, on ROHM’s social media, the mobile app and on the ROHM website.
The eighth year of world class programs will continue to entertain, enlighten and thrill ROHM audiences. There are many exciting treasures to be discovered in ROHM’s truly remarkable season 2018-2019. For further details and booking, please consult www.rohmuscat.org.om