On Thursday 17th January 2019 the first event inaugurating the House of Musical Arts will be officially opened. Opera, 400 Years of Passion organized by the V&A opens its first touring exhibition outside London.
The exhibition will tell the story of opera's journey to Oman. Four hundred years ago in the early seventeenth century, opera was taking root in Venice, Italy. By the end of the century, it had spread to Italy's finest cities; and in the eighteenth century, opera became Western Europe's most widespread and popular musical art and would soon migrate to the Americas. Opera came to Oman in 2011 when His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said established the Royal Opera House Muscat, honouring the distinguished history of world opera while building upon age-old traditions in the music of Oman.
Opera, 400 Years of Passion opened at the V&A in September 2017 to critical acclaim having been created as a landmark exhibition relating the vivid story of opera from its origins in Late Renaissance Italy to the present day. The V&A Museum dates from 1852 and has developed over the last 150 years into today's state-of-the-art galleries. The museum has constantly evolved in its collecting and public interpretation of art and design and spans 5,000 years of human creativity in virtually every medium, with over 2.3 million objects, welcoming nearly 4.5 million visitors a year.
The exhibition will focus on six cities: Venice, London, Vienna, Milan, Paris and Muscat. A multi-sensory journey unfolds, taking us through the five European cities in the historic era of opera premieres and arriving in Muscat in 2011. The exhibition reveals how opera brings together multiple art forms to create a new work of art, and shows how social, artistic and economic factors interact with great moments in the history of opera to tell a story over hundreds of years.
More than 200 objects have been amassed in Oman from across Europe to celebrate the story of opera, many of the pieces leaving Europe for the first time in hundreds of years. The exhibits include a comprehensive array of beautiful works - oil paintings, marble busts, costumes, textiles, glass and china ware.
The exhibition is enriched by a world-class sound experience provided by Sennheiser. The company's dynamic GuidePORT headphone technology changes as we explore the cities and objects, creating an evocative and fully immersive sound experience.
Opera, 400 Years of Passion was opened under the patronage of His Excellency Nasr bin Hamoud Al Kindi, Secretary General of the Royal Court Affairs and Vice Chairman of the Board of the Royal Opera House Muscat, in the presence of a number of officials and guests from within the Sultanate and around the world. The ceremony was also attended by diplomatic ambassadors to Oman.
The exhibition is open until 14th March and is open daily from 8:30 am to 5:30 pm (excluding Fridays and public holidays).