2017-2018: A LEGENDARY SEASON
35 Wonderful New Programs and 55 Performances from September to May:
Operas, Omani and Arab Performances, Ballets, Concerts, Jazz, Musicals, World Music, Education and Outreach Programmes
(Tickets will go on sale from May 23rd, 2017).
(Muscat, Oman: 22 May, 2017) The Royal Opera House Muscat (ROHM) is pleased to announce the forthcoming season, 2017-2018: A Legendary Season. After marking its Sixth Anniversary on the 12th of October 2017, the Royal Opera House Muscat will commence its seventh season with a wide range of top quality productions in many different genres – opera, concerts, ballet & dance, Arab performances, jazz, world music, family & education, musicals & shows and special events. This rich diversity of top-notch programs has become a hallmark of the Royal Opera House Muscat that is recognised all over the world.
The new Season will open on September 14th, 2017 with Giuseppe Verdi’s grand masterpiece, Aida, set in ancient Egypt and brilliantly performed by world-class artists in an excellent production by Teatro Regio Torino.
More Stunning Operas, including a ROHM Co-Production
There are two more great romantic tragedies, which, like Aida, take us into the deeper realms of human passion. Staged by the world-famous stage director Franco Zeffirelli and performed by Teatro dell’Opera di Roma, Ruggero Leoncavallo’s late nineteen-century
opera, Pagliacci is based on a real-life story about a clown who makes people laugh while his own life falls apart. ROHM’s presentation of Norma, Vincenzo Bellini’s magnificent belcanto masterpiece relating the tale of a Druid priestess and her ill-fated love for a Roman conqueror, will be a very special event as the opera is coproduced by the Royal Opera House Muscat and Opéra de Rouen. This represents another important milestone as ROHM continues its historic journey along a transformational path in becoming a theater that creates its own productions, as well as hosting productions from abroad.
ROHM’s balanced opera programming also includes two delightful, heart-warming operas that give us incredible joy and insight – Gioachino Rossini’s L’Occasione fa il Ladro (Opportunity Makes a Thief), a delightfully funny, beautifully sung story of identity theft and mixed-up rival lovers; and La Sonnambula (The Sleepwalker), Bellini’s enchanting belcanto opera about a beautiful young orphan who almost loses her beloved fiancé when she sleepwalks into the wrong room. L’Occasione fa il Ladro is masterfully performed by the Rossini Opera Festival, while Fondazione Arena di Verona will give a brilliant performance of La Sonnambula.
The year 2017 marks the tenth anniversary of the death of one of the greatest singers of all time – the truly legendary Luciano Pavarotti. ROHM pays tribute to him in Homage to Luciano Pavarotti, a gala concert as well as an exhibition of treasured Pavarotti memorabilia – running from 14th December 2017 to 6th January 2018. The gala concert features four amazing singers who are in demand on the world’s best stages – Fiorenza Cedolins, Sumi Jo, Marcello Giordani and Francesco Meli. This is sure to be an unforgettable, soul-soaring concert.
ROHM’s 2017-18 galaxy of opera stars also includes luminaries such as Roberto Alagna, one of the most celebrated tenors in the world in a special gala concert with renowned soprano, Aleksandra Kurzak in addition to another concert by the universally acclaimed tenor, Marcelo Álvarez.
The roster of superstars includes none other than Sir Cliff Richard, the rock legend who has sold more than 250 million records worldwide over the past five decades. The fabulous 2017-18 schedule also features Dianne Reeves, a living jazz legend who has won more than five Grammy Award and has been hailed by The New York Times as “the most admired jazz diva since Sarah Vaughan, Ella Fitzgerald, and Billie Holiday”.
Another legendary star is Gilberto Gil, known as “The Soul of Brazil”, a multiple Grammy Award-winning singer, guitarist and a songwriter. Gilberto is known for his intelligently innovative music, deep musicality and quiet charisma. Platinum award-winning singer and songwriter, Ann Hampton Callaway will sing some of Barbra Streisand’s timeless classics.
Great Arab Performances
Among the many highlights in ROHM’s 2017-2018 series of nine Omani and Arab performances are the annual Omani Women’s Day Celebration, featuring talented Yemeni singer, Balqees and ROHM’s greatly loved Military Music: Oman and the World with hundreds of musicians marching in dress uniform on the Maidan. The Oman Royal Symphony Orchestra Ladies Ensemble and musicians from the Oman Oud Hobbyists Association will play at the Women’s Day Celebration; and the military music event will put the spotlight on two guest military bands from Asia and Europe.
Arab concerts will feature contemporary legends like Sami Yusuf, named by The Guardian as “the biggest British star in the Middle East”. Other Arab superstars include the singer, oud player and composer, Lotfi Bushnak who will perform with the acclaimed Egyptian singer, Mohammed Tharwat in a concert enriched by the beautiful voices of Retaj, a choir of young Omanis devoted to Inshad.
Rising Omani star, Salah Al Zadjali will sing well-loved songs that will make joyous, intimate connections with the audience. On the same programme, Egyptian singer Medhat Saleh will perform his popular romantic songs, as well as songs from the legendary Abdel Halim Hafez such as Ahwak, At Taubah and others.
The singer and composer Majid El Mohandes, currently one of the greatest names in the Arab music community, will perform songs from his hit albums, such as Ouzkourini and Waheshni Moot. An evening of traditional Arab songs features Ali Al Haggar, specialising in Maqam and traditional rhythms and Jahida Wehbe, a very famous Lebanese singer with a powerful voice that captures the hearts of listeners.
Rising star, Badr Rami, a Moroccan-born Syrian artist versed in both classical and contemporary Arab music, is featured in an evening of Muwashahat and Kudud Halabiya, poetic forms of music originating in Aleppo and Andalusia.
The last production in ROHM’s Arab series, a spectacular musical play by Rahbani Production, On the Land of Gypsies, has the honour of bringing the 2017-18 Season to a close.
A Special Show
Each Season at the Royal Opera House we take our audiences around the world; and, for the first time, we stop in Vietnam to bring to ROHM an imaginative production called À Ố Show which enacts the graceful beauty for which Vietnam is known, in portraits that capture the richness of Vietnam’s culture, past and present. With evocative sets, the show is rendered in a beautiful blend of genres with theatre, dance, acrobatics, bamboo cirque and live Vietnamese music.
Ballet, Dance - and a Musical
The first ballet of the season is perhaps the greatest ballet of all time – Swan Lake, the compelling story of a swan swimming on a lake of tears, a swan that at dusk turns into the most beautiful woman a Prince has ever seen. Swan Lake will be performed in the gorgeous classical style by Kazakhstan’s prestigious State Opera and Ballet Theatre “Astana Opera” and the world-class Orchestra of Teatro Carlo Felice of Genova. It’s a magnificent, romantic production with beautiful period costumes created by the Academy-Award-winning, Tony-nominated costume designer, Franca Squarciapino and atmospheric sets by the distinguished Italian designer, Ezio Frigerio.
In an unusual show with the intriguing title, Pas de Deux for Fingers and Toes, music and movement come together in a supreme expression of beauty by Vadim Repin, the man whom Yehudi Menuhin called the “best and most perfect violinist” and Svetlana Zakharova, the woman who became prima ballerina of the Bolshoi and a shining Étoile of Teatro alla Scala. Together they create an ethereal pas de deux in magical realms evocative of dreams.
This season ROHM is venturing to into avant-garde ballet with a new take on Cinderella with brilliant choreography by Maguy Marin. Performed by Ballet de l’Opéra de Lyon, the production is set in a doll’s house with costumes to suit. Sergei Prokofiev’s