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Dubai Opera reveals first glimpse of inaugural season programme and shows why it is truly destined to be the performing arts hub of the Middle East

So much more than opera, Dubai Opera will be the centre stage of all arts, a home to all genres.  From ballet and classical, through to musicals and theatre, comedy, family, rock, pop and jazz. Get ready to be truly captivated. 

• An impressive calendar of 49 world class performances of opera, ballet, classical and family entertainment previewing the future of Dubai’s newest international cultural offering
• Emaar’s iconic multi-format events venue will host The Pearl Fishers, a soul-stirring romantic opera as first full production, this Autumn, that serves as a cultural tribute to the city’s heritage 
• Inaugural production complements stellar architecture of Dubai Opera that draws inspiration from the Arabian dhows
• Accomplished artists to perform at Dubai Opera include Placido Domingo, The Russian State Ballet and Orchestra of Siberia, Vienna Concert Verein, the final world tour of José Carreras, Hussain Al Jassmi, Ballet Flamenco Sara Baras and Anoushka Shankar, among others

Dubai Opera, the city’s first purpose-built multi-format performing arts theatre situated in the heart of Downtown Dubai, will celebrate its first performance this Autumn with a concert by legendary Spanish tenor, conductor and art administrator Plácido Domingo. 

Described as the ‘King of Opera,’ and the ‘greatest operatic artist of modern times,’ Domingo has sung over 4,000 performances of 147 roles in addition to conducting more than 500 performances. He is named by the Guinness Book of Records for his repertoire and for having received 101 curtain calls after a performance – Verdi’s Otello at the Vienna State Opera. 

The Domingo concert will be followed with Dubai Opera hosting the soul-stirring historic opera The Pearl Fishers. The three-act opera by the French composer Georges Bizet, to a libretto by Eugène Cormon and Michel Carré, serves as an ode to the rich heritage of Dubai, with its history seeped in adventurous pearl-diving expeditions by its people. It also complements the architectural splendour of Dubai Opera, which derives its inspiration from the Arabian dhow. 

First performed in 1863, The Pearl Fishers narrates the story of two men’s promise of eternal friendship that is tested by their love for the same woman. The highlight of the opera, The Pearl Fishers Duet is among the best-known in Western opera. The Pearl Fishers, which has enticed opera lovers the world over for its lyrical quality, will be performed by Fondazione Teatro Lirico "Giuseppe Verdi, Trieste.” 

Mohamed Alabbar, Chairman of Emaar Properties, said: “With a world-class line-up of performances in the opening year itself, Dubai Opera is defining its credentials as the cultural hub of the region. The diversity of events that the multi-format venue showcases places our city on part with the cultural capitals of the world, welcoming art lovers from all over to our city. From hosting legendary names in performing arts to exceptional artists who have won rave international reviews, Dubai Opera’s calendar of events raises the bar for the cultural scene in Dubai.”

Jasper Hope, Chief Executive of Dubai Opera, said: “Dubai Opera is bringing a spectacular calendar of performances – from defining operas to exhilarating ballets and compelling classical music in our opening year. The line-up of performances will be a revelation for culture-lovers in the city. We are bringing world-class performers to Dubai who will appeal to residents and tourists alike and will help broaden even further the incredible international appeal of Dubai.”

While The Pearl Fishers will be performed in Autumn, opera lovers will be further enthralled with the masterpiece comedy by Gioachino Rossini, The Barber of Seville. Set to an Italian libretto by Cesare Sterbini, based on the French comedy by Pierre Beaumarchais, the opera buffa in two acts marked its debut in 1816, and will be performed by Fondazione Teatro Lirico "Giuseppe Verdi, Trieste.” 

Other highlights during the year also include: Opera without Words, an evening of Italian Opera’s greatest overtures and interludes performed by Fondazione Teatro Lirico Giuseppe Verdi, Trieste and conducted by Francesco Quattrocchi.  It brings the magnificent orchestral pieces by the greatest opera composers that have taken on a life of their own. 

Giselle performed by The Russian State Ballet and Orchestra of Siberia, is considered as one of the great Romantic ballets. It was first performed in 1841 and focuses on the love of a peasant girl who dies of a broken heart after discovering her lover is betrothed to another.

Also by The Russian State Ballet and Orchestra of Siberia, Coppelia is set to Leo Delibes’ beautiful score. It is a captivating and entertaining family ballet based on a story by E.T.A. Hoffmann about an eccentric toymaker who has built a life-sized doll, Coppélia, and daydreams of her coming to life. 
Dubai Opera comes alive to the strains of the Mozart Gala performed by Vienna Concert Verein followed by Postcards from Vienna, and then will host Impossible, described as the ‘most dangerous show’ the city has ever seen. It features the world’s best illusionists live on stage in a magic spectacular that will thrill and amaze audiences of all ages. 

Dubai Opera then welcomes on stage the renowned Catalan tenor, José Carreras, who celebrates ‘A Life in Music,’ his final world tour. One of the Three Tenors along with Domingo and Luciano Pavarotti, Carreras is highly acclaimed for his performances in the operas of Verdi and Puccini. 

The music fest continues as Emirati singer Hussain Al Jassmi takes centrestage followed by the unmatched brilliance of Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons featuring Fabio Biondi and Europa Galante. 

Spain’s foremost Flamenco superstar, Sara Baras, comes to Dubai Opera with Voces, Suite Flamenca, a show that pays tribute to six flamenco luminaries. Directed, staged and choreographed by the versatile artist Baras, it has gained international acclaim for its exhilarating music. 

Sitar player and composer Anoushka Shankar who has five Grammy® Award nominations and is the youngest – and first female – recipient of a British House of Commons Shield, brings her 2016 work, Land of Gold, focusing on the refugee crisis in the world. 

Discover the world of Bejart Ballet Lausanne, which brings Ballet for Life and a Ballet Gala of Seven Greek Dances, Piaf and Bolero, a masterpiece by Maurice Bejart. 

Audiences can also watch the acclaimed show, The Nutcracker on Ice featuring the Imperial Ice Stars. Set against a backdrop of colourful scenes and projections, opulent costumes, magic tricks and special effects, the cast of World, European and National Championship level skaters dance to Tchaikovsky’s glorious score. 

Multi-award winning international sensation, Slava’s Snowshow will come to Dubai Opera over the Festive Season.  It is a universal and timeless theatrical poetic spectacle that has unanimously enchanted and empowered the imagination of audiences around the world. Experience a joyous dream-like world that culminates in a breathtaking blizzard leaving audiences literally knee deep in snow.

Further performances including a number of high profile names and productions will be announced in due course. Tickets can be booked online at: www.dubaiopera.com 

Dubai Opera overlooks the majestic Burj Khalifa and spell-binding Dubai Fountain. It offers the ultimate flexibility of a proscenium arch theatre, an acoustic concert hall and a 2,000 sq m flat floor event space. With a built-up area of over 35,500 sq m, Dubai Opera is an integral part of The Opera District, a dedicated cultural and lifestyle hub launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai.

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