The Royal Opera House Muscat (ROHM) is all set to launch its seventh new season, featuring a hand-picked selection of stellar performances
Titled ‘A Legendary Season’, the new season perfectly translates the remarkable repertoire of opera, ballet, world music, concerts and much more, that will grace the ROHM stage from September 2017 until May 2018.
Following are some of the highlights of the new season, which will be presented from September to December 2017.
Aida: The seventh season opens with Giuseppe Verdi’s ‘Aida’ on the 14th, 16th, and 17th of September. The opera is set in the Old Kingdom when Egypt was at war with Ethiopia. An Egyptian military commander, Radamès, struggles to choose between his love for the enslaved Nubian princess Aida and his loyalty to the Pharaoh, while Aida, heir to the endangered Nubian King, must face the conflict between her love for the military commander Radamès and her loyalty to her father Amonasro and her people.
L’occasione fa il ladro (Opportunity makes a Thief): Gioachino Rossini’s light one-act opera will be performed on the 27th and 28th of October; it tells the story of identity theft and mixed-up rival lovers. Rossini had the amazing skills of making his music vividly express humour and finding plots to match. Through a cleverly entangled web of amusing obstacles, ill-fated deceptions and lucky twists of fate, those who are meant for each other eventually realise their hopes and dreams.
The Moth Princess: Designed for families and school children, this engaging interactive opera will be performed on the 9th of December. The opera was inspired by ‘Turandot’, Giacomo Puccini’s last grand masterpiece. ‘The Moth Princess’ will be performed by Teatro Sociale di Como AsLiCo, the company that brought to ROHM the immensely successful interactive operatic show, ‘Magic Flute for Children or Defeating the Monsters’. School children participating from the audience will use props and sing in Arabic, English, and Italian.
Swan Lake: Among the most famous and best-loved ballets of all time, this masterpiece composed by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky will be performed on the 28th, 29th, and 30th of September. The ballet is performed by Kazakhstan’s prestigious Astana Opera Ballet Company and tells the story of Odette, a young woman transformed into a swan by an evil sorcerer. It is only at night that Odette can emerge as her human self. The spell will be broken if a prince swears eternal fidelity to Odette. A prince passes by the lake during a hunting expedition and is about to shoot the swan, but stops when, to his amazement, the most beautiful woman he has ever seen appears, as the swan vanishes. Mutually enraptured, the two fall in love and it seems all will be well, until the sorcerer intervenes.
Cinderella: This modern, abstract fantasy ballet, performed by Ballet de L’Opera de Lyon, will be presented on the 21st and 22nd of December in the evening, with an afternoon matinée on the 23rd. This unusual and intriguing interpretation of the ballet ‘Cinderella’ is set in a doll’s house with costumes to suit. This avant-garde, break-through version of the tale of Cinderella, described as a brilliant theatrical triumph, has toured the world, and is widely acclaimed for its amazing manipulation of mood, intriguing narrative, and innovative staging.
Homage to Luciano Pavarotti: An important highlight of the season will be a tribute to one of the world’s all-time greatest opera singers, the legendary Luciano Pavarotti. To honour the man who made the world love opera, a gala concert will be performed on the 14th of December by some of today’s top opera stars. They will sing a number of Pavarotti’s greatest arias such as ‘Nessun Dorma’ (None shall Sleep) and ‘La Donna e Mobile’ (Woman is Fickle). In addition, ROHM will hold an exhibition of treasured Pavarotti memorabilia.
Cliff Richard: Knighted in 1995 for his remarkable contribution to popular music, the British singer and musician Sir Cliff Richard will be giving a concert on the 7th of October. He has sold more than 250 million records worldwide with many gold and platinum hits. In the UK, sales of his singles have exceeded twenty-one million, making Sir Cliff Richard the third-best-selling artist in UK Singles Chart history.
Ann Hampton Callaway (The Streisand Songbook): This concert will be performed on the 29th of November. Ann Hampton Callaway made her mark as a multi-platinum award-winning singer-songwriter as well as a pianist, composer, lyricist, arranger, actress, educator, TV host and producer. Callaway will sing some of the legendary Barbra Streisand’s timeless classics such as ‘Cry me a River’ and ‘The Way We Were’.
Marcelo Álvarez: A concert by the Argentinean singer Marcelo Álvarez will be performed on the 31st of December, celebrating the end of the current year. One of the most important tenors in the world, Álvarez is also famous for performing Tango music and popular Spanish and Italian folk songs to great acclaim. Since the beginning of his career in 1994, he has won many prestigious prizes and has toured regularly, participating in thirty-four premier performances in prestigious venues.
The Alexandrov Red Army Chorus: This performance will be presented on the 12th of October. The choir, founded almost a decade ago, has gained popularity worldwide with its rousing voices and robust singers. This stunningly impressive super-masculine choir gave more than 1,500 performances during World War II and is now the official choir of the Nation’s Armed Forces. Since the 1990s, army women have occasionally been included as sopranos. A military dance troupe has been added with some performances by both men and women. The Orchestra for the Alexandrov Red Army Chorus includes both traditional and Western instruments with a repertoire that ranges from folk tunes to operatic arias and popular music.
Traditional Dances: The Igor Moiseyev Ballet Company will present a programme of its most popular dances on the 9th and 10th of November. One of the world’s greatest traditional dance companies, acclaimed by some as the greatest of all, the Igor Moiseyev Ballet is renowned for technical brilliance, professionalism, and exuberant virtuosity.