With September just around the corner, there is excitement in the air as the Royal Opera House Muscat is about to start a new season, one that has a hundred curtain calls with thirty-eight new productions and two themed Open Houses. There will be seventeen productions at ROHM’s wonderful House of Musical Arts, including programmes specially designed for children and families.
A Rich Repertoire of Operas
A few highlights of the Season’s nine operas include some of the most popular works in the world repertoire, such as Bizet’s Carmen and Puccini’s La Bohème; some of the funniest like Rossini’s wonderful farce, L’Iganno Felice; some of the most charming like Banevich’s The Story of Kai and Gerda; and, a great historical drama, Donizetti’s Ana Bolena. One of the most remarkable operas is bound to be an original production by the Royal Opera House Muscat of Mozart’s The Magic Flute which is set in Oman.
ROHM presents five of the world’s finest symphony orchestras in a collection of magnificent concerts commencing with the Teatro Colón Buenos Aires Orchestra and Choir performing Beethoven’s greatest symphony, the epic Ninth under the baton of José Cura.
The Filarmonica della Scala, the orchestra of “La Scala”, Milan’s illustrious opera house, will perform two spectacular concerts under the baton of Myung Whun Chung, including Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 3 with pianist Alexander Romanovsky; Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 6, the Pathétique; and, Dvořák’s grand New World Symphony.
Conducted by Philipp Chizhevsky, the world-renowned Bolshoi Theatre Orchestra, Choir and Soloists perform in an operatic concert with magnificent pieces from Russian and European repertoires.
The Vienna Classical Players led by Martin Kerschbaum evoke the elegance of nineteenth-century Vienna with music from the Strauss family and contemporaries. Four dancing couples from the Weiner Staatsballett perform waltzes and polkas.
ROHM’s annual Pipe Organ Concert demonstrates the remarkable versatility of the ‘King of Instruments’ which can create music in all genres, with sounds ranging from that of a single instrument to an entire orchestra.
From the sublime passions expressed in the heart-wrenching story of Onegin to China’s culturally innovative take on Tchaikovsky’s universally loved ballet The Nutcracker, ROHM’s new season truly represents ballet as the divinely beautiful, eloquent and incredibly inspiring art that it is.
ROHM’s 2019-20 galaxy of superstars comes from opera, jazz, and the Arab concert stage. José Cura, one of the greatest operatic tenors of our time stars in Carmen, world-famous baritone Leo Nucci will sing arias from Verdi, and the great American lyrical baritone Thomas Hampson will perform with Angel Blue, the soprano who sang with Plácido Domingo in ROHM’s 2011 inaugural season.
Chick Corea the legendary American jazz and fusion pianist and composer performs in a special programme that features Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue along with a selection of his own compositions.
Among the world-class Arab performers are the supreme oud virtuoso, Marcel Khalife, the wildly popular Moroccan-Egyptian singer Samira Said who tops the charts, and the famous Emirati singer, Ahlam who performs both within and far beyond the Arab World.
One of the truly exciting things about ROHM’s coming season is that it is studded with six spectacular shows spanning the globe.
India’s smash-hit musical Mughal-e-Azam relates the fabled tale of the rebellion of Prince Salim against his father, the mighty Mughal Emperor Akbar for the love of a dancer said to be ‘beautiful as blossom’.
Tenochtitlan de Puebla Mexico brings choreographed rhythms from the traditional music of the Aztec and Mayan Empires. From Argentina comes Che Malambo, a powerhouse of all-male performers who thrill audiences with fast-paced zapateo and footwork inspired by galloping horses, performed with gaucho machismo.
With a unique choreography combining folk dance with classical ballet and contemporary dance, the men of the Georgian National Ballet perform incredible athletic feats, while the women move with mesmerizing grace.
Forging new frontiers, Japanese Kodo drummers perform on enormous stationary drums with disciplined precision and tremendous power. On portable drums, they display rapid-fire skill and move with rhythmic perfection.
Taiwan’s U-Theatre creates an immersive, multi-layered experience with imaging technology and dance movements that simulate those of the planets in the solar system.
Amazing Arab Performances
In addition to ROHM’s annual Omani Women’s Day Celebration and the enormously popular concert, Military Music: Oman and the World, the new season brings a host of wonderful performances beginning with the Arab artist Najwa Karam, known as the ‘Sun of Lebanese Song’, and Marwan Khoury presenting his latest music with ROSO, the Royal Oman Symphony Orchestra. ROSO also plays for the world premiere of an Egyptian opera Tarh El Bahr, The Sea Treasures by the award-winning composer Monir Elweseimy, with fresh young talent enacting the adventures of an Arab fisherman.
Cairo Opera Ballet Company presents a rousing balletic interpretation of Nikos Kazantzakis’ famous novel, Zorba the Greek, along with El Leila El Kebira (The Grand Night), a beautifully choreographed evening of celebration.
Ensembles from Morocco, Tunisia, Oman, Egypt and Turkey present an evening of sacred Inshaad and Praise. In an evocative Tarabiyat, Tunisian singer, Yosra Mahnouch gives inspiring interpretations of Umm Kulthum, while Iraqi artist, Marwa Nagy sings classical songs.
The Caracalla Dance Company presents Phoenicia From Past to Present, juxtaposing Ramses II’s arrival at the temple of the Gods in Byblos with a scene in a modern-day Lebanese village where a climate of destructive hatred is defused by transcendent love.
And Much More
With Tout Neuf, a special production on music and nature for young children and enlightening Open Houses themed on Imagination and Science, along with an exciting roster of Education & Outreach events, ROHM’s Season 2019-2020 rounds out an exceptional season that will mark the fiftieth year of the reign of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said and Oman’s blessed Renaissance.