With the blessing of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said, the Royal Opera: House of Musical Arts was inaugurated under the patronage of His Highness Sayyid Fahd bin Mahmoud Al Said, Deputy Prime Minister for Cabinet Affairs and Chairman of the Supreme Committee of the Royal Opera House Muscat.
The concert held at the House of Musical Arts on Tuesday, 15th January, 2019 was attended by a host of public officials and dignitaries from the Sultanate and many other countries as well as heads of diplomatic missions to the Sultanate.
The concert included music from Oman and the world. In the first part of the programme, the Royal Oman Symphony Orchestra, along with the Opera Choir Group and the Military Choir of the Royal Guard of Oman performed traditional Omani compositions. The second part featured a selection of opera masterpieces performed by the Czech National Symphony Orchestra, with the Georgian soprano Nino Machaidze and world-renowned Mexican tenor, Ramón Vargas. The concert was performed under the baton of the celebrated Italian conductor, Giuseppe Finzi.
As the House of Musical Arts opens its doors, another historic milestone is reached in the implementation of His Majesty’s vision and patronage of arts and culture. This is undoubtedly an exciting new addition to the Royal Opera House Muscat, which was launched eight years ago to promote the arts, intercultural dialogue and relationships with countries rich in heritage, and reveals Oman’s capacity to host world-class artistic and cultural events with the use of innovative technologies. Since the inauguration of the Royal Opera House Muscat, a wide repertoire of operas, concerts, musicals and other artistic and cultural events have been presented with huge success, both through collaborative relationships on an international scale and with the Royal Opera House Muscat’s own expertise, not least in programming a vast array of acclaimed performances.
The House of Musical Arts will be a centre for different forms of art and music complementing the Royal Opera House Muscat’s objective to present a diverse programme of music performances. The House of Musical Arts will celebrate other cultural aspects by holding permanent and temporary culture and arts exhibitions, in addition to hosting seminars highlighting the evolution of art and its impact on world history.
Located along the main complex of the Royal Opera House Muscat across the street, the House of Musical Arts is an elegant building connected to the Opera Galleria by the iconic pedestrian bridge. The building introduces a unique architecture and design, combining Eastern with Western influences and traditional construction with modern techniques. The building successfully preserves its Islamic character, while integrating modern design techniques, invoking feelings of warmth and hospitality among visitors. This is enhanced by the widespread use of timber, marble and intricate carvings making strong references to historical themes in the architecture of the region. This is particularly true of the building’s exterior architecture, rooted as it is in the Omani style of civic architecture.
The House of Musical Arts was established to accommodate further works of art and musical performances. The role of the stage is to support Royal Opera House Muscat programming and provide a suitable venue for a myriad of cultural events and opera masterpieces. With its state of the art acoustic controls, fully configurable stage, advanced scenery control and other stage mechanics, the House of Musical Arts is able to meet the requirements of any international or local performance.
The building includes a limestone maidan surrounded by tall wide arches and airy arcades with patterned shade and light, which create a lively atmosphere and provide a welcoming shelter for visitors. The building also includes a music library, an extensive archive facility, and a cultural centre, in addition to the permanent exhibition and halls dedicated to hosting touring exhibitions.