The Royal Opera House Muscat’s 2016-2017 Season is called Excellence in Diversity. It seems as though building was completed just the other day, yet the ROHM is about to enter its sixth season.
In addition to its Omani and Arab programming it is maintaining an international profile with opera, ballet, concerts, jazz and musical theatre. The new season will launch on 29 September 2016 with Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette brought in by the Opéra de Monte-Carlo.
The operatic season continues with five other operas from five countries: Lohengrin by the Festival Wels Wagner; Don Giovanni with the Opéra de Lyon; Eugene Onegin is presented by Opera Stanislavsky Moscow; L’Italiana in Algeri is with the Opera of Florence; and Les Pêcheurs de Perles by Belgium’s Opéra Royal de Wallonie.
Recitals and Gala Concerts will be given by Placido Domingo who will sing in a gala accompanied by the Philharmonic Orchestra of Bergamo and Brescia Festival and he will also give a concert conducting the Royal Oman Symphony Orchestra.
Anna Netrebko together with her husband, the tenor Yusif Eyvazov, will sing a selection of opera arias and duets, and Simon Keenlyside will star in the ROHM’s traditional end-of-year gala with songs from his album, Something’s Gotta Give.
In coproduction with Palau des Arts Reina Sofia of Valencia, the Royal Opera House will present The Opera! Which offers a fresh take on the history of opera, staged by Davide Livermore and performed by new talent from the Centre of Perfeccionament Placido Domingo.
There are two ballets are down for the next season: Boris Eifman’s company with bring his Anna Karenina and the American Ballet Theatre will present Giselle.
World music and jazz are not forgotten and the musical theatre will be represented by a production of West Side Story.
The Italian RAI National Symphony Orchestra together with the Swedish Radio Choir under the baton of James Conlon will perform Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, and Claudio Scimone will conduct his I Solisti Veneti for a concert of Baroque music as well as Vivaldi’s Four Seasons.
Events for families include a take on Il barbiere di Siviglia with the Orchestra del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Igudesman and Joo will bring their comic show And now Mozart and the Swingle Singers will give a concert.
Although as it was being constructed many were betting that this was a rich man’s folly in the middle of the desert that would soon change its international profile, western classical music continues to have a strong presence, much as it did as when the Royal Opera House Muscat first opened its doors five years ago.
Graham Spicer is a writer, director and photographer in Milan, blogging (under the name ‘Gramilano’) about dance, opera, music and photography for people “who are a bit like me and like some of the things I like”. He was a regular columnist for Opera Now magazine and wrote for the BBC until transferring to Italy.
His scribblings have appeared in various publications from Woman’s Weekly to Gay Times, and he wrote the ‘Danza in Italia’ column for Dancing Times magazine.