AA Theatre, Jordan’s first acoustically functional opera house, concert hall, and multi-purpose theatre officially opened on June 15. The theatre was inaugurated with a special performance by Jordanian soprano Zeina Barhoum, founder of the Amman Opera Festival, alongside Nadim Naaman, British actor and performer of Arab descent, who is best known for his performance in The Phantom of the Opera in London, accompanied by the National Music Conservatory Orchestra, led by Mohammad Sadiq.
Together, they presented a show titled, Music, A Story of Time Travel which was directed by Italian opera director Fabio Buonocore. “Under the Patronage of HRH Princess Muna Al Hussein, and with the presence of members of the Royal family, ambassadors; Music, A Story of Time Travel was my vision for the inaugural event of AA Theatre through the eyes of the Founder, Mr. Munzer Fahoum and the Theatre Administration,” said Barhoum. The performance was Barhoum’s first live show post the pandemic in Jordan, and aimed to take its audience on a journey of time travel through music starting from the first piece ever written in music history, to Al Andalus, classical music and opera, musical theatre, jazz, soul, and finally to modern-day pop including hits from musicals such as The Greatest Showman.
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“We were thrilled to be able to inaugurate the theatre under a shared Music, A Story of Time Travel,” said Zeid Farhoum, AA Theatre director. “Yes, acoustically the AA Theatre functions as an Opera house but the vision for it is so much more. Its purpose is to serve its students and the country through drama, music, and the arts in all their forms; a home where artists, performers, and innovators can grow and shine. Zeina understood this from the get-go. Music, A Story of Time Travel brought opera, classical music, jazz, soul, and pop all into one show.”
The theatre, which is Amman Opera Festival’s (AOF) newest venture, has already won the 2022 Innovation Award for Leisure and Entertainment. With a grand orchestra pit for 30 musicians, the vibrant and multi-dimensional theatre is equipped with intelligent audio, visual systems, 12 motorized heads, a comprehensive rigging system, 20 sqm LED screen and 250 lighting fixtures, all in an elegant layout. The venue also suggests a baroque era with its burgundy and bronze shades completed by a contemporary design.
AA Theatre envisions growing itself into a cultural hub for Jordanian, regional and international artists along with being home to the arts and culture that will benefit from the theatre’s academic community – Amman Academy School – as well as the local community. “The academic institution that built this theatre will continue to be its backbone, building solid grounds for a promising future that not only creates a platform for the performing arts but rather leaves a legacy that will educate generations to come on the importance of theatre and its embodiment as an academy of education in its own right,” shared Barhoum.
The vision of the Opera house is to serve its students and the country through drama, music, and the arts along with a goal to further expand the cultural scene in the country, making it a key patron of the arts and culture in Jordan.