The countdown has begun: it’s six days and 12 hours until curtains up for The Amman Opera Festival, the first of its kind in the Arab world. The festival officially launches in Jordan on July 19 and will run until July 22, under the Royal Patronage of HRH Princess Muna Al Hussein and Jordanian soprano Zeina Barhoum. The cultural celebration begins with a production of Verdi’s La traviata, staged at the 2,000 year-old open-air Roman Amphitheatre in Downtown Amman, starring Barhoum as leading lady Violetta and a Jordanian tenor playing Gastone. Conductor Lorenzo Tazzieri will be leading the score and keeping time for the Sichuan Philharmonic Orchestra. Among the musicians will be key performers from the most prominent operatic institutions across the globe, including strings from La Scala and the Ukrainian Lviv Opera House.
This is not the first time Barhoum has performed in this specific opera. The soprano took to the stage at Teatro Zandonai in Rovereto earlier this year in a production that included 150 dancers and musicians from 10 nationalities. Bringing the world-famous opera to her home region, Barhoum has enlisted Laith Maalouf to design the costumes for the Amman Opera Festival. Maalouf is in good company, as he follows in the footsteps of other La traviata costume designers Valentino, Christian Lacroix, and Lila De Nobili.
The festival may just prove to be the perfect platform for emerging talent in music, art, acting, and design as classical operas are reinterpreted for the region and translated into Arabic. Bravo.
La Traviata will be held on July 19 and July 22 within the Amman Opera Festival that is held under the Royal Patronage of HRH Princess Muna Al Hussein and Jordanian soprano Zeina Barhoum. Book via the website.