Saudi Arabia is all set to host its first ever International Opera Festival from June 18 to June 20 with several globally renowned artists participating in the event. It will mark the first time international opera shows and performances from around the world will be displayed in the Kingdom.
The festival’s lineup includes Australian-American lyric soprano Danielle de Niese, Armenian baritone Gevorg Hakobyan, and Maltese tenor Joseph Calleja, with the pioneering Saudi performers being Sawsan Albahiti, the Kingdom’s first professional opera singer; Khayran Al-Zahrani, Saudi Arabia’s first male opera singer; and Mostafa Shirah. Each day of the concert during the three-day festival will feature a two-hour performance by a Saudi singer paired with an international opera singer beginning with Albahiti and Calleja on Saturday, who will perform an assortment of classic opera pieces. The event will also include a special exhibition for opera with classic arts and associated possessions, such as fashion, and opera history with its musical instruments. An interactive monitor will allow visitors to learn more about the opera works, performers, and actors.
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“For the first time in the Kingdom, the ministry is organizing the International Opera Festival in Riyadh with the participation of the best Saudi international and Arab musicians,” stated the Saudi Ministry of Culture via Twitter. The event is part of the Kingdom’s Quality of Life Program, which aims to realize the Saudi Vision 2030 and will entertain its visitors by also providing an opportunity to listen to old and rare opera music through specialized areas and will also offer insight on some of the top opera theaters. The venue also offers educational workshops on topics including opera singing, theoretical and practical explanations of the mechanisms of making sounds in this art, getting the public familiar with orchestra and the history of musical instruments, opera history, and a workshop on playing the piano.
The tickets for the festival are open to ages 12 and above and can be availed at TicketMX.com and cost SR 345 (US $92).