Dubai Opera Opens to Public
Dubai Opera will offer a diverse year-round program of concerts and events
Placido Domingo sang at a sold-out Dubai Opera Wednesday evening, starting a diverse year-round program of concerts and events designed to appeal to Dubai’s cosmopolitan residents and visitors.
A media preview was held Tuesday, coinciding with the dress rehearsal of The Barber of Seville, which The Giuseppe Verdi di Trieste Opera House will perform on 2-4 September.
The outside welcome area is large with escalators and lift up to the higher floors, where there will be bars, and in time, a rooftop restaurant.
Plentiful wood, from the slatted ceiling beams to the large spotlight-ridden fixtures above and boxes flanking the sides, augment the nautical theme within the striking dhow-shaped building, which lies in the shadow of Burj Khalifa.
The crimson-coloured leather seats in the auditorium provide a warmth, complementing all the brown and adding that touch of Dubai style.
I found them perfectly comfortable for sitting on throughout the rehearsal on Tuesday, although leg room is standard for a 2,000-seat auditorium; don’t expect ultra-premium seating of the kind you’ll find in the cinemas, unless you’re in one of the boxes.
The stage is deep and wide and the ‘surtitles’ above the stage, in English and Arabic, enable you to follow the story easily.
Rocío Ignacio, who plays Rosina, stood out with her breathtaking range of high notes. Rossini loyalists should lap it up and there are enough melodies to appeal to 1st-time opera goers.
CEO Jasper Hope said his team, while working on the project for 3 years, are now focused on the next phase and looking at how its program “can inspire the next generation.” “There won’t be less than 200 events in the 1st year,” he said. “I expect it will be higher but that depends on a lot of things.”
While he said there was no strict dress code, he hoped guests would dress up as it was a “special” venue, and in respect for the performers and UAE culture.
Concert goers will be able to access the Opera House directly from the boulevard, and choose between valet, plaza and boulevard parking.
By Dominic Ellis
Paul Ebeling, Editor