Muscat: The Royal Opera House Muscat is delighted to present the programme for the Season 2023/24. Welcome to a season of highlights and exciting moments! There is such a range of world class performances that there is something for absolutely everyone to enjoy. The season, entitled Stars, Legends, Dreams is built from an amazing variety of shows, including four popular operas, eight exhilarating Arab music concerts and shows, four classical concerts, two extraordinary ballets, one jazz evening, two world music stars, and six spectacular shows, there is so much magic to enjoy and so much inspiration to be gained.
OPERAS OF ROSSINI, DONIZETTI, PUCCINI, AND BRITTEN
The Barber of Seville begins the season in Gioacchino Rossini’s much-loved style, quick with wit and pleasing music. Join us on the red carpet to open the season with a stellar cast, the Orchestra Sinfonica della Rai, Intermezzo Choir, and the Omani Opera Choir, under the baton of Antonino Fogliani (Sep 28 & 30). The theme of comedy and mischievous trickery is continued later in the season with Don Pasquale, Gaetano Donizetti’s opera, a cautionary tale warning old men off marrying young wives! We welcome the Madrid Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Francesco Lanzillotta, with another line up of incredible artists taking the main roles (Dec 14 & 16). By contrast, we see the return of ROHM’s stunning co-production of Giacomo Puccini’s tragic love story, La Bohème, with Opéra de Monte Carlo. Emmanuel Villaume conducts the Orchestra Filarmonica Italiana in a staging which takes the breath away (Nov 23 & 25). An exciting highlight is the new opera production, realized in collaboration with Teatro Carlo Felice di Genova and scheduled on the 8th and 10th February 2024, of A Midsummer Night’s Dream by Benjamin Britten. The production is staged by Laurence Dale and based on the glorious comedy by William Shakespeare. While fairies and mortals mingle on stage, ROHM has created a special educational project for children to inspire greater connection to this literary giant.
From Antonino Siragusa as Count d’Almaviva in The Barber of Seville, and Sonya Yoncheva as Mimì in La Bohème, to Ambrogio Maestri as the eponymous Don Pasquale, and Sydney Mancasola as Titania in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the stars who are performing in the operas of our season shine very bright indeed.
ARAB MUSIC STARS FROM ACROSS THE AGES
Programming of Arab Music throughout the season gathers stars and legends in concerts that warm the soul and reconnect with history and tradition. The annual Omani Women’s Day concert celebrates an incredible line up of female musicians, including Al Nour wal Amal Orchestra, the only blind all female orchestra playing classical music alongside Majida El Roumi (Oct 17). A scattering of diamonds light up the season in solo concerts with Arab superstars, Majida El Roumi (Oct 18), Ragheb Alama (Feb 1 & 2), and Asala (Mar 1 & 2). Enjoy an incredible first for ROHM, as Asala is invited to perform her concert in the open air of the maidan, ensuring unprecedented access for a wider audience. We revisit legends in a special festival celebrating Mohamed Abdul Wahab’s place as one of the greatest musicians in Arab music history. Enjoy a week-long series of events and exhibitions, combined with two unique concerts to pay homage to his life and work. Cairo Opera brings us the legend of Scheherazade from 1001 Nights. Our annual respectful Ramadhan series will take place in the holy month, with guests from Morrocco, Syria and Egypt lending their voices to the special moments of reflection. A unique concert opens traditional Yemeni music to symphonic orchestra arrangements in Traditional Symphonies – A Journey through Yemeni Music conducted by Mohamed AlGhoom.
Our first orchestral concert of the season features the Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della Rai, conducted by Michele Gamba. With pieces from Paisiello, Rossini, and Cimarosa, cellist Ettore Pagano will lift the concert to new heights (Sep 29). To add to the big names that feature during the season, legendary Leo Nucci comes on board for a concert in homage to Maria Callas (Nov 24), and the best bass baritone of our age, Erwin Schrott performs a concert outside his usual classical repertoire, bringing Spanish song and dance to the opera house stage (Dec 15). We are privileged to invite you to the opera house to hear the Pipe Organ Concert, the annual presentation which features the magnificent ROHM pipe organ front and centre with international organists, orchestra and choir further enhancing the concert (May 4).
BALLETS FROM THE WORLD-FAMOUS BOLSHOI AND THE PRAGUE NATIONAL BALLET
A glorious epic contrasts with a romantic comedy in the two ballets which grace the season. The brilliant Bolshoi Ballet and Opera Theatre Company of Moscow presents Alexander Glazunov’s Raymonda (Jan 25, 26, & 27). The sweet romance between Lise and Colas in La Fille Mal Gardée, with its bucolic setting and farmyard characters is the perfect partner in the season. Sergey Smbatyan returns to the opera house to conduct the Armenian State Symphony Orchestra, with dancers from the Prague National Ballet (Mar 6 & 7).
The jazz concert with Randy Brecker and Igor Butman stands out in this incredible season. These two jazz artists are jazz stars, touring as a sextet to sell out shows all over the world (Oct 11 & 12).
ICONS OF WORLD MUSIC AND CULTURE
With special pride for the ROHM vision for cultural enrichment and global breadth in programming, the opera house has added two artists at the top of their field in a national genre. Nishat Khan takes the meaning of musicality to a whole new level with the sitar, as the best musician of Indian classical music bar none in the world today (Nov 9 & 10). Cristina Branco will fill the auditorium with the soulful passion of Portuguese fado, hitting notes and emotions that will stir audiences very deeply (Apr 19).
SPECTACULAR SHOWS FOR EVERYONE
As always, the opera house strives to present a full and varied programme for every audience member to enjoy. For 2023/24, there are six shows which add a depth to the season, bringing in new and younger audiences, to begin building or develop further their love of musical performance. Annual festivals of military and folk music will take place on the outdoor maidans of the opera house and Royal Opera House of Musical Arts. In addition to these two extravaganzas, the Xi’An Acrobatic Troupe of China will present Swan Lake, a new take on the classical ballet to music from Tchaikovsky (26 & 28 Oct). The circus comes to town with acrobatics and breathtaking acts in Cirkopolis, in a show designed to get more family audiences to find their way to the opera house (Dec 21, 22, & 23). In the new year, the stage will become an ice rink once again, for the world premiere of Symphony on Ice, a skating performance created especially for ROHM (Jan 4, 5 & 6). The world-famous show Stomp! finally arrives in the Middle East, after a decade of performing sell out nights across the West End in the UK and Broadway in the US (April 25, 26 & 27).
The 2023/24 calendar of educational events includes two Open House days, where the opera house doors are thrown open to students of all ages to take part in workshops and activities. This year, we offer one entitled The Sound of Music (Dec 16), and one entitled Making Music (Feb 24). Each one creates opportunities to delve deep into musical performance from a new and exciting perspective with professional musicians and educators. Summer Camp and School Performances are features of the season, and the highlight for 2024 will be the events surrounding the presentation of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, where Shakespeare will inspire games, crafts, activities, and exhibitions all over the opera house.
The outreach programme includes Lunch Music in the Opera Galleria; Pre-Performance Talks for major productions; Opera Talks with artists in the music library; the Absolute Music Series; the new Open Air Movie Nights on the roof terrace of ROHM, and a special one-off concert entitled Desert Bridge (Nov 16), where Oman becomes the channel for sharing music and culture between ROSO and a Swiss orchestra.
Season 2023/24 is further distinguished by a new pricing structure designed to encourage and enable wider audiences to access the arts. Major reductions to ticket prices adds even more value to your experience. Dive into another amazing season at ROHM, with new ticket prices starting from 3 OMR. Make the most of everything on offer at your opera house.
See the stars, learn about the legends, and make your dreams come true.