Oman Observer

ROHM announces new season, 8th year of operations

May 9 – The Royal Opera House Muscat announced programmes for 2018-19 season, marking ROHM’s eighth year of operation with the very finest talent and productions from Oman and abroad. The new theme for the 2018-2019 season is ‘Around the World with ROHM’. Tickets went on sale from yesterday onwards. “We have very diverse programmes and we always keep quality as our top priority. Our Arabic performances are from all over the Arab countries from Morocco to the Sultanate. We have ensured that we have involved as many Arab countries as possible,” said His Highness Sayyid Kamil bin Fahd al Said, Member of ROHM’s Board of Directors.
The number of Arabic programmes has increased this year and they represent one-third of the ROHM season. For the first time, ROHM will present a full scale Arab opera Antar and Abla by Opera Lebanon. In addition to world premiere ballet Al Hamama Al Mutawwaqa, The Ring Dove Story and other star-studded programmes such as Jalsa Arabiah with Abadi al Johar and Ahmed Fathi, Nawal El Kuwaitiya, Wael Kfoury as well as Leila Hejaij and Mohamed Jebali with popular Arab songs, Kadim Al Sahir, the acclaimed Iraqi oud musician, ‘Artist of Peace,’ will be performing at ROHM with the Royal Oman Symphony Orchestra.
The best of classical Arab songs will be performed by Mayada al Henawi and Reham Abdel Hakim. On list are a Night of Inshad and Sufi Praise and the Oman World Festival of Folk Music.
Umberto Fanni, Director-General of the Royal Opera House Muscat, said that from September to May, the season will be offering 40 new programmes and a total of 69 performances.
“The Royal Opera House Muscat will take you on a journey that begins in Spain and travels across the US, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia – stopping in Portugal, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Slovakia, the USA, Cuba, Russia, Georgia, Tunisia, Oman, Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Lebanon, India, China and Japan!
“All the while, we are connecting cultures and catching the colours of music and dance around the world,” said the Director-General of the Royal Opera House Muscat.
With some of the best conductors in the world leading the world’s finest orchestras, the concentration of orchestral talent appearing at ROHM this season is impressive.
Among the most famous are Plácido Domingo who will conduct the Orchestra and Chorus of Teatro Massimo di Palermo in Guiseppe Verdi’s blockbuster opera, La Traviata; and Maestro Valery Gergiev who conducts the Orchestra, Chorus and Ballet of Mariinsky Theatre in the opera, Prince Igoras well as in a symphonic concert featuring Stravinsky’s The Firebird and Prokofiev’s Alexander Nevsky.
Gustav Mahler’s renowned Third Symphony will be conducted by Emmanuel Villaume with the Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra and Choir, and the Bratislava Boys Choir.
ROHM this year has included new generation of conductors. Marco Armiliato will lead the Orchestra of Ópera de Bilbao and Chorus of Gran Teatre del Liceu in Puccini’s Madama Butterfly; and Daniele Rustioni, the compelling young Principal Conductor of the Opéra de Lyon, will lead that orchestra in Strauss’ operetta, Eine Nacht in Venedig (A Night in Venice).
ROHM is presenting six outstanding operas by famous composers ranging from historic epics to comedies, romantic classics and beautiful tragedies from the world repertoire, these great operas cover the range of human passions with spellbinding plots. Advancing along the road to becoming a production as well as a hosting facility, ROHM presents its own production of Delibes’ Lakmé and a new co-production of Strauss’ Eine Nacht in Venedig.
For the first time, ROHM is presenting an Arab operatic drama, Antar and Abla. ROHM’s ballet selection for the new season, includes a new genre blending ballet and flamenco, Fuego and two classic ballets from the world’s best loved repertoire – The Sleeping Beauty and La Bayadère (The Temple Dancer).
History will be made with the world premiere of an epic Arab ballet, Al Hamama Al Mutawwaqa, The Ring Dove Story.
The stage will be transformed into a real ice rink for Opera on Ice, a spectacular show featuring world class skaters and opera stars.
The season’s musical show, Namaste India is a spectacular theatrical musical, produced by Bollywood talent. The world music programme brings an evocative new voice in Portuguese Fado – Claudia Aurora.
ROHM’s Jazz programme features British singer and songwriter Sarah Jane Morris and the Chucho Valdés Quintet with the phenomenal Afro-Cuban jazz musician, Chucho Valdés.
ROHM’s tremendously popular Omani and Arab programme includes the annual women’s day celebration, the annual military music spectacle, and a wonderful lineup of nine concerts with some of the greatest names in the world of Arab music, such as Wael Kfoury and Kadim Al Sahir.
In another first for the ROHM, the Oman World Festival of Folk Music is expected to bring a host of exciting folk music groups from Oman and across the globe.
ROHM’s 2018-2019 Education & Outreach programme is presenting new projects, such as From Russia With Love, an exhibition of mementos from the Mariinsky Theatre; and Bambino, a ground breaking creation in music theatre for infants.
Directed by Davide Livermore, Léo Delibes’ beautiful tragedy, Lakmé is brilliantly interpreted in the world premiere of a production by ROHMin collaboration with LA Opera, Teatro Dell’Opera di Rome, Fondazione Arena di Verona, Teatro Carlo Felice di Genova, Cairo Opera House, Astana Opera, Shanghai Oriental Art Centre, and Opera Australia. The Orchestra and Chorus of Teatro Carlo Felice di Genova is conducted by Jordi Bernàcer.
All six operas are world class in quality with suberb staging, amazing artistry, first class stars and the finestorchestras. ROHM’s own collaborative production of Lakmé and ROHM’s coproduction of Eine Nacht in Venedig were made possible by the productive relationships that ROHM has built with many of the world’s great opera houses and are a result of ROHM’s track record of consistently presenting operas of the highest quality.

Lakshmi Kothnaneth