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Dubai Opera Unveils Cultural Splendour: The Grand Opening Gala Marvels its Audience

As I stepped into the grand foyer of Dubai Opera, the air was abuzz with anticipation and excitement for the grand opening of The Swann Lake by the Hungarian State Ballet. The elegant chandeliers illuminated the opulent surroundings, casting a soft, warm glow on the marble floors and intricately designed walls. It was the opening night of a new season full of innovations thanks to the young and talented new Italian Superintendent Paolo Petrocelli who is giving this institution programming worthy of the beauty of the place. I also had the privilege of being a VIP guest at this prestigious event…

On my way to my seat, I couldn’t help but marvel at the stunning architecture of the venue. Designed to resemble a traditional sailing vessel, Dubai Opera exudes a sense of grace and sophistication. The main stage, orchestra, and seating are housed in the ‘bow’ of the structure, while the elongated ‘hull’ featured waiting areas, taxi drop-off points, and parking facilities. The rooftop restaurant offered breath-taking views of the iconic Burj Khalifa, adding to the allure of the evening.

Taking my seat, I felt a sense of anticipation building within me. The curtain was about to rise, and I knew that I was in for a remarkable experience. I had seen “The Swann Lake” before but witnessing it in the grandeur of Dubai Opera promised to be an entirely new and enchanting experience, also because the quality of the staging was as spectacular as the rest of this season’s programming.

Dubai Opera
Dr. Paolo Petrocelli @ Dubai Opera

“The target of the company as a whole is increasingly to make Dubai Opera an attractive hub of cultural tourism in Dubai, bringing in top-class productions that reflect the multicultural soul of the country,” declares Paolo Petrocelli. The Red Carpet was crowded with eminent personalities from all over the world including Alessandro Maffi, CEO Van Cleef and Arpels, Anthony Liguer-Laoubhouet, icon of Middle East and North Africa, Manuel Rabaté, director of the Louvre Abu-Dhabi, and Rana Hatem Haddad, Head of Vogue Arabia. Additionally, there was a long list of ambassadors and consular heads from the major European countries.
As the lights dimmed and the music began, I was transported into a world of magic and beauty. The exquisite movements of the dancers, accompanied by the graceful melodies of the orchestra, mesmerized the audience. The precision and artistry displayed on stage were nothing short of breath-taking. I found myself captivated by the seamless storytelling and emotional depth conveyed through each movement. Without forgetting the perfect acoustics of the hall, which, as Petrocelli emphasises, “is essential for enjoying both the pop, rock, folk or jazz concerts we have on the bill and the great classical events, such as the debut of the orchestra of Milan’s La Scala Theatre on 1 December”.

Dubai Opera
@ Dubai Opera

Being a VIP guest heightened the experience even further. Throughout the evening, I was treated to impeccable service and attention to detail. From the moment I arrived, I was greeted with warmth and hospitality. The staff ensured that every aspect of my visit was taken care of, from the luxurious amenities to the delectable cuisine served during the intermission.
Attending the opening of a new season at Dubai Opera was truly a privilege. It was an evening that combined elegance, culture, and artistry in a way that left a lasting impression on me. The venue itself was a testament to architectural brilliance and its audience is young, international, and enthusiastic, while the performance showcased the immense talent and dedication of the artists involved.
“Dubai Opera continues to lead as an iconic ‘House of Cultures’ a vibrant and innovative hub, a meeting point where languages and cultures from across the globe intersect and meld daily, delivering a truly unparalleled and memorable experience to all audiences,” says Dr. Paolo Petrocelli, Head of Dubai Opera. “We are dedicated to serving our diverse community, forging connections between esteemed companies and world-renowned artists who grace the stage of our exceptional venue.”

Dubai Opera
@ Dubai Opera

HelloMonaco: How will the partnerships with Dubai’s Department of Economy and Tourism and Dubai Culture enhance the cultural vibrancy of the region?

Dr. Paolo Petrocelli: These partnerships are designed to catalyse the regional artistic ecosystem and reinforce ties with local communities. Through an array of ventures, including music festivals, educational initiatives, theatrical performances, and workshops, these synergistic collaborations aim to celebrate Dubai’s rich cultural heritage, engage the community meaningfully, and deepen cultural roots.

HelloMonaco: Can you provide more information about the Training Programme and the Lullaby Project launched by Dubai Opera?

Dr. Paolo Petrocelli: This programme equips aspiring performing arts professionals with the requisite skills and knowledge in both a theoretical and practical setting for sound, light, and stage operations, fostering a broader understanding and appreciation for cultural diversity, thereby aligning with Dubai Opera’s ethos of promoting global cultural harmony.

Leaving Dubai Opera that night, I couldn’t help but feel a sense of gratitude for the opportunity to witness such a remarkable event. It was a reminder of the transformative power of the arts and the ability of cultural experiences to leave a lasting impact on our lives.

Thrilling second part of the Season 2023–2024

Just one part of the season is behind us but it has already sounded loudly. Only in February Dubai Opera organised an intense chamber music season with 15 performances featuring internationally renowned names, such as Maxim Vengerov, Stella Chen with the Oxford Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Gold Medalist of the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition Yekwon Sunwoo among many others.
But it will be on the weekend of 27 and 28 April that Dubai Opera’s spring season will touch one of the unsurpassed peaks of the current international music scene, with the extremely rare and almost unique arrival in the West of the now legendary symphony orchestra Musicaeterna, led by its mentor and founder: the eccentric, extravagant, creative Greek conductor Theodor Currentzis, by now an undisputed icon for music lovers all over the world.
Then the season will continue to grow in its splendour. Gidon Kremer with his Kremerata Baltica, the pinnacle of European musical quality, and Russian pianist Denis Matsuev will arrive in Dubai on 3 and 4 May respectively, followed on 9 and 10 May by two evenings dedicated to the great symphonic film music of the multi-award-winning and Oscar-winning Ennio Morricone, conducted by his best interpreter, his son Andrea.
This will be followed by three more live events dedicated to great music for the cinema with Star Wars — A New Hope in concert, Pirates of the Caribbean — The Curse of the Black Pearl live in concert and Charlie Chaplin The Kid live in concert.
The season will be closed by the double date on 16 and 17 May of the cello star HAUSER, formerly 2Cellos, with his intriguing reinterpretations of the great classics, but also pop and rock repertoire, with a strongly rhythmic and virtuosic character, and his great spectacular and acting talent that can enchant audiences all over the world. Finally, the jazz star and best selling American instrumentalist Chris Botti.

Dubai Opera — Upcoming bright performance

MusicAeterna & Teodor Currentzis in the Middle East
April 27–28, 2024

Teodor Currentzis.
Teodor Currentzis. Photo by Olya Runyova

In a groundbreaking regional first, MusicAeterna, one of the world’s most celebrated ensembles that constantly pushes the boundaries of its creative powers, will perform two concerts on April 27–28, 2024, dedicated to Tchaikovsky and Wagner.
Gidon Kremer and Kremerata Baltica
May 3, 2024

Gidon Kremer
Gidon Kremer. Photo: Angie Kremer Photography

Dubai Opera proudly presents an evening of unmatched classical elegance, featuring the extraordinary Gidon Kremer alongside his ensemble, Kremerata Baltica. Globally acclaimed for his deep interpretations and inventive artistry, the legendary violinist Gidon Kremer is accompanied by Kremerata Baltica — a chamber orchestra encapsulating the quintessence of Baltic musical heritage. 
Denis Matsuev
May 4, 2024
Brace yourselves for an unforgettable night at Dubai Opera as the world-renowned pianist Denis Matsuev takes centre stage, presented by M Premiere and MN Live. Performing under the theme “Classics & Jazz,” Matsuev will showcase masterpieces from Grieg and Rachmaninoff to Gershwin and Bernstein, spanning centuries and continents. Joining him are his friends, jazz musicians Andrey Ivanov on double bass and Alexander Zinger on drums.
Ennio Morricone — The Official Concert Celebration
May 9–10, 2024
Launching the series on May 9–10, 2024, is the “Official Concert Celebration of Ennio Morricone” paying tribute to one of cinema’s most revered composers, directed by Andrea Morricone, the late maestro’s son. Immerse yourself in the magic of Morricone’s music, as we traverse the landscapes of spaghetti westerns, epic adventures, and heartfelt dramas.
Star Wars: A New Hope in Concert
May 11, 2024
Witness the iconic saga of a rebellion against the dark forces of the Empire at Dubai Opera as the esteemed Armenian State Symphony under the baton of conductor Anthony Gabriele, take you on a thrilling journey through the stars. In this special presentation, experience the magic of Disney’s Star Wars: A New Hope with the complete score by legendary composer John Williams performed live to the film.
Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl Live in Concert
May 12, 2024
Experience the thrill of high seas adventure like never before at Dubai Opera, as the renowned Armenian State Symphony Orchestra and Dubai Festival Chorus, conducted by Anthony Gabriele, bring to life Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl. Composer Hans Zimmer’s complete score, featuring Klaus Badelt & Hans Zimmer’s iconic music, will be performed live to the film, promising an unforgettable cinematic and symphonic fusion. 
Charlie Chaplin’s The Kid Live in Concert
May 13, 2024
Transport yourself to the charm of silent cinema at Dubai Opera, where we proudly present Charlie Chaplin’s cinematic masterpiece ‘The Kid.’ Immerse yourself in the endearing story of the Tramp and his unexpected companion, enhanced by the live, emotive soundtrack performed by the talented Armenian Symphony Orchestra and conducted by Timothy Brock.
May 16–17, 2024

HAUSER. Photo: Krisztián Bódis

Dubai Opera proudly presents an extraordinary musical event featuring the renowned instrumentalist and co-founding member of 2CELLOS, HAUSER. HAUSER’s meteoric rise to global acclaim is attributed to his exceptional fusion of classical, pop, and rock music. He captured the hearts of millions with his iconic rendition of Michael Jackson’s ‘Smooth Criminal,’. Today, HAUSER stands as one of the most significant instrumentalists of the twenty-first century.
Chris Botti
May 19, 2024

Chris Botti.
Chris Botti. Courtesy The Kurland Agency

Since the release of his 2004 critically acclaimed CD When I Fall In Love, Chris Botti has become the largest-selling American instrumental artist. His success has crossed over to audiences usually reserved for pop music and his ongoing association with PBS has led to four #1 jazz albums, as well as multiple Gold, Platinum and Grammy Awards.
To follow up with the detailed program at the Dubai Opera please follow the link to check the latest updates.

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