Assala Nasri and Bolshoi Ballet coming to Royal Opera House Muscat

New season features artists from Middle East, Europe and North Africa, with nearly 30 productions and concerts in total

The Royal Opera House Muscat's new season will open with the opera The Barber of Seville. Photo: Guillermo Mendo Murillo
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The Royal Opera House Muscat in Oman has announced its new season with an eclectic programme encompassing contemporary and classical music, opera and dance.

Nearly 30 productions and concerts are on the calendar with artists from the Middle East, Europe and North Africa.

Some of the big names include popular Lebanese singers Majida El Roumi and Ragheb Alama, as well as large productions of classic operas The Barber of Seville and La Boheme.

Family-friendly productions are also on offer, including popular UK dance show Stomp! and Canadian circus troupe Cirkopolis.

Here are some of the main highlights of the Royal Opera House Muscat’s new season.

The Operas

Kicking off the season is one of the greatest comic operas. The staging of the 19th work The Barber of Seville by Gioachino Rossini will boast a large cast, including Italy’s RAI National Symphony Orchestra and Oman's Opera Choir Group.

Under the baton of Antonino Fogliani, an Italian conductor known for breathing new life into Rossini's work, the The Barber of Seville will start the season with back-to-back performances on September 28 and 30.

That mischief and comedy will soon make way for romance and tragedy with Opera de Monte-Carlo’s retelling of La Boheme on November 23 and 25.

Gaetano Donizetti’s Don Pasquale, which follows the romantic travails of a wealthy bachelor, will be performed by the Madrid Symphony Orchestra on December 14 and 16.

A new version of William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream also features on the programme. Based on 20th century composer Benjamin Britten’s score and performed by Italy’s Teatro Carlo Felice di Genova, the production takes place on February 8 and 10.

The Arab stars

Revered and popular Arabic singers have been performing at the regal venue since it launched in 2011.

The new season is no different, with Lebanese singer El Roumi headlining a stirring Omani Women’s Day Concert on October 17 with the Egyptian all-blind-female ensemble Al Nour Wal Amal Orchestra.

El Roumi will return with her own backing band and orchestra for another concert the following night.

Fellow Lebanese crooner Alama will bring his romantic balladry for a pair of concerts on February 2 and 3, while Syrian singer Assala will perform a special concert on March 1 and 2 dedicated to the work of Egyptian composer Mohamed Abdel Wahab.

The ballets

Two of the world’s leading ballet companies will feature as part of the latest season in Muscat.

Russia’s Bolshoi Ballet will present Raymonda with three shows taking place from January 25 to 27.

Premiering in 1898, it is considered as one of the great classical ballets and was originally choreographed by French-Russian ballet dancer Marius Petipa, who also created the steps for other staples Swan Lake and La Bayadere.

Dancers from the Prague National Ballet will team up with the Armenian State Symphony Orchestra for the achingly romantic La Fille Mal Gardee on March 6 and 7.

Concerts and world music

Acclaimed jazz trumpeter Randy Brecker will share the stage with Russian saxophonist Igor Butman on October 11 and 12 for a programme featuring their respective solo works and standards.

Indian master sitarist Nishat Khan will also make his Omani debut on November 8 and 10.

In 2024, one of the great voices of Fado, Cristina Branco, will showcase the passion and storytelling of the Portuguese genre on April 19.

The season will end on an uplifting note from Yemen. The May 10 and 11 concerts, titled Traditional Symphonies: A Journey through Yemeni Music promises to be an enchanting evening of local folk music and poetry.

Something for everyone

The Royal Opera House Muscat also boasts several family-friendly events.

China’s Xi’an Acrobatic Troupe will present a full-throttle version of the classic ballet Swan Lake on October 26 and 28.

That energy will be replicated when Canadian circus company Cirkopolis comes to Muscat for a trio of daily performances beginning from December 21.

The Folk Music Festival, an annual event celebrating the music and instruments inherent in Omani culture and traditions, will also return on February 23 and 24.

This will be followed by the famed UK company Stomp, who will bring their blockbuster West End and Broadway show to Oman from April 25 to 27.

More details on performances and tickets for the Royal Opera House Muscat’s new season are available at

Updated: August 30, 2023, 5:27 AM