Dubai Opera celebrated its second anniversary on August 31, and to honour it, the venue announced a class programme that will stretch to March.
After the lull of the summer months, the Downtown Dubai stage is set to start the performance season by hosting operas Carmen and The Magic Flute over the next two weeks. Then there will be comedy, classical music, rock and more. "The second year of Dubai Opera's life has been about building on the excitement and success of the first year and looking for further opportunities to showcase the best and most diverse talent from the region and the world," said Dubai Opera chief executive Jasper Hope said of the new season.
With all tickets now on sale at www.dubaiopera.com, here is what's coming up.
November 1: Comedy Night
After the success of Dubai Opera’s inaugural event in July, more international laughs are coming our way, but with a regional twist. Welsh-Egyptian comic Omar Hamdi will be returning to the Downtown stage, joined by Fatiha El Ghorri, Nabil Abdulrashid and Maria Shehata.
The British-Moroccan El Ghorri is the most topical of the lot – her material touches on various social issues, including race and politics. British-Nigerian Nabil Abdulrashid has the distinction of being the youngest black comedian to perform at London’s Hammersmith Apollo and has performed at most of the United Kingdom’s top spots, including The Comedy Store in London.
Meanwhile, Egyptian-American stand-up Maria Shehata – who lives in London – is a rising star in the English comedy circuit, and was voted one of the five best new acts at the 2017 Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
Tickets cost from Dh95
November 17: Guy Manoukian
It has been a while since the popular regional composer and pianist came to the UAE. The last time the Lebanese artist performed here was at a packed gig at the 2013 Dubai Jazz Festival. Manoukian’s star power has been growing in his native Lebanon ever since, and he has performed sell-out shows in Beirut in the past two months. A lot of this boils down to his killer repertoire, which is mostly made up of modern takes on Arabic orchestral classics, including the works of late singers Umm Kulthum, Abdel Halim Hafez and Zaki Nassif.
Tickets cost from Dh175
November 26: Milos Karadaglic
Four years after wowing audiences at the Abu Dhabi Festival, Karadaglic returns to the UAE to showcase his virtuoso guitar-playing, which is inspired by Spanish and Latin American rhythms. Ever since appearing on the scene in 2011 with his acclaimed debut album, Mediterráneo, the Montenegrin artist's work has gone on to top the European classical music charts. In addition to his classical guitar material, the crowd will also be delighted by his finger-picking take on The Fab Four, thanks to tracks from his latest album, 2016's Blackbird: The Beatles Album.
Tickets begin from Dh150
November 27: Feeder
Feeder may have never had the commercial success of peers Oasis and Stereophonics, but their penchant for producing euphoric rock songs is undeniable. From Buck Rogers and Comeback Around to High and Forget About Tomorrow, the Welsh group, who have been playing for 25 years, have many great songs that will go down a treat when they make their regional debut.
Tickets cost from Dh150
November 12: The Nutcracker and I
A new take on an old classic, in this performance, Alexandra Dariescu will be performing on a grand piano as the romantic story is told through multimedia projections, along with a ballerina dancing behind a see-through gauze screen. The show will feature a selection of composer Tchaikovsky's classics, including Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy, Arabian Dance and Pas de Deux.
Tickets cost from Dh250 with a 50 per cent discount for children below the age of 12
March 19-22: BBC Proms 2019
The much-loved, always quick-to-sell-out musical extravaganza returns to Dubai Opera next year. Ever since its formation in 1895, the concert series has become a British institution, with its mission to inspire every generation to fall in love with classical music. Hosted by BBC Radio 3 presenter Petroc Trelawny, five shows will be performed, with the highlight being the world premiere of Tmesis by British-Lebanese composer Bushra El Turk.
Tickets cost from Dh75