Times of Oman
Mar 30, 2017 Last Updated at 19:34 AST
Oman Culture: A fabulous February at the Royal Opera House Muscat
January 24, 2017 | 5:04 PM
by Patricia Groves
The Italian Girl in Algiers is a masterpiece presenting both serious and comic elements in magical ways
 
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There's plenty on offer at the Royal Opera House Muscat this February.

ROHM’s 2017 Kulthumiyat features virtuosic Egyptian singer Mai Farouk performing the Diva’s best songs. Umm Kulthum, The Star of the East is regarded as the greatest Arab singer in modern times. Farouk has mastered the full Kulthum repertoire, including the challenging classical songs of Kulthum’s Golden Age in the 1940s and 1950s. (February 2, 7pm.)

Performed by Opera di Firenze, Rossini’s L’Italiana in Algeri (The Italian Girl in Algiers) is a sparkling, fast-paced work composed in 1813. Delighting audiences to this day, the opera is a masterpiece presenting both serious and comic elements in magical ways. Starring as the Italian Girl is acclaimed mezzosoprano Marianna Pizzolato with renowned bass-baritone, Marco Mimica as Mustafà, Bey of Algiers. Bruno Campanella conducts the orchestra for this high-spirited production. (February 9 & 12, 7pm)

In a delightful concert for families, the young singers of the Accademia dell’ Opera di Firenze and the Orchestra & Chorus of Opera di Firenze perform music from Rossini’s wonderful comic opera, Barber of Seville. The Barber is Figaro, an enterprising character and former servant of the dashing Count Almaviva who is in love with a beautiful heiress, Rosina. However, Rosina’s guardian is a grumpy old man who plans to marry his Ward for her substantial dowry. Figaro gets up to all sorts of funny antics as he helps the lovers. (February 11, 4pm).

American Jazz Singer, Madeleine Peyroux, rose to prominence in 1996 with her debut album, Dreamland when she was hailed by Time magazine as the year’s most exciting breakthrough artist. Several more critically acclaimed discs followed, including Careless Love which sold over a million copies. With a voice that is sultry and melodious, Madeleine creates an intimate jazz club atmosphere with old favourites like Leonard Cohen’s Dance me to the End of Love, and new compositions of her own. (February 16, 7pm)

Violinist Aleksey Igudesman and pianist Hyung-ki Joo present a crazy concert called And Now Mazart. They met at Yehudi Menuhin’s school for gifted musicians when they were just 12 years old. In that moment they could not have imagined that they would one day take the world by storm as virtuosic musicians so accomplished that they can play backwards and upside down, or while talking, singing or dancing —without missing a beat. Igudesman and Joo have gone viral with clips on YouTube scoring over thirty-five million hits to date. (February 18, 4pm).

One of the world’s all-time favourite musicals, West Side Story is about two idealistic teenagers caught between warring street gangs on the West Side of New York City. It’s the 1950s, a time of ethnic strife. Armed with switch-blade knives, the white American blue-collar Jets are sworn enemies of the equally fierce Puerto Rican Sharks. Maria is the sister of the Sharks’ leader, while Tony is best friend of the Jets’ boss. Maria and Tony have fallen madly in love as exalted in gorgeous songs such as, Maria, Maria! I just met a girl named Maria and Tonight, tonight West Side Story is a classic Broadway musical with stunning choreography, but without the happy ending. Instead there is a vital social message about the futility of conflict. (February 23, 24 & 25, 7pm).

For more information visit rohmuscat.org.om

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