Muscat: Opera stars Jean-Francois Barros and Nino Machaidze, who are in Oman to perform at the debut of Charles Gounod’s ‘Romeo and Juliette’ opera at the Royal Opera House Muscat (ROHM), said they are in love with the country.
“The opera house here is gorgeous and amazing, the acoustics are wonderful, and it’s really amazing that people, who built this opera thought about the singers too.
“The city is beautiful and the people are so kind and sweet, I am in love with the place and I will always come back,” said Machaidze at a coffee and dates session organised by ROHM prior to the debut of the ‘Romeo and Juliette’ opera in Muscat.
Barros, who is playing Romeo in the acclaimed opera said, “The Opera House is totally amazing, I came here once before when they performed ‘Rigoletto,’ where I was a cover for the Duke and now it’s my second time here and it’s beautiful. It’s very nice to be here I hope to be back soon.
“Today we saw the big mosque and only when you see this wonderful and amazing place, you say wow, this is something.”
‘Juliet’ or Machaidze, who comes from Georgia, started singing very early in life and went directly into performing in operas. “I started singing when I was just eight and I started with singing opera directly because in our country it is possible to start learning singing at an early age.”
At 16, Machaidze became a soloist at the Opera house in Georgia, “I am now doing this job for many years, it’s my life and something I have always dreamt of, I always wanted to become an opera singer and I have sung at some amazing opera houses throughout the world, it’s a dream come true.”
Although she loves her job, Machaidze says it’s sometimes difficult. “It is a difficult job, you have to be really serious and disciplined.”
She travels a lot because of her busy work, but Machaidze’s favourite opera house is the LA Opera in Los Angeles. “I love the opera house in Los Angeles and since 2009, every year that I am singing there brings some special feeling,”
Barros, who is French, also started singing at a very young age, “I started singing at seven years old, but didn’t go into Opera directly.”
The two stars agreed that the expectations from opera singers have changed a lot in the past years, and that today it’s not enough to just have a beautiful voice or great technique.
“Today you have to be a complete artist-sing, be strong, act and do most difficult things on the stage like singing in different positions, running before singing and other such things, there is nothing like just singing anymore in operas today.”
‘Romeo and Juliette’—the opera, which is an adaptation of Shakespeare’s play Romeo and Juliet is noted for its four love duets, and will be performed in five acts.
The opera makes its debut on Thursday and will also be performed on Friday and Saturday. For details, visit rohmuscat.org.om