Tuesday May 21st, 2024
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The World’s Largest Arabic Grand Opera Will Debut in Riyadh

The opera tells the ancient story of Zarqa Al-Yamama, and features an original score by Lee Bradshaw.

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The World’s Largest Arabic Grand Opera Will Debut in Riyadh

The world’s largest Arabic grand opera is about to make its debut. This opera is the first of its kind to be produced by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and marks a significant milestone in the country’s art scene.

Titled ‘Zarqa Al-Yamama’, this opera features an original score by Lee Bradshaw and a libretto written by Saudi writer and poet Saleh Zamanan. It tells the story of Zarqa Al-Yamama, a woman in pre-Islamic Arabia whose gift of foresight warns her about the approach of a rival army. This ancient legend’s retelling follows Zarqa as she attempts to warn her tribe’s leaders about this approaching danger.

The cast of ‘Zarqa Al-Yamama’ features a mix of international and Saudi performers. Playing the opera’s heroine is world-acclaimed mezzo-soprano Dame Sarah Connolly. Joining her on stage are Khayran Al-Zahrani, Sawsan Al-Bahiti and Reemaz Oqbi, three talented Saudi artists. The cast also include internationally-renowned Clive Bayley, Amelia Wawrzon, Serena Farnocchia, Paride Cataldo and George von Bergen.

‘Zarqa Al-Yamama’ will debut on April 25th and run until May 4th. This opera is produced under the auspices of the Saudi Minister of Culture, His Highness Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Farah Al Saud, and will take place at Riyadh’s King Fahad Cultural Centre.

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