Royal Opera House Muscat
The Opera House in Muscat has almost 5 years from the moment of opening of the first opera theater in the region of the Persian Gulf. Everything written in the article on occasion of the opening has been practically realized.
Opera, as a piece of music art, always was the element of refinement of culture. Not every ordinary citizen could comfortably feel himself in opera. There were cases in Ukraine, when I saw sleeping or napping people in the opera hall, – they simply did not grow up to understanding of this action, I thought then.
Opera House Muscat Oman fully changed my vision of the situation.
At first there was the first impression – the Opera House as an ensemble of building: operas with the opera gallery of restaurants, cafes and refined boutiques and also outwardly with a large area for concerts and marches outdoors, with a green mini-park and two-storeyed parking for connoisseurs of the opera art.
The Opera House was outwardly illuminated by varicoloured searchlights every evening almost for a month, the classic music was heard, the external screens demonstrated video about Sultan Qaboos. The cars of locals, passing by opera in evening time, stopped. Drivers and passengers went out cars and granted pardon by a spectacle and had a rest from refined light music. It appeared that it was related to returning after the protracted treatment the state leader – His majesty Sultan Qaboos. The “global” music-therapy treated His majesty and all people. Music calmed, harmonized ideas, feelings, took off feeling of alarm and stress, colors in a dominant violet gamut also made certain reflections, structured ideas and dreams. Then I clearly knew nothing about achievement of Sultan Qaboos, however the total love of people to the leader at first associated with PR of our politicians, and then in course of time I understood, that it was mutual love of Oman people to their state leader, which was cherished for 45 years. However it will be the next chapter of my project.
Gradually I ripened to find time to visit opera and see this building inside. My first impressions remain bright until now. Later I brought our team and guests from Ukraine in the Opera House and watched their reactions. I realised that it was not only my subjective feeling. Therefore today I express all fervour of feelings from the visit of the Opera: it is the Grandeur in everything – the structure and form of the building complex, decoration with mahogany screw-threaded and gold encrustation, refined engraving of window-pane, museum of folk musical instruments, the schooled auxiliary personnel, personal monitors on the backs of arm-chairs for sub-title by different languages. Polyfunctional stage and hall constantly struck at every new presentation – the orchestral pit, stage for ballet, stage for opera, stage for a circus, stage for an orchestra, stage for the mute cinema in accompaniment of organ. The organ needs the special estimation, it is a majestic organ complex upstage, the pipes of which are embroidered-minting and illuminated in yellow-dark blue colors. I also plan to write a separate chapter about these our national colors.
The refined dress-code for women and men gives the solemnity for the Opera. When buying the electronic tickets vie the internet for the opera visit you confirm that you are well-informed with classic style of evening clothes for the opera visit. Visitors which came in the Opera without refined style of clothes, unnoticed “redecorated” by long black abaya for women, to cover jeans, short dresses and other and by coats for men, which came in t-shirts.
The Opera of Oman is interesting by the structure of audience. As yet the European audience prevails here, especially saturated hall by a local diaspore in days of foreign guest performers – every embassy actively supports their troupe. In days of Arabic performance there are many locals in the hall. There are special performances for children aimed at understanding and love to opera, to the circus art.
Now about the most interestingly – about the action. Every visit of the Opera House grows into the holiday of art of the opera singing, ballet, organ music, this is a feast for the soul. It is really the feast of high professional level, irreproachable performance. I can certainly say that nobody sleeps and is bored in the Opera of Oman. It is provided with high performance, when you fully plunged in the world of fairy-tale and at the level of all fibres of your soul you can communicate with the high art, swallowing all beauty of sounding music, vocal, various colours of suits and gracefulness of motions of ballet, dancing collectives.
This high level of performance of tour collectives and own young orchestra of the Opera of Oman is predefined by the high level of requirements and audit of His majesty of Sultan Qaboos – the great connoisseur of the opera art.
I am an old dramatic art lover; I have visited many opera halls. However the Opera of Oman опера really impressed me. I think that the Royal Opera House Oman can apply on status of “living” miracle in the world, which is not only the architecture part and protected by the state, but also lives with dynamic life.
For 5 years of the Opera the troupe was created from young orchestra and soloists, there is a dancing company which demonstrated the remarkable performance “Silk way” with the reflection of national suits and dances of people and countries on the Silk way from Oman to China. Also periodically there are concerts of Arabic folk and vaudeville music. The performances take place with periodicity once a week, many performances with participation of the European collectives and other continents. I consider that it is high honour to be selected for appearing on the Oman stage.
The performance “General” impressed me the most by its reativity, it is the mute cinema escorted by 2 musicians-virtuosos, which very well-aimed “drew” out from an organ, miny-orchestra of percussion instruments and harmonica all palette of necessary sounds of accompaniment and emotional reactions.
The repertoire of the Opera is planned on a year in advance, so a duty tourist journey can be timed to certain opera performance.
In my opinion, Ukraine has deserving collectives which would try the Oman stage in future.
It should be noticed that the Middle East has only 2 operas: the Cairo Opera in Egypt, built in 19th century and the Opera of Oman. Therefore connoisseurs of the arts arrive for the performances from other countries.
And some more piquant things – the program-booklet are in the Arabic and English languages, there is coffee, juice, a bun per symbolic price – 0,5 of national monetary unit.
If you were in Oman and did not visit opera, you lost much.
His Majesty Qaboos bin Said al Said Sultan of Oman