After months of waiting, my night at the Dubai Opera finally arrived. As I approached the impressive building, designed by architect Janus Rostock, I couldn’t help but stand in awe of its sleek exterior and the reflection of the Dubai Fountains dancing in its windows.
Its dhow inspired shape pays homage to the traditions of the UAE, while its modern design and transformative stage capabilities are testament to the innovative city that we all know as Dubai. Do not be misled by the space’s title, the Dubai Opera can seamlessly transition from a theatre into a concert hall and yet again into a ‘flat floor’ layout - suitable for galas or other types of events.
It therefore comes as no surprise that the performance schedule is equally as varied. Upcoming shows include genres such as opera, ballet, musical theater, Arabic music and more, and bring some of the best talent from around the globe to the stage.
Last night, I had the privilege of witnessing a performance by The Three Tenors legend José Carreras as part of his last-ever world tour. The theater buzzed with excitement as the audience took their seats - with not a single space empty in the house, despite the venue’s 2,000 person capacity. The magical evening ended with nearly an hour of encores, resounding applause and countless standing ovations.
As part of his farewell, Carreras congratulated Dubai on the creation of the Dubai Opera and gave his sincerest wishes for the continued celebration of art and culture in the country for generations to come. Sitting in the audience, I couldn’t help but echo his sentiments. In a city that is constantly unveiling newer buildings and trendier attractions, the Dubai Opera stands for something more symbolic. If this and the many other sold out shows are any indication, there is a shining future ahead for not only the Dubai opera, but the entire regional arts community.