Saudi Arabian opera Zarqa Al Yamama previews in London 

Saudi Arabian opera Zarqa Al Yamama previews in London 



The opera will be heading to Riyadh in April.

The first grand opera produced by The Saudi Theater and Performing Arts Commission was unveiled at Goldsmiths’ Hall, London. The show Zarqa Al Yamama was commissioned by the Kingdom’s Ministry of Culture, and it will be premiering in Riyadh in April. 

Zarqa Al Yamama brings together locally trained artists and international performers. The show tells the story of a heroine who is blessed with the gift of foresight. Inspired by William Shakespeare’s Macbeth, Zarqa predicts the future. She can see that an army will come and destroy her people, and tries to warn leaders about the dangers. 

The London preview included a special introduction by the Saudi writer and poet Saleh Zamanan, and a presentation of the opera’s music by the CEO of Arabian Opera, Ivan Vukcevic. The cast includes Dame Sarah Connolly in the title role, and sopranos Amelia Wawrzon and Sawsan Albahiti. The orchestra was performed by Dresdner Sinfoniker and led by conductor Pablo González, with vocal accompaniments by the Czech Philharmonic Choir Brno. Plus, Daniele Finzi Pasca, who has worked with Cirque du Soleil and on two Winter Olympic ceremonies, is behind the staging and special effects.

Sultan Al-Bazie, CEO of the Theater and Performing Arts Commission, explained: “We are proud to unveil the legend of Zarqa Al Yamama in London, recognised around the world as a leading city for international arts and culture, and are excited to welcome global audiences to Riyadh this April for the premiere of the Opera. Performances like these will inspire the creation of even more spectacular productions and the dawn of more Saudi works to be produced.”

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