Tuesday February 27th, 2024
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World's Largest Grand Arabic Opera Will Debut in Riyadh

Debuting in April and running until May, the ‘Zarqa Al-Yamama’ production will tell the story of a legendary Arab woman.

Ziyad El-Helbawy

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will debut the world's largest grand Arabic opera starting in April, and running until May. Titled ‘Zarqa Al-Yamama’, the original production is based on a pre-Islamic Arabic tale and will feature star vocalists alongside locally trained Saudi talents.

Produced under the patronage of Minister of Culture Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Farhan, who also chairs the commission, ‘Zarqa Al-Yamama’ tells the story of a woman from the ancient Jadis tribe who possesses the gift of foresight and works to warn her people of an approaching rival army that threatens their destruction.

The production represents an important milestone in Saudi Arabia's cultural journey, with world-renowned mezzo-soprano Dame Sarah Connolly leading the principal cast in the title role, joining an international lineup and nine prominent Saudi musicians. The score is composed by Lee Bradshaw and the libretto written by acclaimed Saudi poet Saleh Zamanan.

Three main roles will also be performed by emerging Saudi vocalists Khayran Al-Zahrani, Sawsan Al-Bahiti and Reemaz Oqbi, showcasing the achievements of the national music program.


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