Dubai Opera: Full List of Events for 2023-2024 Season

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The Dubai Opera. SUPPLIED

The Dubai Opera is entering its 7th anniversary with a season boasting more than 40 eclectic performances, from opera and ballet to musicals and drama.

“As we embark on the new season, we are filled with immense pride in the remarkable artistic diversity that characterizes our lineup of performances and productions, catering to the entire community and bringing together prestigious companies and celebrated artists from around the world onto the stage of our exceptional venue,” says Dr. Paolo Petrocelli, Head of Dubai Opera. “Dubai Opera continues to lead as an iconic ‘House of Cultures’, a vibrant and innovative hub, a meeting point where languages and cultures from across the globe intersect and meld daily, delivering a truly unparalleled and memorable experience to all audiences.”

2023 – 2024 Season highlights

Swan Lake: September 8-10

The season leaps to a start with Tchaikovsky’s immortal ballet, “Swan Lake,” showcased from September 8-10. The masterpiece is brought to life by the esteemed Hungarian State Ballet and Hungarian State Opera.

Swan Lake will be presenting the iconic and unforgettable choreography of Rudi Van Dantzig, one of the greatest choreographers of the twentieth century. Conducting the orchestra for this special occasion will be Gábor Hontvári, a well-established baton across Europe who has had major debuts at prestigious venues such as the Helbphilharmonie and Concertgebouw.

Madama Butterfly: September 12-13

Puccini’s heartrending operatic narrative, “Madama Butterfly,” is showing on September 12 and 13, brought to life by the esteemed Hungarian State Ballet and Hungarian State Opera, one of Eastern Europe’s premier musical institutions, which seldom embarks on global tours.

The renowned opera Madama Butterfly will be presented in a captivating new production helmed by director Miklós Gábor Kerényi. His productions have gained international acclaim at renowned theatres in London, Salzburg, and Jerusalem. The soloists, orchestra, and choir of the Hungarian State Opera will be led by János Kovács, one of Hungary’s most respected conductors with international recognition. Kovács has served as an assistant to Pierre Boulez in Bayreuth and has conducted as a guest at esteemed institutions from Berlin to Tokyo.

Gilberto Gil concert: September 29

At 81, the legendary Brazilian artist Gilberto Gil brings his ‘AQUELE ABRAÇO TOUR’ to Dubai Opera on September 29. With a Grammy-laden career spanning over 50 years, and a transformative stint as Brazil’s Minister of Culture, Gil’s influence is monumental. Joined by his family members on stage, the evening promises a vibrant musical journey that honours this global icon.

Matilda the musical: October 3-15

For the first time in the GCC region, the enchanting world of Roald Dahl’s “Matilda” takes the stage from October 3-15, offering a blend of whimsical storytelling and memorable tunes that promise to charm audiences of all ages.

David Garrett concert: October 26

Internationally acclaimed violinist David Garrett performs on October 26 with his ‘ICONIC’ tour. Melding classical mastery with modern flair, Garrett has redefined the violin’s role in music, delivering an evening where classical meets contemporary.

Kenny Garrett concert: October 28

Jazz virtuoso Kenny Garrett performs on October 28, unveiling his latest album, ‘Sounds from the Ancestors.’ With a career interlaced with legends like Duke Ellington and Miles Davis, Garrett weaves ancestral rhythms into modern jazz, offering a multi-generational auditory experience.

Macbeth: November 3-5

Dive into the dark realms of human ambition with a stirring performance of “Macbeth,” produced by English Touring Theatre, slated for November 3-5, 2023. This Shakespearean tragedy unfolds with a gravitas that only live theatre can offer.

Ali Sethi concert: November 11

Acclaimed singer Ali Sethi takes the stage on November 11, bringing his unique blend of traditional South Asian melodies and modern rhythms. Dubbed “stealthily subversive” by The New Yorker and featured on TIME’s 100 Next list, Sethi’s performance promises a harmonious blend of humour and soulful storytelling.

Jethro Tull concert: November 24

Rock legends Jethro Tull captivate on November 24, blending innovative flute melodies with iconic hits like “Aqualung.” This evening will be a masterclass in the evolution of progressive rock.

Slava’s Snow Show musical: December 8-10

Kickstarting the theatre series is the enchanting “Slava’s Snow Show,” running from December 8-10, 2023. This whimsical performance promises a world awash in laughter and heartfelt emotion.

Tinariwen concert: December 12

On December 12, Tinariwen, a collective of Tuareg musicians from the Sahara region of northern Mali. They are considered pioneers of desert blues, a blend of West African traditional music and electrified rock’n’roll, directly evoking this feeling of longing.

Matteo Bocelli concert: December 21

On December 21, Matteo Bocelli, a rising star from the famed Bocelli lineage, brings his unique blend of classical and contemporary music, promising an evening of emotive and modern lyricism.

Teatro alla Scala Orchestra’s UAE Premiere: December 1

The celebrated Orchestra of the Teatro alla Scala in Milan will have its historical debut at Dubai Opera and present a memorable gala concert titled “A Concert for Tomorrow.” The concert aims to unite audiences in a powerful display of solidarity and hope in support of the global effort to protect the planet and safeguard the well-being of future generations.

This exclusive artistic event will feature a spectacular repertoire by Italian maestros such as Verdi Puccini and Mascagni. Conducted by Michele Gamba, renowned for his close association with La Scala and recent triumphs in New York and Washington, the event stars world-renowned soprano Aida Garifullina and acclaimed tenor Piero Pretti. The event is supported by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, the Italian Ministry of Culture and exclusively sponsored by Plenitude, an affiliate of the Italian energy company Eni.

The Nutcracker: December 15-17

From December 15-17, the Ballet Theatre and State Opera Orchestra of Astana (Kazakhstan) offer an enchanting rendition of “The Nutcracker,” inviting the Dubai Opera audience into a realm of magic.

A Cultural Symphony for New Beginnings: January 1

Inspired by Vienna’s iconic New Year concerts, Dubai Opera presents its own version on January 1, 2024. The event stars the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra under Music Director Julian Rachlin, a highly respected Austrian violinist and conductor, and features a diverse cast of singers from the Middle East. This cultural symphony heralds a new year of tolerance, inclusivity, and harmony.

Mike Oldfield’s Tubular Bells: January 12

Step into a sonic journey with Mike Oldfield’s “Tubular Bells” on January 12, 2024. Celebrating an album that revolutionised progressive rock, this evening offers an auditory tapestry that spans decades.

Ludovico Einaudi: January 19-21

The mesmerising Ludovico Einaudi returns for a three-night engagement from January 19-21, 2024. With previous shows sold out, anticipate another captivating evening of ethereal piano compositions.

The Little Prince: January 26-28

Experience the magic with an imaginative adaptation of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s timeless classic, “The Little Prince,” from January 26-28, 2024. Prepare to be transported into a universe filled with philosophical insights and wonder.

La Scala Theatre Ballet School Debut: February 17-18

Dubai Opera’s ballet series receives an extra dash of allure as the La Scala Theatre Ballet School from Milan, one of the globe’s preeminent classical ballet academies, makes its Dubai Opera debut on February 17-18, 2024. This prestigious academy has produced renowned A-list stars such as Roberto Bolle and Jacopo Tisci, both former Bolshoi principal dancers.

The Phantom of the Opera: February 22 to March 10, 2024

Back by popular demand, “The Phantom of the Opera” will enrapture spectators with its soul-stirring music and compelling narrative from February 22 to March 10, 2024.

Alice Sara Ott – Echoes of Life: April 24

On April 24, 2024, pianist Alice Sara Ott will transport audiences through a vivid emotional spectrum with ‘Echoes of Life,’ showcasing her contemporary interpretations of classical music.

Incognito: April 25

On April 25, 2024, the legendary British band Incognito will enliven the stage with their trademark fusion of jazz, funk, and soul, offering an electrifying experience that transcends generations.

MusicAeterna & Teodor Currentzis in the Middle East: April 27-28, 2024

In a groundbreaking regional first, MusicAeterna, one of the world’s most celebrated ensembles that constantly pushes the boundaries of its creative powers, will perform two concerts on April 27-28, 2024, dedicated to Tchaikovsky and Wagner. The ensemble is led by world-class conductor Teodor Currentzis, regarded as one of the most fascinating, respected, and musically extraordinary figures of the past five decades.

A Special Concert with Ravi Coltrane: April 30

Celebrate International Jazz Day with saxophonist Ravi Coltrane on April 30, 2024. Bearing the Coltrane legacy, Ravi offers a modern twist on traditional jazz themes, creating an innovative musical narrative.

Gidon Kremer & Kremerata Baltica: May 3

Concluding this chapter, Gidon Kremer and Kremerata Baltica perform on May 3, 2024, elevating the ageless beauty of classical chamber music.

Film Music Week: May 9-10

The curtain rises on the first-ever Film Music Week presented by Dubai Opera, a vibrant celebration dedicated to honouring iconic film composers.

Launching the series on May 9-10, 2024, is the “Official Concert Celebration of Ennio Morricone” paying tribute to one of cinema’s most revered composers, directed by Andrea Morricone, the late maestro’s son.

Star Wars: A New Hope: May 10

Following Film Music Week is the showing of blockbuster film “Star Wars: A New Hope”. The screening will be accompanied by live performances of John Williams’ and Hans Zimmers’ iconic scores.

Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of The Black Pearl: May 11

Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of The Black Pearl screens at Dubai Opera on May 11, accompanied by live performances of John Williams’ and Hans Zimmers’ iconic scores.

The week concludes with a nod to the unparalleled talent of Charlie Chaplin. Audiences will enjoy a screening of a Chaplin classic, The Kid, celebrating its score composed by Chaplin himself.

Chris Botti: May 19

Grammy-winning trumpet virtuoso Chris Botti performs on May 19, 2024, delivering an evening that oscillates between poignant ballads and vibrant jazz tunes.

Rome Opera Ballet’s UAE debut: on May 25-26

The Rome Opera Ballet, featuring Director and étoile Eleonora Abbagnato, takes centre stage in the UAE for the first time on May 25-26, 2024, with the exceptional performance “Les deux nuits,” complete with Dior-crafted costumes featuring the exquisite and opulent designs by Maria Grazia Chiuri, Dior’s creative director since 2016. These exquisite Dior designs exemplify the influence of haute couture and artistic expression on contemporary culture. ICA/Expat Media

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