Saudi Arabia's first grand opera debuts this April

Saudi Arabia's first grand opera debuts this April

The King Fahad Cultural Centre will host the world premiere of Zarqa Al Yamama, Saudi Arabia's first grand opera
25 March 24

From April 25 to May 4, the world premiere of Zarqa Al Yamama, Saudi Arabia's inaugural grand opera, will take place at the 2700-seat King Fahad Cultural Centre.

The distinguished performance features an original score by composer Lee Bradshaw. The vocal cast is led by mezzo-soprano Dame Sarah Conolly, with the playwright by Saleh Zamanan, a Saudi poet, with performances by Saudi musicians including Sawsan Al-Bahiti and Khayran Al-Zahrani.

The inaugural ceremony of the first and biggest Arab show, Zarqa Al-Yamamah Opera was held at Goldsmiths Hall in London in February, by the Theatre and Performing Arts Commission, under the patronage of the Minister of Culture Bader bin Farhan Al Saud.

Beginning on April 25, the King Fahad Cultural Centre will present a theatrical production of a timeless narrative revolves around a renowned pre-Islamic figure. The production will feature exceptional performances by both Saudi and international artists. The central figure, Zarqa Al Yamama, is portrayed as a wise and insightful woman from the Geddes tribe, striving to guide her people through a series of dramatic events hinting at an approaching apocalypse.

Known for her striking blue eyes and remarkable long-range vision, Zarqa AlYamama is celebrated for her unique qualities. This opera marks the pioneering exploration of blending Arabic and Western musical elements, making it a valuable and culturally significant addition to the world's artistic repertoire.

Earlier this year, the Royal Commission for Riyadh City announced the development of the Royal Diriyah Opera House in collaboration with Diriyah Company.

The opera house, which spans over 45,000 square meters, will be near the UNESCO World Heritage Site, At-Turaif. This esteemed venue aims to become a global hub attracting top talents within performing arts, music, and opera, offering visitors and locals an unparalleled cultural encounter.

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