The Saudi Theater and Performing Arts Commission has unveiled the launch of the international ticketing website for Zarqa Al Yamama, marking the debut of Saudi Arabia’s inaugural grand opera.

Through its official statement, Sultan Al-Bazie, CEO of the Theater and Performing Arts Commission, commented: 

“We are delighted to share this historic moment in Saudi Arabia’s cultural journey with international audiences. It is with great excitement that we introduce Zarqa Al Yamama, and welcome audiences from around the globe to discover this captivating tale. Zarqa Al Yamama represents a phenomenal opportunity to showcase the deep national heritage of the Saudi art scene, foster international cultural exchange, and launch a new, exciting generation of Saudi talent onto the world stage”.

Zarqa Al Yamama: The Cultural Grandeur

This new grand opera, Zarqa Al Yamama marks a milestone in cultural exchange for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. 

Saudi-born talent joins forces with international stars, creating a captivating operatic experience. The award-winning Saudi poet and playwright Saleh Zamanan penned the libretto, bringing a powerful local voice to the forefront.

On top of that, The Theater and Performing Arts Commission assembled a world-class team to bring Zamanan’s vision to life. Led by the Creative Director Ivan Vukcevic, this assembly of leading international classical music specialists and artists will collaborate seamlessly with Saudi talent. Together, they will deliver a stunning series of performances showcasing the best of both worlds.

A Tapestry of Sound

Lee Bradshaw, Dame Sarah Connolly and Reemaz Oqbi. Image Source: Zarqa Al Yamama
Lee Bradshaw Dame Sarah Connolly and Reemaz Oqbi Image Source Zarqa Al Yamama

In addition, Australian maestro Lee Bradshaw composes the original music score for the opera. Bradshaw draws inspiration from both the grandeur of classical symphonies and the rich tapestry of Arabic music, creating a truly unique soundscape. 

Further, leading the vocal cast is the world-renowned mezzo-soprano, Dame Sarah Connolly. Notably, she shares the stage with a rising generation of Saudi talent, including Khayran Alzahrani, Reemaz Oqbi, and Sawsan Al-Bahiti, alongside other international stars.

This remarkable collaboration marks a significant milestone in the development of Saudi Arabia’s national music program.

A World-Class Production Team

Bringing  Zarqa Al Yamama to life is a powerhouse team of international talent. The acclaimed Dresdner Sinfoniker orchestra, under the baton of esteemed conductor Pablo González, provides a rich orchestral foundation. As well, the renowned Czech Philharmonic Choir further complements their performance, adding depth and beauty to the vocal elements.

Apart from that, the production is entrusted to the world-renowned creative stage director Daniele Finzi Pasca, known for his stunning work on major international arts events. This collaborative force promises a truly world-class operatic experience.

Zarqa Al Yamama: A New Dawn for Saudi Arts

The launch of the international ticketing website marks a turning point for Saudi Arabia’s cultural landscape. This grand opera is not just a performance; it’s a celebration of artistic heritage and a bold step forward for the nation’s arts scene. 

As Saudi Arabia carves its path in the world of theatre and performing arts, Zarqa Al Yamama ignites excitement and anticipation. It’s a powerful testament to the Kingdom’s commitment to fostering creativity, diversity, and artistic excellence on a global stage.

Image Source: Zarqa Al Yamama
Ticket booking is now live for Zarqa Al Yamama Image Source Zarqa Al Yamama

Ticket Booking is Now Live for Zarqa Al Yamama

The opera debuts on Thursday, 25th April 2024, at the 2,700-seat King Fahad Cultural Centre, Riyadh, and will run for a series of ten performances, closing on Saturday 4 May 2024.  

Tickets for Zarqa Al Yamama are on sale starting from 100 SAR/£20/$26 and can be booked via the official website:

About The Theater and Performing Arts Commission

The Theater and Performing Arts Commission is one of 11 sector-specific commissions under the Ministry of Culture. Founded in 2020, it is leading the further development of the performing arts sector in Saudi Arabia. The Commission is working towards enhancing the sector’s infrastructure by refining the quality of content, increasing local production, supporting talent, and creating opportunities for cultural exchange.

To learn more about the Theater and Performing Arts Commission, visit the Commission’s website and page on X at @MOCPerformArt.

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