The Nutcracker at Royal Opera House Muscat & First Look at Opera Galleria

opera house dec 27

Dec. 27th, a rainy night at the Royal Opera House Muscat.  Just 2 days after Christmas, it was a great experience watching The Grand Moscow Classical Ballet of Natalya Kasatkina and Vladimir Vasilyov perform “The Nutcracker“!rainy day at opera house

program coverprogrammecastThe performance was something else. Almost impossible to put into words.  I’ll allow some of these pics provided by the Royal Opera House Muscat’s facebook page to tell the tale:68901_501800059865118_2097146076_n










Not a bad way to spend the last Thursday of 2012! 🙂  Here are other performances coming up in January and February at the Opera House in Muscat:future performances

A few more pics from our night at the Nutcracker:me and wifey at opera house

Nice background at the front door of the Opera House which was popular for pics.chanceliers in opera house

more vertical shot

lantern on ceiling

Candelier and ceiling in the entrance facing Sultan Qaboos Road which is where they now sell snacks on the ground options

This was the 1st and only performance my wife and I attended this season.  The food selection has changed. Now you order per item rather than in a box set like before.  I noticed that the price of coffees and such has gone done from 1 rial to 500 baizas; probably due to the competition from the nearby coffeeshops available in Opera Galleria.entrance to Opera Galleria

Speaking of the Opera Galleria, we managed to take a walk through for the first time since it recently opened and we are impressed!inside mall

The mall looks fantastic inside.  We thought the lighting and atmosphere inside More Cafe was especially nice and of all people, we managed to talk to the Head Chef, Tyron Lumley, for a moment.  Expect a Friday buffet writeup soon from there! (Only 9 rials/person!)Opera Galleria in light rain

As always, a wonderful evening at Royal Opera House Muscat! Have any of you been inside the Opera Galleria recently?  If so, what do you think of the selection of restaurants/coffeeshops and shops?

16 responses to “The Nutcracker at Royal Opera House Muscat & First Look at Opera Galleria

  1. Thank God they have Westerners willing to design, build and engineer their construction. Otherwise you may be enjoying the nutcracker in a bedouine tent somewhere in the desert!

    • Little bit of “Western idol worship” there? Let’s not forget that this Opera House was part of the vision of HM Sultan Qaboos, designed in Omani architecture by AECOM which is an international company with 45,000 employees worldwide and most importantly, it was built primarily by workers from India, Bangladesh and Pakistan. ROHM is an international collaboration that shows us how cultures can work together to create beautiful edifices and beautiful music in a spirit of tolerance and cooperation.

      • Let’s not be pretentious of Arab “achievements”. No achievements, only oil money.

        AECOM is an American company, with a branch in the Middle East. They get massive contracts to create the design, concept, plans and construction through Arabia to emulate Western design. I know the building contracts go to Arab companies to cut costs, by hiring 80%+ cheap labor from third world countries – that are more often than not stripped off their passports, kept in slavelike conditions and often not paid wages, or paying them extremely little. A foreign company would not be able to do that, so the construction itself is done by Arab companies with foreign engineering:

        Beautiful building for sure. Enjoy it. It was built by human slaves. There is also a huge use of human slaves working in homes who can’t leave (but Arabs will deny it to outsiders!).

        Arabs all know foreigners create these beautiful projects for them on hired contracts. It’s nearly always based on copycatting what they see on their foreign travels, except they tend to ask for an Arab flair to the design. It’s thanks to the West (mainly the US and UK) that the entire deserts have been modernized. You’d be riding to work on a camel otherwise…

        Switzerland has now been handed a contract (based on their own invention) to artificially create rain clouds over Arabia so they can generate more greenery. That’s in the making. Maybe you’ve even heard of it. So let’s give credit to those who are truly worthy of it.

  2. You are both idiots. AECOM had nothing to do with the ROH or the Galleria. The conceptual design was by WATG, the Engineer was Cowi and Partners, and the MEP design was done by Majan Engineering Consultants.The main Contractor was Carillion Alawi, who, of all the Contractors in Oman, are one of the better Contractors and treat their employees a lot better than many other firms here.

    Furthermore, AECOM are only in Oman by way of a purchased consulting company providing project management and quantity surveying – that may well change in the near future, but for the last 5 years (when the ROH was being built) it was certainly not AECOM that ran the ROH.

    Admin: AECOM don’t “get” massive contracts – they bid on them and win them by providing the best design/price/service and get selected. The only involvement that AECOM has with the ROH is that one of it’s purchased companies, Davis Langdon (who by the way don’t have an office in Oman), won a Contract to develop and provide Facilities Management of the existing building back in 2010, ie right before completion of the job.

    And as for the galleria… its empty except for mOre and that french place at the bottom of the escalator by the entrance.

    Andy – it is strictly against Google’s terms and conditions to have their adverts served on a page with other adverts on it – just a warning.

    • Hey Sythe,
      I already told how I feel about the use of the “idiot” word on the blog and thanks for the tweeted apology. As I told you, one of AECOM’s websites mentioned their work with ROHM (,+Muscat,+Oman). My point was not to lay out in minute detail the steps of design and construction, but to point out to “admin” that it was most assuredly not a “strictly Western enterprise”.

      As for Opera Galleria, I don’t know if you have been there recently but there is a french coffee shop on the ground floor, More Cafe, the indus restaurant and a number of shops selling luxury chocolates, watches and other items. It may not be started up 100% but it is “open”.

      I’m not exactly sure why you’re warning me about Google’s terms and conditions when I am not part of Google Ads. I tried it out for 2 months almost a year ago but stopped after finding out they wanted to pay me something like $4 US/month for a crazy number of ads. There are basic ads that appear on any number of blogs and websites but this does not mean the person has entered any contract with Google. So, thanks for the “warning” but it doesn’t apply to my blog whatsoever.

  3. Your blog is serving WordAds via WordPress. Word Ads provides ads via Adsense (and also a few other providers).

    • WordAds is something bloggers can sign up for. When they do, there are certain terms of service and limitations. Here’s how the wording begins: “Automattic reserves the right to display advertisements on your blog unless you have purchased an Ad-free Upgrade or a VIP Services account; provided that if you have been invited to participate in and have opted into our WordAds program (“WordAds”), and your participation in WordAds has not been terminated, then the following terms shall apply instead:”… Many bloggers including myself find the limitations too restrictive and have opted out after giving it a try. As I mentioned before, I am not signed up for WordAds and receive no money for any of the adsense (or WordAds) that WordPress randomly puts up on my blog (and others). Thanks for the concern.

  4. Andy: What a beautiful Ballet. I always wish I had gone after the fact when I see your photos Andy.

    Sythe: Thanks again for clarifying about the contracters here on the public forum space.

    • Thanks, Princess! People who know opera say that this interpretation was a big change from the traditional version of Nutcracker so some say it wasn’t the best, but the wife and I enjoyed it! Wishing you all the best in 2013! Happy New Year!

  5. I was in Muscat for two days (Oman Air break) and I visited the ROH on 27.12.2012 by a performance from the Nutcracker. The ROH is a phantastic building and a cultural project too. Muscat’s people is most friendly and well educated. This eperience was for me very interessting.

    • DiStein,
      Glad to hear you managed to visit ROHM on such a short trip and had such a great experience. Thanks for commenting!

  6. as well I m thinking to come back, perhaps to work for a short time period

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