Last night, October 27th, was our first time attending a performance at The Royal Opera House here in Muscat. It’s been open for 2 weeks now; officially opened by His Majesty to a privately invited audience on October 12th. (The 1st public performance was 2 days later on Oct. 14th) Tonight we attended The Opera House’s first official ballet. Oct 14-15 was Opera Turandot, Oct 18 was “Placido Domingo Sings to Oman” and Oct 21 was “Renee Fleming & Royal Philharmonic Orchestra“.
The Royal Opera House really looks spectacular at night!
These pics were taken with a simple 12.1 automatic Sony Cyber-Shot camera. Next time I’ll have to take my Canon EOS 500D (for outside pics, I mean).
Surprise! Surprise! They DO let you take your camera into the Opera House, as long as it’s a simple automatic camera and as long as you don’t take pics inside the main theatre! If you have any doubts, just make sure to ask before you take a pic.
Looking up in the main lobby. Here is a closer look…
The building is gorgeous, inside and out!
The Omanis in the Royal Opera House don’t mind folks taking pictures of them at all! (Except for the Royal Guards of Oman guarding the doors for security reasons)
There are impressive ancient musical instruments and pieces in the main lobby along the wall. It’s a museum-like collection and I’ve included a pic of these pottery serpents as I thought they were pretty neat.
There are plenty of friendly Omanis at the Opera House waiting to assist you in finding your seat!
Although people seem to disobey each and every rule in the cinemas of Oman, people were quite respectful during the performance at the opera house. We only noticed one family who tried taking photos inside the theatre (before the 1st act and only of one another it should be mentioned). The manner in which the Omani guard approached them respectfully and simply reminded them that photography was prohibited was impressive. A fair bit of coughing went on during the 2nd act, but what can you do? 🙂
Here are the choices for snacks during the intermission. My honey had Combo #2 (RO 5/combo) and loved the chicken sandwich. The brownie was delicious and went down well with my coffee. Be warned that the 20-minute intermission is over before you know it. Just enough time to go to the toilet, stand in line for a snack and once you’ve paid and are ready to enjoy, they’re telling you to get back in the theatre! 🙂
Lovely costumes! Most people were dressed to the nines! There were a very people who came in jeans but you could sense that some of them felt uncomfortable like they made a bad choice in what to wear. There were some very smartly dressed people (especially the ladies!) and the men that were wearing tuxs (2 or 3 that we saw) looked fantastic. It was nice to see so many familar faces; a lot of the same faces we would see at the Al Bustan Palace performances.
There are lovely paintings in several of the hallways of the opera house.
Even the toilet signs are magnificent! 🙂 No detail too small!
My wife took this photo. Imagine me getting arrested by the Royal Guards of Oman for trying to take a photo outside the ladies restroom! 🙂 No thanks!
One of my favorite pics of the evening! 🙂
The gorgeous cover of the program/programme. (RO 2) Photo: Mira. Cover Design: Maria Riccetto and Sascha Radetsky. I highly recommend picking up a program for any show you may attend as it gives vital background info such as the Synopsis, profiles on the principal dancers and more! The full title of “Don Quixote” is actually “Don Quixote: The Outlandish Comedy of Kitri’s Wedding”. ROHM programmers requested this comedic ballet because “It’s a very accessible ballet, and the humor is universal“.
This gorgeous photo taken by Fabrizio Ferri (one of many fabulous pics in the program) is of the talented, principal dancer, Paloma Herrara. She’s originally from Buenos Aires, Argentina and has been with the American Ballet Theatre (ABT) since 1991. Principal since 1995. She really is a magnificent dancer to behold! The male principal dancer (for 2 of the 3 performances in Oman), Cory Stearns from Mattituck, New York, was also fantastic.
This was my first time watching a professional ballet performance and it was an amazing experience! The wonderful thing about watching a ballet is that you get a top notch orchestra (in this case “The State Hermitage Orchestra”) and incredible dancing, all in one show on one ticket for one price! 🙂
It was like we were transported to another world. It was unlike anything I’ve ever seen before. The way the dancers could capture so much emotion in dance and even in their facial gestures at just the right moment. It was truly a mesmerizing and enchanting evening. In Act II there were 2 slight mishaps. One of the female dancers quickly slipped but it was barely noticeable and she didn’t lose her composure. Near the end of the act, one of the male actor’s mustache began to slowly become unglued and started giving him problems. These human moments made it all the more exciting to see, knowing that such a phenomenal performance, like life, is prone to unexpected occurences and it’s thrilling to watch the actors adapt accordingly. One of my favorite scenes was “Scene 2: The Dream” during Act II in which “Don Quixote has an enchanted dream of beautiful maidens…” The timing and choreography in this scene was dreamlike and the way the ladies could dance on the tips of their toes is beyond description!
I remember seeing the time breakdown above and thinking that “it was going to be a long evening” but the time fly by so quickly as we were entertained so brilliantly by this talented group of performers.
A marvelous 1st night for us at the Muscat Royal Opera House!
They sell this lovely set of 12 postcards at the Royal Opera House for only 3 rials! They are beautiful shots and I highly recommend picking up this great souvenir.
To buy tickets for the Royal Opera House Muscat, first check out which shows haven’t been sold out on their website. My hat’s off to those of you who were wise enough to buy all the tickets before the performances were sold out!