Muscat: The Royal Opera House Muscat will add three more performances, extending the current season into May, its director general announced at press conference.
The additions include the Latvian National Opera production of Richard Wagner's opera The Flying Dutchman, ballet and tango from Argentina's Teatro Colón Permanent Ballet Company, and vibrant, theatrical production called Kan Ya Ma Kan (Once Upon A Time) from the Lebanese company Caracalla Dance Theatre.
"We've had a very successful season with a great response and great variety, and most international companies perform from September to May. We are very happy to add now another month of unique, diverse and world-class performances by three first rate companies," Christina Scheppelmann, Director General of the ROHM, told journalists.
The ROHM will join other opera houses around the world in celebrating the 200th anniversary of Wagner's birth with The Flying Dutchman, an opera about a legendary ghost ship.
It will be the first time a full-scale Wagner opera is performed in the region, and the German composer was once the musical director of the Latvian National Opera in Riga, which will makes this extra special, Scheppelmann added.
"It's a very beautiful, striking opera. Riga has a long tradition of strong Wagnerian voices," she said. Bringing in an audience favourite, the ROHM invited the Teatro Colón Permanent Ballet Company from Buenos Aires to showcase not just ballet, but also tango, which is always a hit here. The company will present three dances, one set to the classical strings of Antonio Vivaldi, one modern dance, and one tango.
"I know what is always well-received here is tango. It will add to the heat we have in May anyway," Scheppelmann said.
To finish the season on a high note, the Caracalla Dance Theatre will present a diverse, colourful evening of music and dance that blends Eastern and Western styles. Music by the European composers Rimsky-Korsakov and Maurice Ravel will be played with traditional Arab instruments like the kanun, and there will be Arabic songs, too, including some by Huda Haddad Ziade, sister of the legendary Lebanese diva Fairuz.
"We would like to close the season with something big. The Caracalla Dance Theatre is really a wonderful company that has performed in most capitals of the world," said Dr. Issam El Mallah, Advisor for Programming and Events at the ROHM.
The selections for May reflect the ROHM's aim of showcasing a diverse mix of performing arts, and also reflect some of the more popular genres among the audiences. Opera and dance tend to sell very well in Muscat, Scheppelmann said.
The Flying Dutchman by Richard Wagner: May 8 and 10 at 7pm
Permanent Ballet Company of Teatro Colón: May 15 and 16 at7:30 pm; May 16 at 2pm. Kan Ya Ma Kan (Once Upon a Time) by Caracalla Dance Theatre: May 28, 29 and 30 at 7:30pm. Tickets for the additional shows can be purchased at the ROHM box office or online at www.rohmuscat.org.om.