STATEMENT: The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia presents Zarqa Al Yamama, the inaugural Grand Arab Opera

(Information sent by the signatory company).

STATEMENT: The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia presents Zarqa Al Yamama, the inaugural Grand Arab Opera

(Information sent by the signatory company)

LONDON, February 21, 2024 /PRNewswire/ -- Zarqa Al Yamama, the first Grand Opera produced by the Saudi Commission for Theater and Performing Arts, one of the 11 sector-specific commissions under the Ministry of Culture, was presented internationally at an event exclusive at London's historic Goldsmiths' Hall.

Zarqa Al Yamama, the first Grand Opera in Arabic, opening to the public in Riyadh in April 2024, will feature locally trained artists alongside international artists to tell the legend of the heroine who was blessed with the gift of foresight. Attendees at the London event were treated to a special presentation and musical preview of the grand opera, which featured a state-of-the-art theatrical production filled with sweeping orchestral movements and spellbinding choral performances.

Reflecting on the international launch of Zarqa Al Yamama, Sultan Al-Bazie, CEO of the Theater and Performing Arts Commission, added:

''We are proud to unveil the legend of Zarqa Al Yamama in London, recognized around the world as a leading city of international arts and culture, and we are excited to welcome global audiences to Riyadh this April for the premiere of the opera. "Performances like these will inspire the creation of even more spectacular productions and the beginning of more Saudi works to be produced."

The audience also enjoyed an introduction to the adaptation of the legend of Zarqa Al Yamama by Saudi writer and poet Saleh Zamanan, as well as a presentation of the opera's music by Ivan Vukcevic, CEO of Arabian Opera.

Principal cast members Dame Sarah Connolly, the world-famous mezzo-soprano who leads the production in the title role of Zarqa Al Yamama, as well as sopranos Amelia Wawrzon and Sawsan Albahiti. The audience marveled at Amelia and Sawsan's special performance of the score composed by the renowned Lee Bradshaw.

The opera will be performed by the internationally acclaimed Dresdner Sinfoniker, conducted by noted conductor Pablo González, with vocal accompaniment from the Czech Philharmonic Choir of Brno. World-renowned stage director Daniele Finzi Pasca, producer of major events such as Cirque du Soleil and two Winter Olympic ceremonies, has devised the opera's impressive staging and special effects.

Through the production of works such as Zarqa Al Yamama, the Theater and Performing Arts Commission creates opportunities for emerging artists to showcase their talents locally and internationally, sets a standard for future productions, encourages international cultural exchange and represents a important step in the future development of the Kingdom's opera industry.

Media contacts: The Communication Group plc, 020 7630 1411,

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