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The Macedonian Philharmonic Orchestra will perform in the new opera house in Oman

In January, the Macedonian Philharmonic Orchestra will perform in Muscat, the capital of the Arab country of Oman in the the new architectural building that stirred sensation.

The new opera haus in Oman

After many years of interlude, the Macedonian Philharmonic Orchestra will tour abroad in January. The first visit will be in Muscat, the capital of the Arab country Oman, where our Philharmonic will stage the concerts in the new, recently opened opera house, which will also host the prestigious orchestras of Vienna, London Philharmonic Orchestra, the American Ballet, the Marine Theatre during this season. The opening of the new opera house in Oman, which happened  in October, was a great sensation because of the exceptional architecture of the building. The Macedonian Philharmonic will be the first cultural institution of our country, which will visit the Arab country officially called the Sultanate of Oman.

Previously, our Philharmonic performances abroad were realized only through the Chamber Orchestra. In the last two decades the international tours were really rare, compared to the period between the 1960’s and 1970’s when the Macedonian Philharmonic had many tours especially in the European countries. Therefore, the visit in Oman is of utmost importance for this institution.

It is yet unknown with which repertoire will the Philharmonic Orchestra present itself  in front of the Arab audience, or who will be the conductor and soloist, but the very fact that they  will perform on the same stage where the  world’s top ensembles will give concerts,  is considered as a prestige by itself.

The new opera building in Oman, however, was formally opened on 16 October with the  opera performance of  “Turandot” by Puccini, directed by the eminent  Franco Zefireli, under the conductor’s baton of Placido Domingo. This institution was launched with great fanfare and all the present guest unanimously named it as the new sensation of Muscat. The beautiful opera house, as its written in the foreign newspapers, is the first in the Arab States of the Persian Gulf and only third in the Arab world after the failed and almost forgotten ones  in Cairo and Damascus. As a lover of the classical music, Sultan Qaboos – the monarch of Oman with visionary ideas, is determined to contribute to the place where the children will learn about the world art, but will also respect and create their own opera house, ballet and theater.

Many of the guests at the opening of the opera house looked at this place as a meeting point between the East and the West – but not in the usual superficial meaning of this phrase. Because of the Sultan fascination with the Western classical music and his commitment to the development of his country, he supports the idea that the opera house will serve as a center of grandeur that will enrich their lives through the culture and promote the timeless values.

The great opera singer Placido Domingo, who performed at the opening of “Turandot” by Puccini, said: “We are very grateful that the Sultan Qaboos presented  us with this opportunity. It is a very important step for the world and a huge honor for us.”

The roof of the new opera building can be used for small performances, and also the garden.  The Sultan has its own entrance, and of course a private VIP cabin. It is expected that the exterior part of the opera will be used for gatherings to inform the people about their history and the students are also welcomed. Its predicted that Oman will become a hub not only for Arab and foreign art, but for the small industries, where the Oman art masters who prepared the beautiful artwork for the house will also create stage decorations for the other operas. All the people involved in the planning and the design await the day when the Oman artists will run the house and stage their own productions.

The Macedonian Philharmonic Orchestra is also waiting for the new opera building, which is currently constructed in Skopje. The new building of the Philharmonic will have two concert halls, training halls, wardrobes, restaurant, shop for music literature and music. The great concert hall will have a capacity of 1,000 to 1,200 seats and the small one with 300 seats is designed for chamber music.

Tina Ivanova