Curtain to rise on first Emirati opera

    Expo 2020 commissions nation’s first opera, a cultural milestone written by Emirati talent and performed by a global cast

    It’s only fitting that a culture steeped in history and an event where heritage will blend with inclusivity and innovation should be celebrated through fine art.

    That’s exactly what audiences can expect in October 2020 when, aligning with the opening of the six-month Expo 2020, the first Emirati opera hits the stage.

    Al Wasl, which means ‘the connection’ in Arabic, will bring a thousand years of culture to life, showcasing the UAE’s unique heritage from its Bedouin roots to forward-thinking, modern multicultural hub.

    With music by award-winning composer Mohammed Fairouz and dialogue penned by best-selling author Maha Gargash, the two-hour opera will be performed in both Arabic and English at Dubai Opera.

    Renowned for works including Sumeida’s Song, The New Prince, and Bhutto, Fairouz’s compositions traverse geopolitical and philosophical themes and have received rave reviews from critics who have hailed him as one of the most important composers of our generation.

    Through her acclaimed novels, That Other Me and The Sand Fish, Gargash is known for her ability to craft thought-provoking narratives that feature vivid intricacies of Khaleeji culture and life in Dubai.

    Al Wasl, produced in collaboration with Welsh National Opera, will be the result of collaboration between more than 100 Emirati and global artists and musicians as well as a production team of 70 professionals.

    A cultural milestone for the UAE and Expo 2020, Al Wasl will support the country’s flourishing arts industry and celebrate the first ever World Expo to be held in the Arab World.

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