On the following night – on Thursday – the Royal Oman Symphony Orchestra (ROSO) celebrates its 30th anniversary with a special concert in honour of the sultanate. Both events start at 7pm.
Kaufmann is renowned for his incredibly powerful voice, extraordinary singing technique, impeccable musicianship and versatility as a performer. Singing in the world’s most prestigious houses including the Metropolitan Opera, La Scala, and Covent Garden, Kaufmann is in great demand globally – and now makes what is sure to be a sensational debut at the ROHM.
It also represents an artistic coup for Oman. Kaufmann’s star just keeps rising, and last weekend he made his debut at the Last Night of the Proms concert televised live from London’s famous Royal Albert Hall.
Critics are unusually generous in their praise of Kaufmann. Remarks by Neil Fisher of The Times are typical, “When Kaufmann launches into his opening aria it’s as though the sun has come out: with his convincingly heroic presence, and the sheer beauty of his singing, he simply brings the house down.”
And Michael Roddy of Reuters comments, "...the melting beauty of Kaufmann’s intonation and the nuance of his phrasing are sublime.”
Others have noted that Kaufmann has some qualities from each of The Three Tenors (Luciano Pavarotti, José Carreras and Placido Domingo).
In a truly wonderful programme of famous arias, interspersed with beautiful orchestral preludes and overtures, Kaufmann sings selections from Puccini, Verdi, Bizet, and Massenet, among others.
Music lovers can look forward to hearing arias such as the hauntingly beautiful Recondita armonia (Strange and lovely harmony) from Puccini’s Tosca, and the intensely passionate, lyrical La fleur que to m'avais jetee (The flower you three to me) from Bizet’s Carmen.
The concert culminates what is undoubtedly opera’s best loved tenor aria - Nessun Dorma (None Shall Sleep) from Puccini’s Turandot, the magnificent opera that was selected for the 2011 inauguration of the Royal Opera House and which returns to the ROHM next month.
The remarkable story of the development of a very fine professional symphony orchestra starting thirty years ago in 1985 with potentially talented, but completely untrained and inexperienced children from the towns and villages of Oman represents a dream come true.
It is also a testament to the tremendous and well-justified faith that His Majesty Sultan
Qaboos bin Said has in the abilities of people of Oman. ROSO was the first Western-style symphonic orchestra composed entirely of nationals to be established in the region; and currently consists of 120 dedicated musicians who keep delighting audiences with their ever increasing mastery.
This very special Anniversary Concert features a range of inspiring compositions dedicated to Oman, including a world premiere of music written for His Majesty the Sultan.
ROSO’s first conductor, John Georgiades returns to lead the Orchestra once again. The programme on September 17 includes pieces by Aziz al Shawan and Youssuf Shawki (Omani Symphonic Dances, Symphonic Suite Omanyah, Oman Symphony), Lalo Shifrin (Symphonic Impression of Oman) and Shirvani Chalaev (A Way to Oman).
The launch of the new 2015-16 Season this week at the ROHM promises to be heart-warming as well as exciting.
Umberto Fanni , ROHM’s acting director general and artistic, said, “In 2015-2016 Muscat will again stand among leading institutions as a world capital for the performing arts.
As a new institution, the Royal Opera House Muscat can be proud of its record in bringing the world to Oman, as we deepen intracultural exchange and understanding through the performing arts, with the aim of contributing to world peace and harmony according to the wise vision of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said.
“Also of prime importance is the provision of employment for young Omanis who are proudly taking on jobs at the ROHM in management, administration and public relations, as well as in the various technical areas of theatre. “In the new 2015-2016 Season we are presenting only what is new, original, and of exceptional quality.”