Dubai: celebrities, classical music legends in Dresden …


(MENAFN – Khaleej Times)

Posted: Mon Jan 10, 2022, 7:58 PM

Classical music, world cultures, famous guests and a great European ball. Dubai is unlikely to have seen anything like the Dresden Opera Ball, which will be held on March 14.

The historic cultural event seeks to unite world cultures through a fusion of music and dance.

The Dubai Opera will host the gala event based on the Semper Opera Ball, the largest classical entertainment event in the German-speaking world which debuted in 2006.


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The last Dresden Opera Ball was held in the magnificent Catherine Palace in St. Petersburg, Russia. Now it’s Dubai’s turn to host this celebration of music, dance and sophistication.

Plácido Domingo, Fatma Said, René Pape, Valeriya, Svetlana Zakharova, Vadim Repin, Fabio Mastrangelo and Dresden Chamber Orchestra will perform at this landmark event.

A red carpet reception begins at 6 p.m., before VIP guests arrive at the Dubai Opera for a gala dinner, classical music performances by the world’s best musicians, and elegant dances in the style of European balls. traditional.

The event is a tribute to the UAE’s one-year Golden Jubilee celebrations that culminated on December 2, 2021, and aims to inject a European flair into modern musical and artistic performances in the Arab world.

Khaleej Times spoke with Hans-Joachim Frey, a German cultural manager; the president and artistic director of the Dresden Semper Opera Ball Association; the artistic director of the Sirius Foundation, Talent and Success; and advisor to the director general of the Bolshoi Theater in Moscow.

Here are some edited excerpts from the interview:

How was the Semper Opera Ball in Dresden born?

Hans Joachim Frey: The Semper Opera Ball in Dresden is the largest classical entertainment event in the German-speaking world and has become one of the most important ballroom events in Europe. Last September, around 2,500 indoor guests and up to 15,000 visitors in front of the famous Semper Opera House together celebrated a glittering prom night in St. Petersburg, amidst stars, starlets and prominent guests from politics, business, culture and society. From the arrival on the red carpet to the opening gala and the chic midnight concert, the last ball of the Semper opera was broadcast live on German television for five hours, wowing audiences across Germany and Europe with its high artistic quality program.

In recent years, artists appearing at the Semper Opera Ball have included world famous stars like Yusif Eyvasov, Denis Matsuev, Diana Damrau, Aida Garifullina, Joyce DiDonato, José Carreras, Georg Zeppenfeld, Sonya Yoncheva, Julia Lezhneva, Vittoria Grigolo, Rene Pape, Jonas Kaufmann, Sergei Roldugin and newcomers to the classical music scene and renowned hall ensembles. The opening program brings together the best of the world of opera in a production that connects genres and trends with its power and flair, because Dresden is the meeting place of the world of classical music.

Each year, around 100 young ladies and gentlemen make their Semper Opera Ball debut in uniform debutante outfits designed for the occasion. The choreography, rehearsed especially for the Semper Opera Ball, is the festive highlight of the opening program.

This diverse cultural program is complemented by innovative new compositions and choreographies created especially for the evening, ensuring entertainment for the discerning audience of the annual Semper Opera Ball, which has been held in Dresden annually since 2006.

How is the Dresden Opera Ball in Saint Petersburg a unique event? When did it start?

Frey: On August 31, 2019, the premiere of the Dresden Opera Ball was held in St. Petersburg with an excellent gala performance in the traditional Mikhailovsky Theater, before all the guests walked through the Place des Arts to the nearby St. Petersburg Philharmonic to enjoy the spectacular opening of the ball. and a multi-course gala dinner. The great success of this German-Russian event, which was broadcast on television in both countries, aroused great desire for a spectacular rehearsal and a new tradition was born.

The Dresden Opera Ball has found an excellent new venue with the famous Catherine the Great in St. Petersburg. The former Tsar’s residence with its imposing palace complex and magnificent golden halls provided the perfect atmosphere for an extraordinary ball night. The Dresden Opera Ball in St. Petersburg on September 4, 2021 was set up with the aim of supporting and expanding Russian-German relations. The event brings together twin cities – Dresden and Saint Petersburg – making a significant contribution to improving the popularity of classical music and having a considerable impact on the development of international cultural cooperation. Visitors from both countries celebrate together a fantastic ballroom evening in front of the palace with open-air stage, in all the golden halls and in the palace gardens with large fireworks.

The concept was brought to Russia by me. My team and I started and developed in Dresden the biggest classical entertainment event in German-speaking countries: the Dresden Semper Opera Ball. My company, Dresden Opera Ball, aims to organize similar and grandiose cultural events around the world, such as in St. Petersburg and the United Arab Emirates. We aim to build bridges between cultures and peoples.

How does the Dresden Opera House create unforgettable shared experiences by introducing classical European ballroom culture to a luxurious Arab environment?

Frey: The Dresden Opera Ball in the United Arab Emirates will be a meeting of great cultural nations and an incomparable experience conceived and staged by the creators of the famous Semper Opera Ball – a project proposed to support and expand German ties , Europeans, Russians and Arabs. Dresden Opera Ball bridges the gap by bringing classical European ball culture to life in the luxurious and splendid Arabian atmosphere of the United Arab Emirates.

The Dresden Opera Ball is dedicated to the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Germany and the United Arab Emirates.

The Dresden Opera Ball brings leading European and Russian artists to the United Arab Emirates for a spectacular multicultural experience featuring top talent to celebrate German, European, Russian and Arab culture in one hall on March 14 . The Dresden Opera Ball in the United Arab Emirates welcomes tourists and residents interested in cultural bridges and classic entertainment to celebrate a unique premium event.

Who will be performing at the Dresden Opera Ball?

Frey: Fabio Mastrangelo – Russia’s most sought-after Italian-born conductor – will wield the baton of an international orchestra with musicians from Dresden accompanying awe-inspiring performances such as world-class tenor Plácido Domingo, the exceptional Egyptian soprano Fatma Said, Moscow Bolshoi Theater Principal Dancer Svetlana Zakharova and Russian violinist Vadim Repin. Russian pop singer Valeriya will also perform on the occasion.

How were the reactions to the upcoming event?

Frey: Ticket sales started in Dubai on December 6 and the response has been overwhelming. We are also expecting several visitors from Germany and Russia. We are working in close coordination with the German government to make the event a gala success as we celebrate the UAE’s Golden Jubilee and the young nation’s young and friendly ties with Germany.


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