The opening of Dubai Opera in 2016 put the city well and truly on the cultural map and since then the dunes have been positively alive with the sound of music. This year promises to be an exciting year with a number of theatrical performances already confirmed across the city, so we’ve rounded up the best of the bunch so you can start dotting a bit of culture among the brunches, ladies’ nights, boat parties, you get the gist…
Alice in Wonderland We love a trip to Wonderland, especially when it’s for a good cause. This month 130 Ballet Centre students will take to the stage at DUCTAC theatre with proceeds from the show being donated for cancer research. The ballet rendition of the classic show features students aged seven to 20, and combines ballet, tap and modern styles. We can’t wait to see Alice throw it down. From Dhs125. Jan 19, 3pm-6pm. Centrepoint Theatre, DUCTAC, Mall of the Emirates, www.ductac.org.
Äida The Polish National Opera will be landing in Dubai next month for a tragic tale of forbidden love, just in time for Valentine’s Day. The story follows that of Nubian princess Äida and a fit Egyptian warrior Radamès who have to decide between love and loyalty to their respective countries. There’s also a jealous betrothed lurking around (tut, Radamès) and the promise of much drama. We are rubbing our hands at the prospect. The show will be performed at the Dubai Opera, and is the work of composer Guiseppe Verdi. We can’t wait to see the action unfold. From Dhs350. Feb 14-17 8pm. Dubai Opera, Downtown Dubai www.dubaiopera.com.
Emirates Airline Festival of Literature This is one for the wordsmith, and something new for us here in the city. For the first time ever, Dubai Opera will host world-class poets for a spoken word event as part of the tenth annual Emirates Airline Festival of Literature. For the Love of Words will see some of the world’s finest literary talents from the UAE and the UK come together to perform their much-loved works. The ten-day event will take place at the InterContinental Dubai Festival City and will include a one-off event at the Opera on March 6. Dubai poet Khalid AlBudoor, multi-award-winning British poet, playwright and novelist Simon Armitage, Scottish poet Carol Ann Duffy – the first female Poet Laurette – the legendary British poet, presenter and children’s author Roger McGough, childrens’ author Jaqueline Wilson and comic-turned-author David Walliams take to the stage. In addition to the authors, you’ll also get to hear from Saroo Brierley, whose real-life story was depicted in the Oscar-nominated movie Lion. From Dhs50. Mar 1-10, 2018. InterContinental Dubai Festival City, www.emirateslitfest.com. Dubai Opera performance from Dhs75. March 6, 2018. Dubai Opera, Downtown Dubai, www.dubaiopera.com.
Eugene Onegin The Polish National Opera are coming to the city with lungs of steel, to tell us the passionate story of a sophisticated yet selfish young man who lives to regret his nonchalant rejection of a young woman’s love. Sounds a bit like an angsty Instagram post – but with breathtaking music, stunning vocals and an overall phenomenal performance. Throw in a devastating duel with his best friend and we have all the makings of a showstopper. From Dhs350. Feb 22-23 8pm. Dubai Opera, Downtown Dubai, www.dubaiopera.com.
Evita Legendary musical Evita will be arriving at the Dubai Opera later this month for a huge 16-night stint treading the boards. The much-anticipated show tells the story of Eva Peron, the first lady of Argentina, who dedicates her life to charity and becomes heralded as the spiritual leader of the country. The Andrew Lloyd Webber musical features a number of absolute tunes, such as Don’t Cry For Me Argentina, which sold more than 10 million copies in the UK alone. Children from Dubai’s dance schools were invited to open auditions to be part of the Evita cast, with 16 talented youngsters scoring themselves a place in the production. Time Out Dubai spoke to Dubai Opera House chief executive Jasper Hope, about the amazing opportunity for youngsters to get involved. Hope said: “We’ve always said Dubai Opera must stand for quality, variety and community. Not every project we have at Dubai Opera has the possibility to include a community element but where we can include one we will always do so. “This is a perfect opportunity to be able to provide an incredible chance for the young local talent in Dubai to work as part of an incredible professional company in a fantastic production on the world-class stage of Dubai Opera.” From Dhs250. Mon Jan 22 to Sat Feb 3. Dubai Opera, Downtown Dubai, www.dubaiopera.com.
Ludovici Einaudi The supremely refined lyrical genius that is Ludovici Einaudi has just released another date to his sold-out performance at the Dubai Opera. Ludovici will now take to the Opera stage and dazzle us with not one, but two nights of songs from his series of chart-topping albums, which have sold out concert halls worldwide. Until January 23 you can take advantage of an early bird offer and get 20 percent off on all seat categories except boxes. Get in there quick before tickets sell out again. From Dhs160. Feb 8-9 8pm. Dubai Opera, Downtown Dubai, www.dubaiopera.com. Moscow City Ballet Romeo and Juliet We all know the story and we all sincerely love it. Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet gave us love, heartache, tragedy – and Leonardo DiCaprio. Now the world-famous Moscow City Ballet and Orchestra will be taking to the Dubai Opera stage for three spectacular performances in April Coming from acclaimed Russian composer Sergei Prokofiev and staged by Victor Smirnov Golovanov (who also founded the Moscow City Ballet), this production is set in Renaissance Italy. From Dhs250 April 19-21. Dubai Opera, Downtown Dubai, www.dubaiopera.com.
Shaolin Warriors If there’s anything better than working up a frenzied sweat and busting out some energetic Kung Fu moves, it’s watching someone else do it from the comfort of your Opera seat. The legendary Shaolin Warriors – The Kung Fu Masters is set to make its GCC debut with a five-day run at Dubai Opera. It’s promising to be a spectacular show, which will be rolling into Dubai from Tuesday February 27 until Saturday March 3. The historic show, which stars 21 Kung Fu masters from Shaolin, China, follows the story of a young child’s initiation into the Warriors, to become a fully-fledged warrior. The show has been running for the past 16 years and has sold out venues across the globe. We can’t wait to see some flying air kicks. From Dhs195. Feb 27-Mar 3. Dubai Opera, Downtown Dubai, www.dubaiopera.com. Short+Sweet Theatre Haven’t got the patience/attention span to sit through a three-hour show? Not to worry – Short+Sweet Theatre is back for its sixth year in Dubai, for the largest showcase of ten-minute plays in the world. The event is spread over six weekends and features more than 200 of Dubai’s actors, writers, directors and independent theatre companies at The Junction, Alserkal Avenue. Expect comedy, drama, romance and overall endless thrills. This year also includes a separate weekend of plays to showcase the diversity of cultures and ethnicities who call Dubai home. We can’t wait. From Dhs85. Jan 26-Mar 3. The Junction, Alserkal Avenue, Al Quoz, dubai.platiumlist.net.
Swan Lake Swan Lake is one of the world’s most loved ballet performances, telling the story of beautiful maiden Odette who is transformed into a swan by an evil knight. It has good, evil, love and tragedy in abundance, and who doesn’t love to be visually entranced and emotionally throttled during a theatre visit? The Houston Ballet are bringing their spectacular rendition of the show to the Dubai Opera in October and Stanton Welch’s show stopping modern staging is definitely not one to be missed. From Dhs250. Oct 24-27. Dubai Opera, Downtown Dubai, www.dubaiopera.com.