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11th March - 6th April 2012

Main Strategic Partner

Under the Patronage of

His Excellency Sheikh Nahyan Mubarak Al Nahyan Minister of Higher Education & Scientific Research Patron & President, Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation It gives me great pleasure to welcome the audience, guests and artists of the Abu Dhabi Festival 2012. Together, we shall celebrate the rich, cultural life of Abu Dhabi and follow the tradition set by myriad worldclass musicians and artists who, since 2004, have helped make this Festival a highly enjoyable, significant, cultural event that is contributing to the role of the United Arab Emirates and its capital as international centres of arts and culture. Upholding the theme of ‘Connecting Cultures’, the ninth Festival presents Abu Dhabi as a meeting place for world cultures. It extols important values, such as pride in our national identity, respect for others, and the belief in global dialogue and mutual understanding – all principles that advocate world peace and harmonious coexistence. In 2012, the Abu Dhabi Festival continues to place great emphasis on the impact of the arts as an effective social engagement and educational excellence. I am delighted that it is fulfilling its goal of encouraging and developing the talents, imagination and abilities of

children and young people and in so doing, enabling them to realize their creative potential. I am especially pleased that the Festival is honoring the late, great Lebanese musician, composer and conductor Dr. Walid Gholmieh, as one of the leading Arab musicians of the modern era. I thank all partners and friends of the Abu Dhabi Festival and extend my appreciation for their steadfast support. In particular, my thanks to Hoda Al Khamis Kanoo, Founder of the Abu Dhabi Music and Arts Foundation (ADMAF) and Artistic Director of the Abu Dhabi Festival, for her tireless efforts in making the Abu Dhabi Festival an important part of the cultural calendar of Abu Dhabi and the United Arab Emirates. I am also pleased to recognise the contribution of ADMAF’s staff and its volunteers. I wish the musicians, performers, and all those participating in the Festival every success. May this ninth edition be inspirational and joyful, in understanding and friendship across the United Arab Emirates, where the world’s cultures meet for the benefit of all.

HRH The Prince of Wales

His Excellency

Sheikh Sultan bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan Chairman, Abu Dhabi Authority for Tourism & Culture Over the last nine successful years the Abu Dhabi Festival has established itself as a major global arts and cultural event and as a forum for creativity and cultural exchange. The Festival, throughout its short history, has continued to make an important contribution to expanding interest in the arts through its ability to attract a programme comprising the very finest regional and international talent. The Abu Dhabi Festival is succeeding in attracting, creating and reviving interest in music and the arts across the community. Measuring ticket sales alone underlines its success, with numerous events selling out well in advance of the Festival. Through the wide variety of lectures, seminars and workshops held in schools and universities across the UAE, the Festival has excelled in sharing its message of education and community participation. Over the years, there has been a growth in demand for the inclusion of the arts in the education curriculum, particularly

traditional Arabic art-forms. It is in part as a response to this growth in demand that the Abu Dhabi Authority for Tourism & Culture is supporting the development of a Cultural District project on Saadiyat Island in Abu Dhabi. A seamless blend of the very best Arabic and international artists, the Abu Dhabi Festival continues to provide an important opportunity to share in the value of human creativity. The Festival harnesses the power of the arts and culture to act as a bridge for dialogue between the cultures; and is a shining beacon in its support for the revival of Arabic heritage and cultural tradition. We extend our congratulations to the Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation (ADMAF), organisers of the Abu Dhabi Festival, on their achievement in promoting the importance of ‘Connecting Cultures’ and in supporting the establishment of Abu Dhabi as a leading cultural destination. We wish everyone an incredible Abu Dhabi Festival 2012.

His Excellency Fouad Siniora Dr. Walid Gholmieh was a man of many talents, reflected in his unique contribution to mankind. He was truly a pioneer. He rebuilt the Lebanese National Higher Conservatory of Music over two decades, stone by stone and generation by generation. He also established the Lebanese National Symphony Orchestra and the Lebanese National Oriental Orchestra. Not only did he create a new image for Lebanon rooted in arts and music, but he also gave his homeland a strong cultural identity that has spread across the world. He spearheaded the festivals of Baalbeck, Byblos, Cedar, Al Bustan as well as the Phoenicia Theatre. He was unique in his talent and ability to compose while retaining the spirit and soul of Arabia. His orchestrations upheld the country’s folkloric traditions; his symphonies welcomed a new dawn for Arabic classical music, and

his works for theatre, film and television brought joy to the people. As a respected researcher and writer, his publications stretch from his village of Marjayoun to the capital, Beirut. This is what has made him a pillar of Arab culture. Where Khalil Gibran penned the words of a nation, Dr. Walid Gholmieh composed music. He shall be remembered as the genius of Lebanon, the country he sought to elevate through the beauty and power of music. His name shall remain etched in our hearts and his music will continue to inspire our spirits. I am indeed touched to have been invited to contribute to this programme of the Abu Dhabi Festival 2012, which commemorates the life and work of Dr. Walid Gholmieh through this year’s Award. I sincerely hope that his legacy shall give hope to the future, where music unites us all.

His Excellency Lakhdar Brahimi My late friend, the great Palestinian intellectual Edward Said often spoke in musical metaphors. He would say that identity can be seen as counterpoint in music. Both identity and music have multiple facets. Shouldn't we think of the Arab World in these terms: converging streams of history, culture and identity? Each one unique. But all feeding into one another and combining - preferably in harmony - to build what is referred to as the Arab World. And beyond the Arab World, those streams will also contribute, together with other nations to the common Civilisation of Humankind.  As another great man, Nelson Mandela would say, this is an ideal worth living for. It is also hard and obstinate work.  Year after year, this is what the Abu Dhabi Festival has been aiming to achieve. And, in the process, bringing streams of music and culture to Abu Dhabi. Supporting the arts and individual artists goes a long way towards helping build that counterpoint Edward Said spoke of.

Arts & Innovation The Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation (ADMAF) believes that the arts hold the keys to releasing a nation’s creativity. Through a dynamic range of yearround initiatives, that is just how ADMAF benefits society and advances Abu Dhabi’s cultural vision. Cultural expression is the anchor that unites a nation. ADMAF believes that every person, regardless of age or ability, should have the chance to access, understand and appreciate cultural expression. Established in 1996 by H.E. Hoda Al Khamis Kanoo, ADMAF is an independent, not-for-profit organization under the Presidency and Patronage of H.E. Sheikh Nahyan Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Higher Education & Scientific Research. Every year, it undertakes a broad range of programmes and projects, bringing together audiences of diverse origins often in partnership with leading national and international institutions.

Beyond the Classroom

of 45 community groups and associations to deliver 48 initiatives involving over 12,000 children, young people and adults. Through the creation of cross-cultural platforms and by supporting traditions of dance, music, and storytelling as well as more contemporary forms of expression, ADMAF seeks to empower the people of the UAE so that they are able to uphold their customs, preserve their traditions, and share their riches with the world.

A Symphony of Cultures In addition to presenting the Abu Dhabi Festival every year - in which it unveils exciting new commissions as well as world premieres - ADMAF is increasing its international reach by forging strategic partnerships with like-minded arts organisations across the world: La Chapelle Musicale Reine Elisabeth (Belgium); Fondazione Arena di Verona (Italy); Carnegie Hall (USA); BOZAR (Belgium); Mariinsky (Russia); Royal Opera House (UK); Baalbeck International Festival (Lebanon); Edinburgh International Festival (UK); American Ballet Theatre (USA); Jazz at Lincoln Centre (USA); Manchester International Festival (UK); The Metropolitan Opera  (USA); and Institut du Monde Arabe (France).

ADMAF seeks to empower the people of the UAE so that they are able to uphold their customs, preserve their traditions, and share their riches with the world.

ADMAF Education fosters understanding and appreciation for the arts among children and young people. Its initiatives help to shape creative thinking, spotlight emerging talent, and broaden horizons. In the course of an academic year, on average ADMAF delivers 29 initiatives to 535 schools and universities engaging with more than 15,000 children, young people and adults. Through its year-round education programme, ADMAF uses every art form to add value to the formal curricula of schools, colleges and universities. Through a diverse range of lectures, workshops, field trips, exhibitions, concerts, productions and other initiatives, students receive ‘hands on’ experience that allows them to enhance not only their educational performance but also their life skills.

Access for All ADMAF’s year-round community program reaches out to the citizens and residents across the UAE, providing opportunities to the arts for everyone, regardless of their age, ability or location. In a year, ADMAF Community works with an average

Rewarding Excellence.

Every year, ADMAF’s roster of national awards galvanises the interest of young, talented nationals and encourages them to create. The Awards shine the spotlight on outstanding individuals in a wide range of artistic disciplines including the visual and performing arts, literature and film. ADMAF is as reactive as it is pro-active and is committed to supporting independent forms of cultural expression across the UAE through its Grants Scheme. By providing financial assistance as well as skills support, it enables people and groups to embark on artistic and cultural projects that would otherwise not be possible. As the cultural sector of the UAE continues to flourish, ADMAF is proof that not-for-profit organisations have a major role to play in embedding the arts in society, nurturing innovation and feeding the imagination.

ADMAF Achievements Since 1996, ADMAF has been nurturing intellect, creativity and social unity across the UAE. Here are just a few fascinating facts: • ADMAF is the only organisation of its kind in the Arab world with dedicated arts education and community arts teams • It is proud to be homegrown, non-profit and independent with a formidable network of international partners • It gives 48,000 children, young people and adults access to incredible arts experiences each year • It partners with the nation’s universities to achieve academic excellence • It supports Emirati artists and musicians in their careers through schemes such as The Nationals' Gallery • Its Young Media Leaders scheme has provided training to over 100 Emirati undergraduates • It is pioneering arts therapy in special needs care as well arts in hospitals • It received the coveted 2011 Aspen Institute Cultural Stewardship Award in recognition of its role in arts development

For more information, contact ADMAF: P.O. Box 245, Abu Dhabi, UAE - T: +971 2 651 0300 - F: +971 2 678 0682 E: - W:

Her Excellency

Hoda Al Khamis Kanoo Founder, Abu Dhabi Festival Welcome to the Abu Dhabi Festival 2012. I wish to express my sincere gratitude to the leadership of Abu Dhabi for their recognition of the important role that non-profit initiatives such as the Abu Dhabi Festival play in forging cultural relations and building creative partnerships both on a national as well as an international level. I would like to also thank HE Sheikh Nahyan Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Higher Education & Scientific Research, Patron of the Abu Dhabi Festival as well as Patron and President of the Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation (ADMAF), whose constant support and guidance fuels us to continue our mission of advancing Abu Dhabi’s cultural vision by nurturing society through the arts, education, culture and creativity. The Abu Dhabi Festival 2012, under the theme of ‘Connecting Cultures’, marks the ninth edition. With 16 participating countries represented in the programme and hand-in-hand with a network of national and international strategic partners, this year’s Festival consolidates our determination to realise the vision of the UAE based upon its founding principles of mutual respect, tolerance and enlightenment. We celebrate the United Kingdom as the Abu Dhabi Festival 2012 Country of Honour, which is represented by 3 outstanding collaborations and 7 events held for the first time this year in the Arab world. An outstanding example of such cross-cultural creativity is ‘Beloved Friend’, an Arab World premiere, produced by the Royal Opera House.

The ninth edition of the Abu Dhabi Festival is particularly special because it not only enables us to look forward to a future filled with unlimited creative possibilities, but also to learn from the lessons of the past. This March, we remember the Golden Age of Arab cultural expression that stretched from Andalusia to China. The Abu Dhabi Festival 2012’s ‘Bayt Al Farabi’ pays tribute to the great intellectual, teacher, composer and scientist Abu Nasr Muhammad Al Farabi, who ventured far and wide in his quest for knowledge. By learning from the lessons of the past, history shall teach us how to excel. In reaching new horizons of self-expression today, a new dawn of Arab cultural enlightenment awaits us. The 2012 Abu Dhabi Festival Award is posthumously awarded to Dr Walid Gholmieh in appreciation for his support of ADMAF’s work over the last 15 years and in recognition of his achievement as the region’s most eminent composer and conductor. While his legacy is rich, Dr Gholmieh shall be sadly missed. This year’s ADMAF Creativity Award shines the spotlight on the creativity flourishing here in the UAE. This year’s recipients, the students of UAE University Al Ain, are well on their way to becoming the cultural mavens of tomorrow. I firmly believe that the Abu Dhabi Festival 2012 shall be a joyful occasion; an unforgettable experience that will allow us all to explore the boundless opportunities that come with ‘Connecting Cultures’.

His Excellency

Khaldoon Al Mubarak Chief Executive Officer & Managing Director، Mubadala Development Company

Investing in the local community By helping to bring 168 cultural events to over 26,000 people Working at the very heart of the Abu Dhabi economy, Mubadala is focused on the management of long-term investments that deliver strong financial returns and tangible social benefits to the Emirate. Each of these investments has been designed to provide opportunities for the local community – either through the provision of world-class education facilities, the establishment of a thriving private healthcare sector, or the creation of numerous exciting job opportunities. Our commitment extends into many aspects of the UAE’s cultural and sporting life, from our continued support for the Abu Dhabi Music and Arts Foundation, through to encouraging participation in tennis and football. As ‘Main Sponsor’ of the Abu Dhabi Festival 2012, we are proud to play a part in bringing internationally renowned artists and musicians to the UAE, and will continue to look for opportunities to help nurture arts, culture and creativity across the Emirate.

This year marks the ninth annual Abu Dhabi Festival, widely considered one of the region’s most inspiring cultural events. The festival provides our community and visitors from abroad with the opportunity to hear performances by locally and internationally renowned artists and musicians. As Main Sponsor, Mubadala is proud to support a programme that brings together a diverse schedule of classical music, theatre, jazz, ballet, fine arts and performances, while also providing the local community with access to a series of exciting education initiatives. With a focus on making investments that deliver strong financial returns and tangible social benefits to the local community, Mubadala is committed to nurturing arts, culture and creativity across the Emirate, and steers a number of youth engagement programmes intended to inspire and influence the next generation of leaders. We are delighted to lend our continued support to the Abu Dhabi Music and Arts Foundation, and their efforts to establish Abu Dhabi as a cultural capital. I hope you enjoy the performances.

Honourable Acknowledgements

Partners Abu Dhabi Festival gratefully acknowledges the support of the following:

Strategic Partners

Corporate Partners Main Sponsor

H.E. Sheikh Nahyan Mubarak Al Nahyan Minister of Higher Education & Scientific Research President and Patron, Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation (ADMAF) Patron, Abu Dhabi Festival Official Media Partner

Official Airline Partner

Community/Education Partner

Awards Sponsor

H.E. Sheikh Sultan bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan Chairman, Abu Dhabi Authority for Tourism and Culture

H.H. Sheikha Shamsa bint Hamdan Al Nahyan and H.H. Sheikha Sheikha bint Saif Al Nahyan


The Abu Dhabi Festival is presented and organized by The Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation (ADMAF), which seeks to nurture the arts, education, culture and creativity for the benefit of society and the advancement of Abu Dhabi’s cultural vision. ADMAF is an independent not-for-profit organization.

Cultural Partners


arts & life from fashion to film making Enjoy David Downton’s stunning fashion illustrations, extensive film festival coverage, reports from all the fashion shows and our one-on-one interviews with the stars. All in our weekday Arts & Life section.

Abu Dhabi Festival Founder & Artistic Director H.E. Hoda Al Khamis Kanoo

ADMAF Advisors H.E. Saqr Ghobash Saeed Ghobash H.E. Khaldoon Al Mubarak H.E. Zaki Anwar Nusseibeh H.E. Mohammed Khalaf Al Mazrouei H.E. Noura Al Kaabi H.E. Razan Al Mubarak H.E. Reem Al Shemari Prinzessin Irina zu Sayn-WittgensteinBerleburg Mr. Ian Stoutzker OBE CBE Mr. Terence D. Allen Mr. Saeed Al Balushi Mr. Salem Brahimi Mrs. Mary Corrado Mr. Bashir Al Haskouri Dr. Frauke Heard-Bey Mr. Mohamed A. L. Kanoo Dr. Shaikha Al Maskari Mrs. Zahra Al Masood

Legal Counsel Mr. Raymond Mouracade, Jurisgulf

Festival Volunteers & Partners Takatof

Special Thanks Executive Affairs Authority twofour54 Abu Dhabi Municipality Abu Dhabi Department of Transport Abu Dhabi Police Abu Dhabi Authority for Tourism & Culture

Embassies of Participating Nations Embassy of Belgium Embassy of China Embassy of Egypt Embassy of Germany Embassy of Greece Embassy of India Embassy of Iraq Embassy of Italy Embassy of Lebanon Embassy of Morocco

Embassy of Russia Embassy of Spain Embassy of Turkey Embassy of the United Kingdom Embassy of the United States of America

Education Partners Schools & Nurseries: Al Suqoor School Abu Dhabi Grammar School (Canada) Abu Dhabi Indian School Abu Dhabi International School Al Bateen Secondary School Al Muna Primary School Al Reem School Al Shohub School Al Yasmina School American Community School of Abu Dhabi American International School in Abu Dhabi Brighton College Abu Dhabi Emirates National Schools - Abu Dhabi City GEMS World Academy Abu Dhabi Horizon Private School Les Fanfans Nursery Lycee Louis Massignon Raha International School The British International School Abu Dhabi The British School Al Khubairat The Cambridge High School, Abu Dhabi The German International School The Glenelg School of Abu Dhabi The Pearl Primary School The Sheikh Zayed Private Academy Music & Dance Centres: Bait Al Oud Elite Music Institute Expressions of Dance and Drama Fantasia Ballet House of Arts Inspire Sports Management International Music Institute/Juli Music Center Katarina Peers Piano School Ministry of Culture, Youth and Community Development - Piano Centre Noah's Ark Art & Music Institute Turning Pointe Ballet & Dance School Universities: Abu Dhabi University Higher Colleges of Technology - Abu Dhabi Men's College

Higher Colleges of Technology - Abu Dhabi Women's College Higher Colleges of Technology - Madinat Zayed & Ruwais Colleges New York University UAE University Zayed University Others: Abilities Development Centre Abu Dhabi Abu Dhabi HomeSchoolers Association Emirates Youth Symphony Orchestra Zayed Higher Organization for Humanitarian Care & Special Needs Community Partners Al Nokhba School, Mirfa Alliance Française American School of Dubai Choueifat School - Um Al Quwain Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi Cultural Centre Madinat Zayed Dar Al Ber Society Dar Zayed For Family Care Dubai Drums Dubomedy Emirates Marine Environmental Group Emirates Wildlife Society - World Wildlife Fund Emirates Youth Symphony Orchestra Fujairah Culture and Media Authority GEMS American Academy GEMS World Academy Higher Colleges of Technology Madinat Zayed Higher Colleges of Technology - Ruwais Mafraq Hospital Manar Al Eman Charity School - Ajman Ministry of Culture, Youth and Community Development RAK Special Needs Centre Resuscitation Theatre Sharjah Department of Culture & Information Sharjah University Sheikh Khalifa Medical City Tawam Hospital The Fridge Western Region Municipality – Ghayathi Western Region Municipality – Mirfa Xventures Zayed University




Festival Overview

Main Programme

The history of Abu Dhabi Festival and the essence of the Emirates’ foremost celebration of crosscultural artistic expression

A preview of the events taking place in and around the auditorium of the Emirates Palace

09 Community Programme A rundown of over 35 exciting events uniting communities across the seven emirates

17 Education Programme A summary of over 60 events connecting pupils and students with the power and beauty of music, art and drama

27 Abu Dhabi Festival Award The festival pays tribute to Dr. Walid Gholmieh's lifetime contribution to arts and culture, in association with Chopard

60 Biographies Fascinating insights into the lives and careers of this year’s participating artists

19 ADMAF Creativity Award The festival celebrates outstanding national talent with an annual award in association with Chopard


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Festival Overview


History of Abu Dhabi Festival

Maestro Valery Gergiev and Lady Valerie Solti with HE Hoda Al Khamis Kanoo

2004 Rasha Arodaky & Gary Hoffman Tübingen Chamber Orchestra & Susanne Calgeer, conducted by Gudni Emilsson Musica Antigua ‘The Call of Al Andalus’ Naseer Shamma & Al Oyoin

2005 Azerbaijan State Symphony Orchestra, & Farkhad Bedalbeyli Recital: Slava & Leonard Grigorayan Armonia Quartet Recital: Eugen Prochac & Eleanora Skutova Recital: David Korevaar Naseer Shamma & 24 Ouds The Abu Dhabi Festival Award - Festival Children’s Day Jason & The Argonauts’ - Festival Lecture Series: HCT and Zayed University.

2006 Lebanese National Oriental Orchestra, conducted by Dr Walid Gholmieh Recital: Waleed Howrani Opera Gala: Patrick Simper, with Olja Kaiser


Cairo Symphony Orchestra State Hermitage Orchestra Elias Rahbani & The National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine Charbel Rouhana & Eastern Music Ensemble Opera Gala: José Carreras with Angeles Blancas Gulin, Ambassade Orchestra Vienna, conducted by David Gimenez

This year, the Festival will celebrate its ninth successive edition. Under the stewardship of Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation (ADMAF), the Festival has achieved an international profile and has established itself as the UAE’s leading cultural event. Background The Abu Dhabi Festival was founded in 2004 under the Patronage of H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, then Minister of Information and Culture. Between 2007 and 2011, the Festival was granted the Patronage of H.H. General Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces. In 2012, the Abu Dhabi Festival will be held under the Patronage of H. E. Sheikh Nahyan Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research. The Abu Dhabi Festival will celebrate its ninth successive season under the stewardship of the Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation. It has earned an international reputation for excellence and has established itself as the UAE’s leading cultural event.

The Festival is a committed advocate of cross cultural understanding and plays an intrinsic role in supporting the artistic renaissance across the Middle East


London Philharmonic Orchestra & Nikolaj Znaider, conducted by Vladimir Jurowski London Philharmonic Orchestra & Jean-Yves Thibaudet conducted by Vladimir Jurowski Khaled Selim & Asma Almonaouar -‘Hiwar Ma’a Al Kibar’ ‘Swan Lake’ The Bolshoi Ballet & Orchestra, conducted by Pavel Sorokin Opera Gala: Anna Netrebko, Elina Garanca, Erwin Schott & The Bolshoi Orchestra, conducted by Alexander Vedernikov ‘Vivaldi’s Four Seasons’ - Sarah Chang & The Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra ‘The Soul of the Orient’ Naseer Shamma & The Oriental Orchestra Hiba Al Kawas, Jose Maria Gallardo del Rey & The Bolshoi Orchestra, conducted by Wojciech Czepiel Mathew Barley in concert with young musicians

The Festival Vision The Abu Dhabi Festival celebrates Abu Dhabi as a city of tolerance, respect and enlightenment and in so doing, reflects the vision of the UAE Capital as an international crossroad for the arts. This vision of Abu Dhabi as a thriving metropolis places art, education and culture at the forefront, resulting in creativity and excellence. The Festival plays its intrinsic part in this endeavor by further expanding the boundaries of creativity and innovation.

Connecting Cultures The theme of the 2012 Festival is ‘Connecting Cultures’, reflecting its role in fostering partnerships with the aim of strengthening Abu Dhabi’s position as an international convergence for cultural expression. Artists from around the world will meet in Abu Dhabi


History of Abu Dhabi Festival

Wynton Marsalis, Abu Dhabi Festival 2011

2009 Opera Gala: Angela Georghiu, Jonas Kaufmann, Ion Marin & The Bolshoi Theatre Orchestra ‘Divertissement: Ballet Gala’ The Bolshoi Ballet & Orchestra, conducted by Pavel Klinichev Andrea Bocelli & The Bolshoi Theatre Orchestra Magida El Roumi - Live Concert for Peace Recital: Matthew Barley - Bach, Cello & Electric Impro Recital: Sir James Galway, Jean-Yves Thibaudet & Nina Kotova

2010 Krzysztof Jablonski & The National Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Krzysztof Penderecki Salzburg Marionette Theatre - ‘The Sound of Music’ The Puccini Festival Opera & Orchestra -‘La Bohème’ The Met Live in HD: ‘Hamlet’ Recital: Nobuyuki Tsujii Il Divo in Concert ‘Oud Horizons - Concert for Humanity’ - Naseer Shamma & The Egyptian Philharmonic Society Orchestra Wynton Marsalis & Ensemble London Symphony Orchestra & Arabella Steinbacher, conducted by Sir Colin Davis London Symphony Orchestra & Wayne Marshall, conducted by Kristjan Järvi ‘Middle Eastern Modern Masters - Tanavoli & Henein’



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‘The Path of Roses’ by Rachid Koraïchi Mozart Masterpieces: Orchestre Royal de Chambre de Wallonie starring Augustin Dumay, Abdel Rahman El Bacha & soloists of La Chapelle Musicale Reine Elisabeth The Met Live in HD: ‘Lucia di Lammermoor’ Globe Education at Shakespeare’s Globe: ‘Macbeth’ The Zaha Hadid Pavilion Carnegie Hall’s Ensemble ACJW & Sara Al Qaiwani Russell Maliphant & Sylvie Guillem - PUSH Macadi Nahhas & The Levant Music Heritage Project Jean-Guihen Queyras Soumaya Baalbeki Oussama Rahbani Ballet Gala: ‘Maxim & Irina present Stars of the Bolshoi & Mariinsky’ Bronfman & Brahms: Yefim Bronfman, Russian National Orchestra & Nicola Luisotti Al Jarreau - A Jazz Roots Concert Opera Gala: Dmitri & Friends: Dmitri Hvorostovsky, Ekaterina Siurina, Russian National Orchestra & Nicola Luisotti The Abu Dhabi Festival Award

HRH Princess Mathilde of Belgium with HE Hoda Al Khamis Kanoo

to participate in the ninth Festival and add to a growing global network of creative partners. With 168 events over 27 days at 34 venues across the 7 Emirates, the 2012 Abu Dhabi Festival presents 2 new commissions, 5 cocommissions, 4 world premieres, and 8 Arab premieres, ensuring we remain to our reputation as a ‘Festival of Firsts’. Additionally, 90% of the events are free proving that the Abu Dhabi Festival is truly a ‘Festival for All’.

Through its thriving education programme, the Festival supports the education and development of UAE young minds Education and Community ‘Bilad Al Khayr’ (The Land of Blessings) is the founding spirit of the Abu Dhabi Festival Community Programme in which tolerance, respect and enlightenment enables the many diverse people uniting through their love of culture. Since its inception, the Abu Dhabi Festival has placed education at its core, building on the vision of the Festival Founder and Artistic Director, Hoda Al Khamis Kanoo, to invest in providing learning opportunities for the next generation in which young people across the seven Emirates interact with visiting artists and Festival participants. This thriving education programme supports the development of young minds, shaping tomorrow’s leaders today by enhancing appreciation for the arts and music. As part of its commitment to education, to the community and to the leaders of tomorrow, the Festival proudly presents the ADMAF Creativity Award to participating national university students who excel in performing and visual arts, music, film, literature and communications. This year we are delighted to award a group of talented students from UAE University-Al Ain in recognition of the excellent work in the field of journalism and creative writing. From the heart of the UAE, the Abu Dhabi Festival endeavors to evoke the past, by leading today to shape an artistic, innovative, creative and tolerant tomorrow. Visit


Abu Dhabi Festival Community Programme March 11,15,16 & 22 Hakawati: Stories of Al Tanboori

March 23 Ibrahim Maalouf: Oriental Jazz & Rock

March 11 - 15 Resuscitation Theatre Workshops

March 24 Diving into the Culture of the Coast

March 14 Rhythm in Ras Al Khaimah

March 25 Speak Emirati!

March 16 Tales of the Emirates at Dar Zayed

March 28 - 30 Emirati Theatre ‘The Rivals’

March 19 Music and Health Forum

March 31 Earth Hour: Switch off your Lights!

March 20 World Storytelling Day

April 1 - 5 8 th Emirates International Peace Music Festival

March 21 - 28 Music in Hospitals

April 3 Al Manar Goes Green!

March 23 Let’s Make Art at Dar Al Ber!


Bilad Al Khayr

Uniting Communities across the 7 Emirates The arts can build unity, bond communities and bridge divides. It can bring people from diverse backgrounds together to share unforgettable and meaningful experiences in a spirit of respect and harmony. Over the last three years, the Abu Dhabi Festival has been building a nationwide programme of community arts projects to do just that – and to reflect the mission of the Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation (ADMAF): to advocate, facilitate and support arts initiatives by and for a wide variety of social groups across the UAE, regardless of age, class, ability, or location.

our ‘Social Unity’ programme, we bring communities together; while our ‘Cultural and Heritage Expression’ initiative gives them the resources to share diverse forms of traditional dance, theatre and music. We believe that the arts are tools that can not only break down barriers but with the right expertise, improve the health of the nation.

Through the ‘Arts & Health’ initiative, we advocate the impact of the arts on patient recovery and on the quality of life for those in hospitals. Similarly, the arts can help reinforce key social messages such as environmental awareness. Through the power of song The Festival aims to give a voice Over 12,000 people across and art, we echo the calls to action to everyone, including the less the UAE watch, participate initiated by organizations such as the EWS-WWF. privileged and those living in remote and create arts activities with Safeguarding traditional handicrafts and areas. Today, over 12,000 people the Abu Dhabi Festival reaching those who live far beyond the across the UAE watch, participate and major cities of the UAE are the objectives create a plethora of arts activities with of ‘Empowering the 7 Emirates’, an initiative that uses the the Abu Dhabi Festival and its partners. By encouraging arts to celebrate Bilad Al Khayr (The Land of Blessings) the right of cultural expression, we bring together people and bridge the distances that divide us. Finally, ‘The Ideas from different countries and cultures so that society is Hub’ encourages creative innovation and entrepreneurial strengthened. skills to flourish. As the only independent cultural foundation in the Arab world with a dedicated community arts team, ADMAF uses the arts to engage, empower and encourage. Through

The arts are the roots of our society. Feed them well and the nation shall blossom.


Community Programme 11th March - 5th April 2012

Hakawati: Stories of Al Tanboori Building on the success of 2009 and 2010 Festivals, the ninth edition presents a tour of the Western Region and Northern Emirates by Ahmed Yousef and his Sharjah-based traditional Hakawati troupe of actors, bringing to life the mythical characters of Arabia through puppetry. Sunday, 11th March, 7:30pm Cultural Centre, Madinat Zayed Western Region Thursday, 15th March, 7:30pm Al Nokba School, Mirfa Western Region

Sunday, 11th March HCT, Madinat Zayed Monday, 12 th March HCT, Ruwais Monday, 12 th March Al Nokba School, Mirfa Tuesday, 13 th March GEMS American School, Abu Dhabi Thursday, 15th March Choueifat School, Um Al Quwain

Friday, 16 th March, 7:30pm Men's Wedding Hall, Ghayathi Western Region

Closed events

Thursday, 22nd March, 7:30pm Culture Centre, Ministry of Youth, Culture & Community Development Fujairah

Rhythm in Ras Al Khaimah

Free admission

Advocating the value of arts and music in special needs development, Abu Dhabi Festival brings Dubai Drums back to RAK Special Needs Centre. The therapeutic music session for children aims to build their self-confidence and interpersonal skills.

Tales of the Emirates at Dar Zayed Storyteller extraordinaire Abdulaziz Al Musallam shares traditional Emirati fairytales full of mystical creatures and marvellous stories with the children of Dar Zayed Orphanage in Al Ain. In collaboration with the Sharjah Department of Culture and Information.

in Al Ain with activities reflecting Emirati traditions and customs including storytelling in its original environment. Participating students get to enjoy traditional Emirati food preparation, games and stories. Tuesday, 20 th March, 9am - 2pm Al Ain Farm

Friday, 16 th March, 4pm-6pm Dar Zayed, Al Ain

Closed event

Closed event

Music in Hospitals

Music and Health Forum

Musicians perform for the patients and staff of 3 hospitals across the Emirates to demonstrate the positive impact of music and bring joy to patients.

In collaboration with Cleveland Clinic, Abu Dhabi Festival holds a discussion for female students on the impact of music and the arts on patients and the wider community. The session also includes a performance and patient testimonials. Featuring Maxim Vengerov and Neil Cherian M.D. Monday, 19 th March, 4pm Green Auditorium, Zayed University Closed event

Wednesday 21st & Sunday, 25th March Mafraq Hospital, Abu Dhabi Tuesday, 27th March Tawam Hospital, Al Ain Wednesday, 28 th March Sheikh Khalifa Medical City, Abu Dhabi Closed events

Resuscitation Theatre Workshops Maggie Hannan, Founder of Resuscitation Theatre and Director of “The Rivals� leads theatre workshops for students at schools and colleges across the UAE.

Wednesday, 14th March RAK Special Needs Centre Ras Al Khaimah Closed event

World Storytelling Day To celebrate World Storytelling Day, Abu Dhabi Festival, in collaboration with The Kharareef (Storytelling) Club at Zayed University, holds a cultural day on an Emirati farm


Community Programme 11th March - 5th April 2012

Let’s Make Art at Dar Al Ber! An art workshop for the orphans of Dar Al Ber Society led by Emirati artists including Khawla Darwish to inspire the children and encourage them to explore their creativity and learn about contemporary UAE culture. Friday, 23 March, 3pm - 6pm Dar Al Ber Society, Dubai

Saturday, 24th March, 10am Ghantoot Coastal Marine Reserve (shuttle bus departs 8.30am from Hiltonia Beach Parking, Abu Dhabi Corniche) Free admission. Booking essential. Email:


Closed event

Ibrahim Maalouf: Oriental Jazz & Rock The award-winning Arab virtuoso trumpet player, Ibrahim Maalouf, presents a concert filled with a fusion of oriental jazz and rock. In association with Alliance Française. Friday, 23rd March, 9pm Abu Dhabi Theatre Tickets: 200 AED (150 AED for members) visit Call Alliance Française on 02 666 6232

Diving into the Culture of the Coast A truly cultural experience exploring the UAE’s coastal heritage. The day-long visit to Al Ghantoot Coastal Reserve includes a discussion with an Emirati sea captain, traditional games, bird watching and a scavenger hunt.

Speak Emirati! A series of 10 workshops to learn the Emirati dialect and gain a better understanding of Emirati culture. Introduction and registration takes place on March 25 and the course runs every Sunday to June 3rd. Sunday 25th March, 7:30pm - 9:30pm (registration/introduction) Every Sunday, from 1st April to 3rd June, 7:30pm-9:30pm (course sessions) Dubomedy HQ,Jumeirah Lake Towers, Dubai Free admission. Booking essential. Email:

Earth Hour - Switch off your Lights! On the occasion of Earth Hour, a drumming spectacular on the Abu Dhabi Corniche will spread the message of environmental awareness to hundreds of passers-by. For information, visit Saturday, 31st March, 7:30pm - 9:30pm Sahil Al Maydan,Corniche Abu Dhabi Free admission

8th Emirates International Peace Music Festival

Sunday 1st April, 8pm Abu Dhabi Theatre

Abu Dhabi’s Resuscitation Theatre presents a humorous Emirati adaptation of the Restoration comedy ‘The Rivals’ by Richard Sheridan. The cast of this comedy of manners includes, Sarah Al Nuaimi and Saeed Al-Dhaheri, with Faisal Al Zaabi as Assistant Director.

Monday 2nd April, 7:30pm American School of Dubai, Dubai

Free admission. Booking essential. Email:

Free admission

Al Manar Goes Green! The underprivileged and orphaned children of Manar Al Eman Charity School in Ajman explore the importance of hygiene, safety and environmental awareness through drama and art, using roleplay and recycled materials. Tuesday, 3rd April Manar Al Eman Charity School, Ajman Closed event

Manar Al Eman Charity School

For the third consecutive year, Abu Dhabi Festival presents the UAE tour of the Emirates Youth Symphony Orchestra and the Premiere Music College of Prague Youth Symphony Orchestra with musical prodigies of Korea to inspire young musicians and showcase new talent.

‘The Rivals’: Theatre with an Emirati Flavour

From Wednesday, 28 th to Friday, 30 th March, 8pm daily Sahil Al Maydan,Corniche Abu Dhabi

Thursday, 5th April, 12pm Sharjah University Auditorium, Sharjah

Tuesday 3rd April, 7:30pm Knowledge Village Theatre, Dubai Wednesday 4th April, 8pm Cultural Centre, Ministry of Youth, Cultural & Community Development, Fujairah


Abu Dhabi Festival Education Programme March 11 - 17 Carnegie Hall Music Residency

March 19 - April 6 Festival Pre-Concert Talks

March 13 - 15 Scottish Opera ‘BabyO’

March 19 - 21 Globe Education at Shakespeare’s Globe A Midsummer Night’s Dream

March 13 - 15 Al Ghadeer Textile Workshops & Exhibition March 13-21 Jake Rodrigues ‘Ukulele World’ March 17 Young Artists’ Day March 17 - 21 BBC Philharmonic ‘Maestro’ March 18 - April 6 Back to School with MUBADALA March 18 - 22 Oily Cart ‘Drum’ March 19 ADMAF Creativity Award

March 21 Riwaq Al Fikr: The Legacy of Dr. Walid Gholmieh March 23 Riwaq Al Fikr: The Crossroads of Andalucia March 24 Riwaq Al Fikr: Cultural Diplomacy April 1 Riwaq Al Fikr: A Creative Education April 3 Riwaq Al Fikr: Mohammed Ghani Hikmat Online The Artists’ Studio

March 19 - April 14 Ways of Seeing


Riwaq Al Maarifa

ADMAF Creativity Award 2012 Monday 19th March 2012

The Gateway to Knowledge In association with

Enabling people to realize their dreams and reach their potential is the flagstone of the Abu Dhabi Festival and of its presenter, the Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation. By delivering a year-round series of exciting initiatives, ADMAF uses every art form to inspire children and young people to develop their creative thinking, refine their talents, broaden their horizons, and build upon the nation’s rich cultural heritage. During the Abu Dhabi Festival, ADMAF’s objectives are reflected in an intensive series of arts initiatives that not only make learning fun but also bring out the imagination and innovation within. The ADMAF Creativity Award, presented at the Opening Gala of the Festival’s main programme every year, shines the spotlight of success on Emirati university students who have made an outstanding contribution to the contemporary cultural expression of the UAE, so that others may follow their lead.

skills in this area. Our ‘Talent Development’ programme seeks to do just that, in partnership with leading arts organisations around the world. Art is for everyone and, in this spirit, our ‘Special Needs’ programme aims to provide a consistent series of arts activities to stimulate cognitive and physical development among children with special needs and offer professional development for their teachers and carers. The arts are proven to be an effective tool in raising levels of academic performance. Through the ‘Enhancing Education’ programme, techniques normally found in theatre, music and the visual arts are used to bring subjects such as maths, geography, language and science to life and inspire an academic appetite for learning.

arts initiatives not only make learning fun but also bring out the imagination and innovation within

The UAE is a splendid example of how the people of various nations and cultures can live together in harmony. Through our year-round ‘Cross Cultural Connections’ programme, we create opportunities for children and young people to share and exchange their artistic traditions and broaden their perspectives. Through the ‘Treasuring Traditions’ programme, we seek to uphold age-old forms of artistic expression by passing skills and techniques to the next generation. Since its establishment in 1996, ADMAF has sought to nurture young artistic talent and to enable teachers to develop their

As Abu Dhabi strives towards becoming an artistic hub for the 21st century, career opportunities in the capital’s cultural sector will grow and expand. With this in mind, ADMAF and the Abu Dhabi Festival are committed to enabling young nationals to explore and pursue new career paths, so that they may become the cultural leaders of tomorrow. Finally, the Festival’s ‘Riwaq Al Fikr’ series of panel discussions brings together experts and the general public to debate relevant issues in the world today. So as Abu Dhabi takes its place as a global cultural capital, join us on a journey into creativity that will broaden the mind and stretch ambition. The learning never ends.

Time: 8:00pm (admission for ‘Traveller’ ticket holders only) Venue: Emirates Palace Auditorium The ADMAF Creativity Award in association with Chopard is presented by the Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation (ADMAF) to one or more national university students who have made a significant contribution in the fields of performing arts, film, literature (poetry, fiction or journalism) or the visual arts (painting, graphic design or photography). This year’s ADMAF Creativity Award is presented to 10 undergraduate students of UAE University – Al Ain for their outstanding participation in Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation (ADMAF) initiatives -Young Media Leaders and the City University of New York’s Creative Arts Theatre-in-Education Programme. Asma Rashid Saif Al Shamsi Fatoum Saeed Ahmed Al Shikh Hasan Murad Al Beloushi Haya Ali Abdulla Ali Mohamed Bin Younes Al Tenaiji Huda Mohammed Salim Mohammed Rashid Al Qaydi Khawlah Khalfan Ali Al Neaimy Mona Ahmed Alhammoudi Ranim Ibrahim Albloushi Tamadhar Ahmed Amer Al Rawas Zainab Ahmed Ali Hassan Al Baloushi

Young Media Leaders Since it was launched in 2007, ADMAF has enabled over 100 young nationals to become Young Media Leaders (YML). The annual initiative offers national university students the chance to prepare for careers in the media. Together with twofour54 Tadreeb, students experience a nine-month series of workshops and seminars; exploring all aspects of the media profession including website design, photojournalism, writing, and presentation skills. Participants gain extensive field experience through the YML website ( and the YML magazine so that in the future, they may become forerunners of the UAE’s ever-growing media sector.

Theatre-in-Education Programme Theatre in Education (TIE) uses theatre and drama as a teaching stimulus across the curriculum to motivate pupils, build life skills, enhance their understanding and create a positive learning environment. Since 2008, ADMAF has enabled a group of UAE University-Al Ain undergraduates to take the annual residential TIE course at City University of New York. Each year students participate in 40 hours of practical workshops led by the University's Creative Arts faculty and guest tutors. They are awarded certificates by the City University of New York School of Professional Studies. Through this initiative, ADMAF is contributing to the professional development of tomorrow’s teachers, equipping them with a dynamic set of techniques and skills that will help address the learning challenges of the future.


Education Programme

© Karen Richardson

© Drew Farell

© Stefan Cohen

11th March - 3th April 2012

Carnegie Hall Music Residency

Al Ghadeer Textile Workshops &Exhibition

Young Artists’ Day

Back to School with MUBADALA

Carnegie Hall’s Ensemble ACJW returns for a two-part residency comprising two interactive school performances and a series of school workshops in Abu Dhabi, which culminate in the Young Artists’ Day evening concert at Abu Dhabi Theatre.

Al Ghadeer, the UAE Red Crescent initiative, empowers underprivileged women to generate income through traditional handicrafts. Craftswomen run a series of workshops for female students, in parallel with an exhibition of students' work on campus.

Young Artists’ Day nurtures a competitive spirit and young talent. Abu Dhabi’s schools perform and play in the morning while the evening sees the unveiling of a new musical work by the capital’s young musicians and the renowned Carnegie Hall’s Ensemble ACJW.

Artists appearing in Abu Dhabi Festival’s main programme inspire and inform the students of Abu Dhabi with a series of mini-performances, demonstrations and master classes in schools and universities across the Emirate.

Sunday, 11 March to Friday, 16 March Abu Dhabi Schools (various)

Tuesday, 13 th to Thursday, 15th March HCT (Abu Dhabi Women's College)

Saturday, 17th March Morning show: 11am – 12:30pm (closed event) Evening show: 7pm – 8:30pm (open event) Abu Dhabi Theatre



Closed event

Scottish Opera - `BabyO’ * A musical experience for parents and babies aged 6 months to 2 years that takes them into a magical garden full of busy bees, ducks and splashing fish. Composed by Rachel Drury, the show uses sounds and words that babies can understand, helping stimulate their senses. Tuesday, 13 th March to Thursday,15th March 10am (closed), 12noon (closed), 3pm (open) Les Fanfans Nursery,Khaleej al Arabi Street/15th Street intersection

Closed event

Jake Rodrigues - `Ukulele World’ * In a series of school workshops, the musician, performer and composer Jake Rodrigues invites children, aged 3 - 7 years, to join him in his Ukulele World. Children will learn to play and sing a specially composed song "Super Duper Musical Heroes". Tuesday, 13th to Wednesday, 21st March Abu Dhabi Schools (various) Closed event

3pm performance only open to the public. Booking essential. Email:

* MUSIC BOXES is commissioned by Manchester International Festival, BBC, Salford City Council and Abu Dhabi Festival. First performed on 2nd July 2011 as part of Manchester International Festival.

Manchester International Festival is a strategic cultural partner of the Abu Dhabi Festival. MUSIC BOXES marks the second joint commission, the first being the Zaha Hadid Pavilion, which appeared at Abu Dhabi Festival 2011. Abu Dhabi Festival 2012 is proud to present the MUSIC BOXES performances and workshops of Scottish Opera ‘BabyO’; Jake Rodrigues - `Ukulele World’; BBC Philharmonic Maestro; and Oily Cart ‘Drum’.

Free admission for evening performance only

BBC Philharmonic ‘Maestro’ * A unique interactive musical experience! Using new ambisonic technology, children (under 1.6 metres tall) can have a go at conducting a digital version of the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra playing a well known orchestral favourite, Rossini's 'William Tell Overture'.

Sunday 18 th March – Friday 6 th April Abu Dhabi Schools & Universities (various) Closed events

Oily Cart - ‘Drum’ * Oily Cart is the UK’s leading theatre company for young children and children with complex disabilities. Listen to the gentle rhythm of the big bass drum, watch the shadows dancing on the surface of the small drums. Written by Tim Webb, this multi-sensory show is specifically designed for babies and toddlers and their adult companions, with a version of the show also designed for children with profound and multiple learning difficulties. Sunday, 18 th March & Monday, 19 th March Al Muna Primary School, Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi Theatre Foyer Saturday, 17th March: 9am – 11am; 12.30pm – 1:30pm; 6 - 7pm; 8.30pm – 9.30pm Sunday, 18 th March: 8am- 12pm Monday 19 th March: 8am- 12pm

Tuesday, 20 th March to Thursday, 22nd March Zayed Higher Organisation for Humanitarian Care & Special Needs Abu Dhabi Centre for Care and Rehabilitation, Mafraq

Free admission

Closed events

Tuesday 20 March: 10am – 11:30am; 2:30pm- 6pm 9:30pm – 10:30pm; Wednesday, 21st March: 11:15am – 12pm; 2:30 pm - 3:30pm; th

Closed events


Education Programme

Riwaq Al Fikr / The Festival Debates

11th March - 3th April 2012

Smart Drama in Education Workshop The Creative Arts Team (CAT), the resident educational theatre company at The City University of New York (CUNY), conducts a series of interactive drama-in-education and theatre-in-education workshops at UAE University (UAEU). These sessions are designed to enhance the already existing drama curriculum within the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences as well as identify potential candidates that might be suitable for pursuing future graduate work at CAT/CUNY, similar to the previous three summer modules that were held for female UAEU graduates from 2009 to 2011, and supported by ADMAF. Run by the SMART Program at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, UAE University. Sunday, 18 th and Monday, 19 th March UAE University, Al Ain Closed event

Ways of Seeing Students and the general public have the chance to meet, discuss with and learn from the artist behind the Festival’s specially commissioned visual art exhibition, Gestures of Light. Iraqi artist-calligrapher Hassan Massoudy will hold a student workshop at Ghaf Gallery as well as an artist-led exhibition tour.

Monday 26th March, 7pm Sutra Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui / Antony Gormley / Szymon Brzóska / Monks from the Shaolin Temple 30 & 31 March, 7pm La Bayadère Semperoper Ballet, NDR Philharmonie Hanover & David Coleman Monday 2nd April, 7pm Beloved Friend The Royal Opera House

Monday, 19 th March Workshop

Exclusive access for concert ticket holders only

Closed event

A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Guided tours (open to the public): Hassan Massoudy guided tour & book signing: Tuesday, 20 th March, 11am & 3pm Then every Saturday at 3pm: 24, 31 March & 7, 14 April Also, every Wednesday at 5pm: 28 March & 4, 11 April Free admission. Booking essential. Email:

by Globe Education at Shakespeare’s Globe

After the success of ‘Macbeth’ in 2011, the acclaimed UK theatre company returns with another thrilling play and workshops for schools to bring Shakespeare to life and enhance the English language and literature curricula. Monday, 19 th March to Wednesday, 21st March Workshops Abu Dhabi Schools (various) Closed events

Pre-Concert Talks A life-long learning opportunity that offers people attending the concerts and performances of the Abu Dhabi Festival main programme the chance to gain greater insight into the featured artists and repertoires. Directors, managers, agents and artists explain the history and context of the performers and performances. Emirates Palace Conference Lounge Centre. Monday 19 th March, 7pm Traveller Anoushka Shankar Thursday 22 th March, 6.30pm Resplendent Russia Maxim Vengerov, St Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra & Yuri Temirkanov Saturday 24th March, 7pm Naseer Shamma & The Global Music Ensemble

Tuesday, 20 th March, 12:30pm Wednesday, 21st March, 9am & 12:30pm Performances for Abu Dhabi Schools Abu Dhabi Theatre

As part of its commitment to life-long learning, the Abu Dhabi Festival continues its conversation series to feed the intellectual appetite of the UAE capital. Each discussion includes a Q&A with the audience and offers simultaneous interpretation (Arabic/English). ‘The Legacy of Dr. Walid Gholmieh’

‘A Creative Education’

A panel of experts discusses the legacy of Festival 2012 Award recipient Dr Walid Gholmieh (1938 - 2011). The eminent conductor and composer made an outstanding lifetime contribution to the development of classical music which resonated across the Arab world.

Upholding the founding pillar of the Abu Dhabi Festival, a panel of leading experts discuss the value of arts education and the impact of creative learning methods.

Wednesday, 21st March, 7-8.30pm Emirates Palace Room M001 Free admission. Booking essential.

Sunday, 1st April, 7-8.30pm Emirates Palace Room M001 Free admission. Booking essential.

‘Mohammed Ghani Hikmat - A Tribute’ ‘The Crossroads of Andalucia’ Abu Dhabi Festival pays homage to the great musician, Abu l-Hasan ‘Ali Ibn Nafi’ (Ziryab) in a special panel discussion that explores the legacy of this 9th century intellectual on the world today.

The Iraqi sculptor who created many of Baghdad’s most famous landmarks died in 2011 at the age of 82. The panel will discuss Hikmat’s legacy and reveal his influence on the contemporary art movement of the region.

Friday, 23rd March, 7-8.30pm Emirates Palace Room M001

Tuesday, 3rd April, 7-8.30pm Emirates Palace Room M001

Free admission. Booking essential.

Free admission. Booking essential.

Closed events

‘Cultural Diplomacy’

The Artists’ Studio Two artists participating in the Festival’s main programme deliver inspiring interviews for a student audience. Accessible online, The Artists’ Studio raises young people's understanding around the role of the artist and career prospects in the creative and cultural industries.

A panel of diplomatic and cultural leaders discusses the role that the arts can play in forging bi-lateral relations and leading to greater understanding between nation states. Saturday, 24th March, 4-5.30pm Emirates Palace Room M001 Free admission. Booking essential.

To view, visit: The opinions voiced in Riwaq Al Fikr / The Festival Debates do not necessarily reflect those of the Abu Dhabi Festival.


March 19 to April 15 Gestures of Light, Hassan Massoudy March 19 Award Ceremony & Traveller, Anoushka Shankar March 20 A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Globe Education at Shakespeare’s Globe March 22 Resplendent Russia, Maxim Vengerov, St Petersburg Philharmonic & Yuri Temirkanov March 24 Naseer Shamma & The Global Music Ensemble March 26 Sutra, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui / Antony Gormley / Szymon Brzóska / Monks from the Shaolin Temple

Abu Dhabi Festival Main Programme 19 March - 6 April 2012 th


March 27 The Met in HD, Wagner’s Ring Cycle: Das Rheingold March 27 Bayt Al Farabi, Maqam Journey: Anwar Abudragh & Maqamat March 28 The Met in HD, Wagner’s Ring Cycle: Die Walküre March 28 Bayt Al Farabi, Eastern Wind: Göksel Baktagir March 29 Bayt Al Farabi, Synthesis: Faisal Al Sari March 30 & 31 La Bayadère, Semperoper Ballet, NDR Radiophilharmonie Hanover & David Coleman April 1 The Met in HD, Wagner’s Ring Cycle: Siegfried April 2 Beloved Friend, The Royal Opera House April 3 The Met in HD, Wagner’s Ring Cycle: Götterdämmerung April 4 Natalie Cole in Concert April 6 A Night of Legends, Fadel Shaker in Concert


Abu Dhabi Festival Award 2012 Monday 19th March 2012

In association with Time: 8:00pm (admission for ‘Traveller’ ticket holders only) Venue: Emirates Palace Auditorium

Music for Humanity In an all encompassing moment that is beyond time, it is difficult to express in words the presence of an eternal existence that ascended from earth to the heavens, leaving behind a legacy gifted to earth that was inspired by the heavens. I never imagined writing a tribute to him. Yet I find comfort in the knowledge that in the moment he left us, he became more present than ever in our minds, our souls and our spirits. Dr. Gholmieh continues to live on through his many accomplishments, all of which resonate with his character, passion, wisdom and vision. Born in Marjayoun, southern Lebanon in 1938, music was integral to his childhood. He would play the mandolin for his father, and went on to learn the violin before making his first foray into composing. He would often recall the moment when he wrote his first piece on his trousers while playing in the fields around his home. He went on to read music at the American University of Beirut before moving to Wichita University, USA, from where he graduated with an MFA in Music Composition & Conducting and a Doctorate in Musicology. Gholmieh pioneered a new form of song filled with his homeland’s character. His composition ‘Ashalal’ first performed by Sabah at Baalbeck, marked the first orchestral arrangement for a traditional Lebanese song. He was a pillar of the Baalbeck Festival, Phoenicia Theatre, Byblos Festival, Cedar Festival, and Al Bustan Festival. His compositions include six symphonies as well as chamber music, soundtracks for film, television, dance and theatre, folkloric songs and Eastern Arabic works. Gholmieh’s research on Lebanese, Iraqi and Libyan traditional music was unrivalled, and his symphonies were infused with an innate understanding of Arabic humanitarian heritage; tight in structure, flawless in technique and grounded in a universal vision.

Dr. Walid Gholmieh devoted his life to the development of Arabic music In his symphonies, he documented the history of Arabic music, and made us feel the glory of this region’s heritage. He captured the sounds of the East; inspired by the call to prayer as well as by Byzantine chants, he would blend them with the lullabies of his childhood. His works signify the near perfection of orchestral composition. The seamless transcendence from one instrument to another ends only once the listener has reached the highest level of spiritual satisfaction. The same appears in his Eastern Arabic works. Because of this, it is said that Gholmieh established the cornerstone of Arabic symphonic compositions. In 1991, he revived the national conservatory, which officially became the Lebanese National Higher Conservatory of Music (LNHCM) in 1995. He was also the founder of the Lebanese National Symphony Orchestra (later the Lebanese Philharmonic Orchestra) as well as the Lebanese National Orchestra for Arabic Oriental Music (LNOAOM). Gholmieh devoted his life to Arabic music. He established its curricula and nurtured a new generation. Thanks to him, Arabic Oriental musicians are now grounded in theory and able to perform the most complex arrangements, seldom possible before. At the LNHCM, he oversaw many academic publications on contemporary Arabic music history, covering the theory and curricula for instruments including the oud, qanun, daf, tabla and nay. He trained the LNOAOM musicians, teaching them the nuances of expression and phrasing, which led to a new orchestral system and sound for Arabic Oriental music. Through his conducting, arrangements, pioneering spirit and intellectual hunger, he created a movement that spawned a new era of music not just for Lebanon, but for the entire modern Arab world. Sacred is this generous land - the land of Marjayoun and Galilee. It gave us Walid Gholmieh and his music, by which humanity is blessed.

Hiba Al Kawas is pioneer of Arabic opera based in Lebanon, and friend of Dr. Walid Gholmieh. Among her many achievements, she is a board member and Professor of Opera & Composition at the Lebanese National Higher Conservatory of Music.


© Jonathan Greet

Time: Open daily to the public, 10am-9pm (closed Fridays) Guided Tour & Book Signing with Hassan Massoudy: 20 March, 11am & 4:30pm Guided Tours: Every Saturday, 4pm: 24, 31 March & 7, 14 April Every Wednesday, 5pm: 28 March & 4, 11 April Free admission. To register for all guided tours, email:

Hassan Massoudy was born in Najaf, Iraq and trained as a traditional Islamic calligrapher in Baghdad, before studying Fine Arts at the prestigious École des Beaux Arts in Paris. ‘Gestures of Light’ highlights his subtle synthesis of these two contrasting sources in an inspired fusion of tradition with modernity. The exhibition comprises a selection that juxtaposes the signature calligraphic works, for which Massoudy is best known, with a new set of never-before-exhibited paintings on canvas. The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue that provides insight into the development of Massoudy’s oeuvre, from his earliest days in Iraq to the present, and includes hitherto unpublished writings, by the artist, that will further elucidate the nature of both traditional and contemporary Arabic calligraphy as the pre-eminent form of artistic expression in the Arab world.

An Interview with Hassan Massoudy by Gerard Houghton GH: The unique style you’ve created incorporates Arabic calligraphic traditions and modern western painting, which you’ve then integrated with an overlay of oriental aesthetics! HM: Well I wouldn’t put it quite so simply as that! Today, I realise that I didn’t know that much about calligraphy – I mean real Arabic calligraphy – when I first arrived [to France] from Iraq. There are plenty of people in the Arab world in the same situation; they have no understanding of what real calligraphy is at all. To be honest, it was only when I came to France that I actually began to understand the true meaning of calligraphy. Sometimes I explain it thus: Iraq gave me my first understanding of western painting, whereas France taught me to understand Arabic calligraphy! GH: A beautiful paradox! Please, tell me more. HM: Well, there’s so much information in France, many photos of monuments that were buried or lost in Central Asia and elsewhere, many libraries and books offering the real possibility of finding and consulting many primary source documents and examining historical examples of calligraphy from all over the Arab world. Look at the riches in the Louvre, or British Museum. In Baghdad I didn’t have such means to study. Once [in France], too, I could travel to Egypt, to Turkey or to Japan in order to meet many calligraphers of other styles and discuss theory and technique directly with them. This wealth of information so enriched me, that, in 1981, I published my first book on the subject, Living Arabic Calligraphy. Today, I’m still learning, and every successive edition of that book, now into its fifth printing, includes new material.

GH: Tell me about the work that you’ve done for many years now, working in schools and with other groups to demonstrate the art of Arabic calligraphy. HM: …In schools… the young are always captivated by what I do. I show them how the instruments work and help them develop their own talents. Children love a challenge and often produce startling results. They’re ready to push boundaries in ways that adults don’t, which helps me. If I show them how to write the word ‘Wind’ – I deform certain letters as though a wind were blowing them around, or the word ‘Fire’ might have little curlicues licking up the sides of letters. Children have no difficulty understanding what’s going on and soon start experimenting by themselves. I tell them that a calligrapher, if he wants to play, has the right to take any letter and lengthen its top or its tail, and they can add ornamentation wherever it suits them. While explaining this, I create little bits of magic on the paper that excite them, and they can’t wait to try it out. Pretty soon, they all want to become calligraphers and start transforming letters into vivid pictures from their own fertile imaginations. GH: You’ve come a long way from the heady dreams of that young calligrapher who wished to become an artist in Paris. HM: All I can say is how incredibly lucky I’ve been. I was made to feel so welcome in Europe by this society that so readily adopted me. In return, I’ve always wanted to show the people I meet some of the many beautiful things I inherited from my own society, and I’ve tried to share the best of my world with them. In Paris, we’ve all contributed something quite special, as artists from different cultures and different traditions have gathered in this multicultural capital to perform in concert - all together and all sharing the same stage. These cross-cultural exchanges are extraordinarily intense. What surprises me most - since calligraphy has never been seen as a ‘performing art’ - is that my own calligraphic contribution, projected as moving lights and shadows on the scenery, has acted as a catalyst that promotes this spontaneous fusion. When working with musicians from many places, such as Fawzi Al-Aiedy (Iraq), Kudsi Erguner (Turkey), or singers such as Houria Aïchi (Algeria), the rhythm of my strokes keeps time and perfect pitch to illustrate the cadences of their art. When working with dancers from many traditions, such as Kader Belarbi (Algeria/France), Katia Légeret (France/India) and Carolyn Carlson (USA), the movement of my strokes extends the dancers fluent gestures on the stage. So the calligrapher becomes scenographer: writing abstract shapes that unite the haunting voices of poets no longer present, with the eloquent music and dancing of this present moment in time. Sometimes on stage, as I’m following the movements and melodies of my fellow performers, writing dynamically in black ink on a bright screen, I feel as though I’m sculpting an abstract shape that forms, dissolves and reforms beneath my reactive hands. What word I’m trying to write – I can’t be sure – it might be ‘Liberty’, ‘or Hope’ or ‘Peace’ – but I know that everyone watching the dance, who hears the music and observes that forming abstract word, understands intuitively that whatever I’m shaping in gestures of light is written in the common language of the human heart.

“In moments of creativity, everything is illuminated, everything becomes calligraphy.” Hassan Massoudy

19th March – 15th April 2012 Ghaf Art Gallery

Gestures of Light: The Art of Hassan Massoudy

This Abu Dhabi Festival commission presents the Arab world premiere of an unprecedented solo exhibition by one of the most celebrated artist-calligraphers of our time.

Excerpt from ‘Gestures of Light: The Art of Hassan Massoudy’ published by ADMAF and October Gallery for the Abu Dhabi Festival 2012


Anoushka Shankar – Sitar Sandra Carrasco – Vocals Pirashanna Thevarajah – Indian percussion Taalis – Flamenco percussion Sanjeev Shankar – Shehnai Daniel Jimenez (El Melón) – Flamenco guitar

Bhairavi (music by Anoushka Shankar) Inside Me (music by Javier Limón and Anoushka Shankar; lyrics by Anoushka Shankar, translation by Javier Limón) Ishq (music by Javier Limón, Anoushka Shankar, Sanjeev Chimmalgi; lyrics by Jami (15th-century Farsi), translation by Aalok Shrivastav) Si no Puedo Verla (music by Javier Limón and Anoushka Shankar; lyrics by Amir Khusrau (13 th /14th century Farsi), translation by Javier Limón) Dancing in Madness (music by Anoushka Shankar) Voice of the Moon (music by Anoushka Shankar)

Interval Boy meets Girl/Manj Khamaj (Boy meets Girl: music by Pepe Habichuela and Anoushka Shankar/Manj Khamaj: music by Anoushka Shankar) Lola’s Lullaby (music by Anoushka Shankar) Casi uno (music by Javier Limón and Anoushka Shankar; lyrics by Anoushka Shankar, translation by Javier Limón) Kanya (music by Anoushka Shankar; traditional lyrics adapted by Sandra Carrasco) Buleria con Ricardo (music by Pedro Ricardo Miño and Anoushka Shankar) Traveller (music by Anoushka Shankar) Jog (music by Anoushka Shankar) *subject to change

Monday, 19 March 2012 th


8:00pm - Emirates Palace Auditorium

Nitin Sawhney talks to Anoushka Shankar and producer Javier Limõn

Traveller © Simony C

Anoushka Shankar

An evening of Raga-Flamenco featuring pieces from the first CD on Deutsche Grammophon by Grammy Award nominee Anoushka Shankar. ‘Traveller’ brings together the passionate and diverse music of Spain with the vibrant, ancient forms of the Indian classical tradition.Tracing the musical commonalities of the Gypsies’ journey from their homeland in Rajasthan and finally settling in Spain, Anoushka re-forges the link, separated by a thousand years, between Spanish and Indian music. ‘… an infectiously heady blend of flamenco and classical Hindustani music… Shankar is both the star performer and the dominant creative force.’ BBC Music Magazine

No one embodies the spirit of innovation and experimentation more evidently than Anoushka Shankar. With her deep-seated understanding of Indian classical form and the rich heritage of her father’s innovative genius, Anoushka is constantly pushing boundaries on every level. In ‘Traveller’ – her debut album on Deutsche Grammophon – she finds her way into the nuances of modern flamenco through the vivid lens of Hindustani technique. In essence, ‘Traveller’ charts the spiritual link across time and space of two highly evolved forms of musical expression, from their ancient gestation to their modern zenith. This is an album of innovation and rebirth – a perfect culmination of old and new. “It was a love of the music that inspired me to make this flamenco album and bring together these two traditions,” says Anoushka Shankar. “I’ve always loved flamenco and had a fascination for it. There’s always been that pull towards something I find very similar in flamenco to what I cherish in Indian classical music; a kind of uninhibited musicality in expression, whether it’s a solo voice, a sitar or a guitar. Of course there were common roots and technical similarities to explore, and when you start to play with those, you can really delve down in very delicious ways. However the desire came from simply being an admirer of the music, and wanting to

© Harper-Smith/Deutsche Grammophon


learn about it through making music.” Flamenco has its roots in India. Many of the great modern exponents of this fiery tradition are keen to emphasize and rediscover that connection. Dancers from Joaquín Cortés to Sandra La Espuelita have, at the beginning of their shows, stated that cultural origin very clearly. Guitar masters Pepe Habichuela and Paco de Lucía, the latter notably in his work with John McLaughlin, have brought strong references to that cultural history into their compositions. Asked what drew him particularly to Indian classical music and Anoushka Shankar’s style of playing, her producer Javier Limón explains: “When Anoushka plays pure Indian music, for us she’s playing pure flamenco – for all the Gypsies, for Paco [de Lucía] and me, for all of us. When she plays Indian we sometimes say: ‘Hey, you play flamenco very well, this is flamenco.’ And she always answers: ‘No, no, no, this was Indian, pure Indian.’ The frontier is not clear because many centuries ago, maybe eight, the Gypsies came from Rajasthan and brought a lot from there to the flamenco style, to flamenco music. They created what we know today as flamenco with the Christians and Jews in Spain and with the Arabs. That’s why there are a lot of things in common that make our musical forms brothers. Flamenco is very young, about 200 years old. For me, flamenco is like the little brother of Indian music.” Little is known about the real history and connection between flamenco and Indian music. It is largely supposed that flamenco has its roots in the exodus of Untouchables from the Punjab around 800–900 AD. These people became the Romanies of lore, traversing Asia and the Middle East, eventually settling in Europe. Today, Rajasthani gypsies can be seen using ancient castanets to embellish their songs about nomadic existence and spiritual devotion. It is through these songs that the origin of flamenco can be clearly identified. The guitar, a variation of the Arabic oud, was gradually incorporated in the 19th century.

Traveller charts the spiritual link across time and space of two highly evolved forms of musical expression

In association with:

Exclusive pre-concert talk for ticket holders only 7pm, Emirates Palace, Conference Lounge Centre

Anoushka Shankar appears by arrangement with Sulivan Sweetland Ltd



The Magical Flower

Lysander/ Peaseblossom: Peter Bray Hermia/ Snug/ Cobweb: Louise Collins Bottom: Russell Layton Philostrate/ Puck: Fergal McElherron Demetrius/ Snout/ Mustardseed: Richard James Neale Egeus/ Quince /Moth: William Oxborrow Hippolyta/ Titania: Emma Pallant Helena/ Starveling/ Fairy: Carlyss Peer Theseus/ Oberon: Chook Sibtain Other parts played by the company

Titania’s fairies sing her to sleep whilst Oberon quietly sneaks in and puts the juice of the magical flower on her eyes. Now, when Titania wakes, she will fall in love with the first thing she sees. Meanwhile, Lysander and Hermia set up a camp in the forest to rest for the night. As they sleep, Puck mistakes Lysander for Demetrius and sprinkles his eyes with the juice of the magical flower. When Lysander wakes up the first person he sees is Helena and so he falls instantly in love with her instead of Hermia.

Musicians Steve Bentley-Klein, Musical Director Harry Napier Stephen Hiscock Genevieve Wilkins Director Bill Buckhurst Designer Isla Shaw Composer Olly Fox

A Midsummer Night’s Dream - Synopsis The Athenian Court

Tuesday, 20th March 2012

7:30pm - Abu Dhabi Theatre - Breakwater

A Midsummer Night’s Dream Globe Education at Shakespeare’s Globe

Theseus, the Duke of Athens, is preparing to marry Hippolyta, the Queen of the Amazons. Egeus, a nobleman, comes to Theseus with a complaint about his daughter, Hermia. Hermia wishes to marry her love, Lysander, but Egeus wants her to marry Demetrius. Theseus says that Hermia must either obey her father’s will and marry Demetrius or she must live the rest of her life in a convent. Unhappy with this outcome, Hermia and Lysander decide to elope into the forest together. Before they leave they tell Hermia’s best friend, Helena, about their secret plan. Helena is in love with Demetrius and plots to tell him that Hermia is eloping, in the hope that he might return her feelings and give up Hermia.

The Mechanicals' First Meeting A group of amateur actors, known as the mechanicals, meet in the forest with plans to put on a play for the Duke’s wedding. Their director, Peter Quince, hands out all the parts. One of the actors, Nick Bottom, is very enthusiastic and wants to play more than just the part of that has been given to him, much to Quince’s annoyance. The group arrange to meet again at the Duke’s oak for their first rehearsal.

“There can’t be many theatres whose education department started work before the theatre itself was even built and it’s an indication of just how central education is to what the Globe stands for.” The Stage

The mechanicals meet again to start rehearsing for their play. However, they are interrupted by Puck who cuts short the rehearsal by transforming Bottom's head into that of a donkey. The rest of the actors are in shock at Bottom’s strange appearance and run away in fear. A very confused Bottom is left all alone until Titania awakes from her sleep and, seeing him, falls instantly in love. She requests that Bottom stays with her and summons her fairies to serve him.

Puck’s Mistake Puck tells Oberon how he has turned Bottom into an ass and how Titania is now in love with him. Oberon is pleased with his servant’s work until he comes across two of the Lovers: Demetrius and Hermia. He realises that Demetrius still loves Hermia and that Puck has therefore used the magical flower on the wrong man. He tries to correct the mistake by using the flower on Demetrius, but this now means that both Lysander and Demetrius love Helena. The lovers squabble over this new situation and so Oberon must try and right his servant’s wrongs once and for all. He gets Puck to gather the lovers together and puts another potion on Lysander’s eyes so that this time, when he wakes, he will love Hermia once more.

The Morning After the Night Before Titania continues to dote on Bottom, but now that Oberon has got the changeling boy he decides to break the charm. Titania wakes and is confused about what has happened. She asks Oberon to explain and so he shows Bottom. Titania now loathes the ass she once loved and so Oberon asks Puck to transform Bottom back to his normal human form. Thesus and Hippolyta discover the lovers sleeping in the forest. They are all confused by the night’s events and believe they must have been dreaming. They return to Athens to be married as Lysander once more loves Hermia and Demetrius now loves Helena.

Bottom Returns Oberon’s and Titania’s Quarrel

Globe Education at Shakespeare's Globe returns to the Abu Dhabi Festival for the second consecutive year with a specially commissioned production that breathes new life into one of Shakespeare's most inventive plays. ‘A Midsummer Night's Dream’, with its cast of mortals, mechanicals and fairies, is packed with dazzling poetry and sparkling comedy.

The Interrupted Rehearsal

The King and Queen of the fairies, Oberon andTitania, have fallen out over a changeling boy that Titania has in her possession. Oberon wants the boy for himself but Titania won’t give him up. Oberon therefore plans revenge. He orders his servant, Puck, to fetch a magical flower. The juice of the flower placed upon a person’s eyes makes them fall in love with the next person or creature they see. Oberon plans to use the flower to make Titania fall in love with the first beast she sees. Whilst Puck is searching for the flower, Oberon sees Demetrius being cruel to Helena as she swears her undying love to him. So Oberon tells Puck to use this same flower on Demetrius to make him fall in love with Helena.

The mechanicals are anxious that no one has seen or heard from Bottom since their last rehearsal. They fear that they won’t be able to perform their play without him. Fortunately, Bottom returns just in time, confused at the past events, but ready to play his part.

The Mechanicals' Play It is the marriage celebrations and the mechanicals arrive at court to perform their play. It is a clumsy performance but it is still received with great amusement by the audience who laugh at its poor writing and the bad performances. When the play is over, the performers and guests retire. The fairies then enter to bless all of the marriages and Puck wishes the audience a good night.

Commission Sponsor:


Maxim Vengerov - Violin Yuri Temirkanov - Conductor St Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra

Programme Gioachino Rossini - Overture to The Barber of Seville Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky - Violin Concerto in D (Op.35) Allegro moderato Canzonetta (Andante) Finale (Allegro vivacissimo)

Interval Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky - Symphony No.4 in F minor (Op.36) Andante sostenuto - moderato con anima Andante in modo di canzona Scherzo (Pizzicato ostinato) Finale (Allegro con fuoco) Gioachino Rossini (1792- 1868) Overture; The Barber of Seville Since Rossini wrote the entire opera, The Barber of Seville, in less than a month, he clearly had no time to think up an entirely new Overture for it, so took one from an earlier opera, Aureliano. Not only that, Rossini had attached this same Overture to another opera, Elizabeth, Queen of England, which had been premièred only four months earlier. Both of these were dramatic operas while The Barber of Seville is a comedy, but the Overture seems to fit perfectly. After a slow and dramatic introduction it bustles into life with plenty of scampering ideas flitting around the different sections of the orchestra and finally collecting together in Rossini’s characteristic hallmark - the long crescendo.

Thursday, 22 March 2012 nd

8:00pm - Emirates Palace Auditorium

Maxim Vengerov & The St Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Yuri Temirkanov

© Simon Fowler

Resplendent Russia

Widely regarded as one of the world’s most dynamic violin virtuosos, Maxim Vengerov performs a spectacular repertoire of works, accompanied by Russia’s oldest symphonic ensemble and conducted by the award-winning conductor, Yuri Temirkanov. Maxim Vengerov has performed sold-out concerts with the world’s most eminent orchestras in every major city in the world. Steeped in the celebrated Russian tradition of music making, Maxim enjoys international acclaim as a musician of the highest order. Considered today as one of the top orchestras in the world, the St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra was founded in 1882 on the Order of Alexander III. It gave Richard Strauss’ Symphonic Poems, Mahler’s First Symphony, Bruckner’s Ninth Symphony and Scriabin’s Poem of Ecstasy their Russian premiers. In 1988, the award-winning Yuri Temirkanov, one of the elites of the classical music world, became its Chief Conductor and Artistic Director. “[Maxim Vengerov] seems like a marvel of nature, untouched by human agency. His tone is an unbroken silver thread. His pianissimo could melt stone and his technical flourishes dazzle diamonds.” The Times

Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840 - 1893) Violin Concerto in D (Op.35) A former pupil, Josef Kotek, acted as a witness to Tchaikovsky's wedding in 1877. When the marriage collapsed, Tchaikovsky decided to take a holiday in the Swiss resort of Clarens, where Kotek visited him and, in a bid to take the composer's mind off his personal troubles, encouraged him to write a violin concerto. The completed work was premièred in Vienna on 4th December 1881, and so came into being one of the so-called "Big Three" violin concertos. Ranging from the drama of the first movement, through the pathos-laden, deeply moving second movement to the breathtaking finale, the work's popularity is easily justified. Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840 -1893) Symphony No.4 in F minor (Op.36) Tchaikovsky was in the middle of writing his Fourth Symphony when his marriage failed. Not unnaturally this caused something of a creative block, which was finally broken by a protracted correspondence with Nadezhda von Meck, a wealthy patroness. With her encouragement he finished the Symphony and it was premièred in St Petersburg on 10th February 1878. He confided to her that the dramatic opening fanfare represented “Fate, the fatal force which prevents our hopes of happiness from being realised”, and that the second movement portrayed “that melancholy feeling which comes in the evening when one sits alone. One is sad because so much is gone and one regrets the past". The third movement brings humour which carries on into the finale until, again to quote the composer, “scarcely has one forgotten oneself and been carried away at the sight of someone else’s pleasure than indefatigable Fate returns and reminds you of yourself.”

St Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra First Violin Pavel Popov – Concertmaster Alexander Zolotarev Yury Ushchapovsky Valentin Lukin Sergey Teterin Olga Rybalchenko Natalia Sokolova Nikita Novoselskiy Alexander Rikhter Alexey Vasilyev Olga Zarapina Nikolay Tkachenko Tatiana Makarova Mikhail Alexeev Anton Chausovskiy Second Violin Ilya Kozlov – Principal Dmitry Petrov Tatiana Shmeleva Liubov Khatina Liudmila Odintsova Zhanna Proskurova Dmitry Koryavko Anatoly Babitsky Nikolay Dygodyuk Ruslan Kozlov Konstantin Basok Irina Sukhova Veronika Dygodyuk Olga Kotlyarevskaya Yaroslav Zaboyarkin Viola Andrey Dogadin – Principal Yury Dmitriev Alexey Bogorad Artur Kosinov Yury Anikeev Dmitry Kosolapov Denis Gonchar Roman Ivanov Konstantin Bychkov Mikhail Anikeev Tatiana Gromova Alexey Koptev Cello Dmitry Khrychev – Principal Nikolay Gimaletdinov Taras Trepel Sergey Chernyadyev Nikita Zubarev Yaroslav Cherenkov Iosif Levinzon Dmitry Ganenko Nikolay Matveev Alexander Kulibabin

Rostislav Iakovlev Oleg Kirillov Mikhail Glazachev Nikolay Chausov Alexey Ivanov Alexey Chubachin Nikolay Syray Flute Marina Vorozhtsova - Principal Olga Viland Flute Piccolo Ksenia Kuelyar-Podgaynova Oboe Ruslan Khokholkov - Principal Pavel Serebryakov Clarinet Andrey Laukhin - Principal Igor Gerasimov Bassoon Aleksei Dmitriev - Principal Maxim Karpinsky French Horn Igor Karzov Anatoly Musarov Vitaly Musarov Oleg Skrotsky Trumpet Mikhail Romanov Vyacheslav Dmitrov Trombone Maxim Ignatyev– Principal Denis Nesterov Vitaly Gorlitsky Tuba Valentin Avvakumov Percussion Dmitry Klemenok Mikhail Lestov Ruben Ramazyan Alexander Mikhaylov Librarian Leonid Voronov Stage Manager Alexander Novikov Executive Director Ilya Teplyakov

Double Bass Artem Chirkov – Principal

Exclusive pre-concert talk for ticket holders only 6.30 pm, Emirates Palace, Conference Lounge Centre


Oud: Naseer Shamma Spanish Guitar: Niño Josele Percussion: Giovanni Hidalgo Upright Bass: Miles Jay Clarinet: Vasilis Saleas Harp: Edmar Castaneda Piano: Cesare Picco

the message of peace, we will always succeed.” Joining Shamma onstage is the guitarist Niño Josele, an acclaimed exponent of New Flamenco and a celebrated recording artist in Spain. Puerto Rican-born Giovanni Hidalgo, widely regarded as the greatest living conga player and acrredited for ushering in a new era for Latin music, brings a touch of Caribbean flavour to the music. US-born Miles Jay combines classical and jazz with the sounds of Arabia, and has worked with Youssou N'Dour, Ziad Rahbani, and Fathy Salama. Vasilis Saleas is Greece’s foremost clarinetist and has worked with Vangelis since the early 1990s, alongside a recording career. Colombian composer and musician Edmar Castaneda has taken the world by storm with his virtuosic mastery of the harp, collaborating with the likes of Wynton Marsalis, and Chico O’Farrill. Finally, the acclaimed Italian pianist Cesare Picco transcends genres. Also renowned for his collaborations with Arena di Verona and Andrea Bocelli, he has worked with Michael Buble, Al Jarreau, and Simply Red.

Programme Away from Sadness Serene Once upon a time in Andalusia Wisdom Union

Interval Nostalgia for Cordoba Journey of the Souls Silk Road A Dream We Are Here

Music Notes

Monday, 24th March 2012 8:00pm - Emirates Palace Auditorium

Naseer Shamma & The Global Music Ensemble In an Abu Dhabi Festival Commission and World Premiere, Naseer Shamma, the oud master of Arabia, joins renowned musicians from Italy, Spain, USA, Greece and Colombia for a journey that testifies to the unifying power of music. Naseer Shamma & The Global Music Ensemble promises to be an electrifying evening of creativity, where music and musicians are pushed to the edge. Exclusive pre-concert talk for ticket holders only 7pm, Emirates Palace, Conference Lounge Centre

Away from Sadness: A way of dissipating the stress that Arabic societies have passed through during 2011. Serene: Represents the moment when the lives of the martyrs ascended to heaven. Once upon a time in Andalusia: Nostalgia for the culture of Andalusia, remembering it as the capital of poetry and art. Wisdom: A piece that represents wisdom to Naseer Shamma, the composer. Union, Tomorrow is Better: A call for Arabic nations to live together in harmony. A living success story of this is the Emirati experience. Written by Naseer Shamma during his visit to the UAE after the 40th anniversary National Day celebrations in 2011. Nostalgia for Cordoba: Naseer Shamma’s constant reflection upon Andalusia as one of the best examples of harmonious existence through the ages. Journey of Souls: This piece narrates the story of a unique, spiritual experience. The title of Naseer Shamma’s latest album, released in Madrid in 2011. Also the title of a book by Dr. Michel Newton. Silk Road: Celebrating that which connected the world’s trade routes and people. A Dream: Reflecting Naseer Shamma’s daydreams about wishing for a better future for humanity, without war, destruction, and bloodshed. We are Here: Reflecting the strength of unity between the musicians of The Global Music Ensemble, and highlighting the energizing effect that music has on life.

Universally known for his mastery of the oud, Shamma is an old friend of the Festival, having performed in its inaugural edition back in 2004 as well as in 2005. Two years later at the Abu Dhabi Festival 2010, he premiered the first rendition of Paganini’s Caprice No.24 on the oud (a Festival commission) with the Egyptian Philharmonic Society Orchestra, conducted by Ahmed El Saedi; and also found time to join jazz legend Wynton Marsalis onstage for an unforgettable duet. Shamma cites experiences such as this as having an overwhelmingly positive influence on his style of performing. “It’s developed significantly because of the Abu Dhabi Festival,” he remarks, looking ahead to 24th March 2012. “This year’s concert features newly composed pieces that bring together some of the most talented instrumentalists I have ever met. I hope it will be a singularly unique performance. Music is the most beautiful language; it can be appreciated by anyone regardless of their background.”

“Music is the most beautiful language; it can be appreciated by anyone regardless of their background” Naseer Shamma

The Global Journey Iraqi oud virtuoso Naseer Shamma returns to the Abu Dhabi Festival to delight audiences with an innovative new commission featuring an outstanding line-up of musicians from across the world. Echoing the theme of this year’s Festival, ‘Connecting Cultures’, Naseer Shamma connects continents at the premier of this highly anticipated Abu Dhabi Festival 2012 commission. The rehearsal process for this concert spanned three major cities – Cairo, Madrid and Abu Dhabi – and involved musicians from no less than seven countries. “Each new musical experience is a journey that links people from all over the world,” he says. “I hope our music helps people build bridges between cultures. This is the role we have assigned ourselves, and as long as people believe in

Yet what drives Naseer Shamma? From where does he draw his motivation and his ideas that allow him to push his beloved Oud ever further? “My inspiration to play and to compose comes from everything that surrounds me,” he explains. “Meditation brings me inspiration as does joy, happiness, even pain, as well as the life around me.

Having chosen his musical path at a young age and dedicated the greater part of his career to studying the oud, Shamma reflects that he could quite easily have become a painter or a poet. Ultimately, it was music that he was drawn to. “A career that allows you to innovate is a blessing,” he declares. “The oud is the flagship of oriental music and it allows one to innovate and to create. I believe the oud chose me.” Shamma is not even half way through his journey of musical exploration. By drawing on the past, he finds paths that lead him to new discoveries. “The study of history, philosophy, religion and mythology has informed my music and become the foundation that my performances stand upon,” he says. “Compositions such as ‘Babylonian Prayer’, ‘From Assyria to Seville’, ‘The Dialogue of Mutanabbi’, ‘Sayab’, ‘Maulana Jalaluddin Al Rumi’, and ‘Mural of Life’ are rooted in the richness of our civilization. As a six year-old boy, I was mesmerised by a song called ‘Alqalb Yashaq Kol Jameel’ (The Heart Loves All Beauty). It taught me to love life and the opportunities life gives me.”


© Hugo Glendinning

Direction and Choreography Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui Visual creation and Design Antony Gormley Composer Szymon Brzóska Performers: Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui; Shi Yanen; Shi Yanjiao; Shi Yanchen; Shi Yandong; Shi Yanqi; Shi Yanyong; Shi Yanhao; Shi Yantao; Shi Yanjie; Shi Yanguang; Shi Yanshen; Shi Yandong; Shi Yanbo; Shi Yandu; Shi Yanyun; Shi Yanxiang; Shi Yanzhong; Shi Yanjiong; Shi Yanmeng; Shi Yanbin

Monday, 26th March 2012 8:00pm - Emirates Palace Auditorium

Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui / Antony Gormley / Szymon Brzóska with Monks from the Shaolin Temple

© Hugo Glendinning


The Arab World premiere of a dance collaboration inspired by the skill, strength and spirituality of Buddhist Shaolin monks. This stunning blend of Kung Fu, Tai Chi and contemporary dance has astonished audiences and dazzled critics alike. The award-winning choreographer Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui joins forces with the Turner Prize-winning artist Antony Gormley and 17 Monks from the legendary Shaolin Temple in China for a performance that weaves the spiritual and physical boundaries of modern dance with the intensity and energy of martial arts. “This unique, profoundly imagined work takes the concept of cultural exchange to a new level.” The Guardian Exclusive pre-concert talk for ticket holders only 7pm, Emirates Palace,Conference Lounge Centre

Musicians: Piano Szymon Brzóska Violin Alies Sluiter Violin Olga Wojciechowska Cello Laura Anstee Percussion Coordt Linke Assistant Choreographers Ali Thabet, Damien Fournier Dramaturgical Advice Lou Cope, An-Marie Lambrechts Lighting Consultant Adam Carrée Production Manager Andy Downie Company Stage Manager Gemma Tonge Technical Manager Simon Young Sound Engineer Jon Beattie Wardobe Supervisor Leila Ransley Temple Project Manager & Interpreter Zhang Lifei Producer – Sadler’s Wells Suzanne Walker Producer Hisashi Itoh Tour Producer Dawn Prentice Producing & Touring Dept. Coordinator Sandra Castell-Garcia Shaolin Temple General Director Master Shi Yongxin, Abbot of the Shaolin Temple Leader of the Warrior Monks Master Shi Yan Zhuang General Manager (Shaolin Temple Industrial Company) Qian Daliang Production A Sadler’s Wells, London Production Co-produced with: Athens Festival; Festival de Barcelona Grec; Grand Théâtre de Luxembourg; La Monnaie Brussels; Festival d’Avignon; Fondazione Musica per Roma; Shaolin Cultural Communications Company

The production is a fascinating perspective on the philosophy and faith behind the Shaolin tradition. Celebrated Flemish/Moroccan choreographer Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui presents a dance work inspired by the skill, strength and spirituality of Buddhist Shaolin monks. He has collaborated closely with Turner Prize-winning artist Antony Gormley, who has created a design consisting of 21 wooden boxes, which are repositioned to create a striking, ever changing on-stage environment. Polish composer Szymon Brzóska’s beautiful score for piano, percussion and strings is played live. The 17 Monks performing in Sutra are directly from the original Shaolin Temple, situated near Dengfeng City in the Henan Province of China and established in 495AD by monks originating from India. In 1983 the State Council defined the Shaolin Temple as the key national Buddhist Temple. The monks follow a strict Buddhist doctrine, of which Kung Fu and Tai Chi martial arts are an integral part of their daily regime. By visiting the Shaolin Temple in China, and working with the Shaolin Monks over several months, Sidi Larbi followed a lifelong interest of exploring the philosophy and faith behind the Shaolin tradition, its relationship with Kung-Fu, and its position within a contemporary context. Since its first sell-out performances at Sadler's Wells in London in May 2008, Sutra has been seen by over 150,000 people at more than 70 performances across the world. Celebrated by audiences and critics alike, the production is a fascinating perspective on the philosophy and faith behind the Shaolin tradition. Sutra sees breathtaking sequences of enthralling, hypnotic movement set around Antony Gormley’s striking design with Szymon Brzóska’s carefully crafted serene score for five musicians, including piano, percussion and strings. Sutra received the Production of the Year Award in the Ballet Tanz magazine 2009 yearbook, voted for by 30 international dance critics.


Das Rheingold Tuesday, 27th March 2012

Tuesday, 27th & Wednesday, 28th March Sunday, 1st & Tuesday, 3rd April 2012

7:00pm - Venue: VOX GOLD, VOX Cinemas, Marina Mall, Abu Dhabi

The Met in HD

© Ken Howard

Wagner’s Ring Cycle Presented over two weeks, this screening of the Metropolitan Opera’s production of Richard Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen stars Bryn Terfel (Wotan), Deborah Voigt (Brünnhilde), Jay Hunter Morris (Siegfried), and Jonas Kaufmann (Siegmund). The four-opera epic is directed by Robert Lepage and conducted by Met Music Director James Levine and the company’s Principal Conductor Fabio Luisi. The production premiered at the Met over the course of the 2010-11 and 2011-12 seasons. German composer Richard Wagner (1813-1883) was one of the most influential figures of 19thcentury music. His idea of the ‘Gesamtkunstwerk’ (total work of art), combining music, theatre, literature, architecture, and other disciplines, has had an impact far beyond the world of opera. The Ring Cycle is his masterpiece and took an astounding 26 years to complete. Its story is loosely based on the medieval Icelandic Edda epics and the German Nibelungenlied. The protagonists Wotan, the king of the gods, his warrior daughter Brünnhilde, and the hero Siegfried - are caught up in the struggle over a magical ring that gives unlimited power.

Freia: Wendy Bryn Harmer Fricka: Stephanie Blythe Erda: Patricia Bardon Loge: Richard Croft Mime: Gerhard Siegel Wotan: Bryn Terfel Alberich: Eric Owens Fasolt: Franz-Josef Selig Fafner: Hans-Peter König Conductor: James Levine Production: Robert Lepage Associate Director: Neilson Vignola Set Designer: Carl Fillion Costume Designer: François St-Aubin Lighting Designer: Etienne Boucher Video Image Artist: Boris Firquet Original HD ‘live’ transmission: October 9, 2010

The Prologue to the Ring Conceived by Wagner as a prologue to his monumental Ring of the Nibelung, this work sets forth the dramatic and theoretical issues that play out in the three subsequent music dramas. The confrontations and dialogue in Das Rheingold are punctuated by thrilling musical and dramatic coups, and the entire work (written without an intermission) has a magnificent sweep. A single crime committed toward the beginning of Das Rheingold sets in motion the course of events that will eventually alter

the order of the universe by the end of the Ring tetralogy: the theft of gold from the depths of the Rhine River by the dwarf Alberich, who uses it to forge a ring that will give him unlimited power. When Wotan, lord of the gods, steals this ring from him to secure his rule, Alberich curses the ring and anyone who will ever own it. With Das Rheingold, Wagner fully realized his muchdiscussed system of leitmotifs (musical themes associated with specific things, people, or ideas). This technique is at its most accessible in this opera; in the later parts of the Ring, the number of leitmotifs multiplies, their use becoming more and more ambitious and intricate.

A single crime will eventually alter the order of the universe The score of Das Rheingold may be the least familiar of the four Ring operas - there are no set pieces appropriate for concert performance, such as the Ride of the Valkyries from Die Walküre or Siegfried’s Rhine Journey from Götterdämmerung. Yet it contains some of the most striking music in Wagner’s vast output. The uniqueness of this score is apparent from the opening bars.


Die Walküre



Wednesday, 28th March 2012

Sunday, 1st April 2012

Tuesday, 3rd April 2012

Brünnhilde: Deborah Voight Erda: Patricia Bardon Siegfried: Jay Hunter Morris Mime: Gerhard Siegel The Wanderer: Bryn Terfel Alberich: Eric Owens

Brünnhilde: Deborah Voight Gutrune: Wendy Bryn Harmer Waltraute: Waltraud Meier Siegfried: Jay Hunter Morris Gunther: Iain Paterson Alberich: Eric Owens

Conductor: Fabio Luisi Production: Robert Lepage Associate Director: Neilson Vignola Set Designer: Carl Fillion Costume Designer: François St-Aubin Lighting Designer: Etienne Boucher Video Image Artist: Pedro Pires

Conductor: Fabio Luisi Production: Robert Lepage Associate Director: Neilson Vignola Set Designer: Carl Fillion Costume Designer: François St-Aubin Lighting Designer: Etienne Boucher Video Image Artist: Lionel Arnould

Original HD ‘live’ transmission: November 5, 2011

Original HD ‘live’ transmission: February 11, 2012

The Forces of Darkness

The End of the Cycle

While the other Ring operas are concerned with mythic and philosophical issues, Siegfried is intensely focused on the title character - a force of nature rather than an evolved (and therefore compromised) person and not always likeable in any conventional sense. The role is uniquely difficult, even within the catalogue of Wagner’s monumental vocal challenges. On stage for most of the opera, the singer has to convey both power and unselfconscious vulnerability. The first act of Siegfried mirrors that of Die Walküre: both have only three characters and consist of a single narrative arc beginning in dark and murky tones and culminating in a frenzied climax. In Siegfried, this climax is not a love duet, as in Die Walküre, but a rousing solo as the hero forges the broken sword once wielded by his unknown father and originally supplied by his grandfather, Wotan. In this opera, Wotan appears not as the great god of Valhalla but is merely known as The Wanderer. The score’s orchestral writing is magnificent and remarkable in its diversity, from the delicate minimalism of the Forest Murmurs in Act II to the torrent of sound at the beginning of Act III, when the Wanderer expresses his divinity once again. This texture becomes even denser as Siegfried ascends the mountain through the Magic Fire. Wagner has an ingenious (if spare, in terms of time) use of female voices in Siegfried: the extremes are covered by the deep-voiced Erda, the Earth Mother, in Act III, and the graceful lyricism of the off-stage Forest Bird in Act II. But the complete feminine principle remains unexplored until the final half hour of the opera, when Siegfried awakes the sleeping Brünnhilde. The two then share one of the most exciting love duets in opera. It’s also a dramatic coup by Wagner: the late addition of the soprano voice to the score completes the vocal spectrum just as Brünnhilde’s love is the final ingredient in Siegfried’s life education.

The musical ideas set forth in the first three parts of the Ring find their full expression in this opera. Götterdämmerung contains several of the dialogue confrontations typical of the Ring (most notably between Waltraute and Brünnhilde in Act I and between Alberich and Hagen in Act II). A considerable amount of the vocal writing, however, departs from the forms established in the previous operas. The first appearances of true ensemble singing in the trio at the end of Act II, and of a chorus, signify a shift from the rarified world of the gods visited in Das Rheingold to an entirely human focus. (The music of the Rhinemaidens in the previous opera, while in the form of an ensemble, serves a different dramatic purpose.) Wagner famously interrupted work on the Ring for more than a decade while he was writing Siegfried, composing Tristan und Isolde and Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg in the interim. When he returned to complete the cycle, his creative abilities had evolved. This is apparent not only in complex orchestral passages, such as the symphonic Rhine Journey between the prologue and Act I of Götterdämmerung, but also in some of the score’s subtleties, like the hypnotic clarinet trio that accompanies the Rhinemaidens in Act III. Perhaps the most striking orchestral passage of the entire Ring is Siegfried’s Funeral Music in Act III, a conglomeration of leitmotifs from all parts of the cycle, built around the repetition of two thunderous chords that encapsulate the finality of death as impressively as anything in music. From a vocal point of view, Götterdämmerung presents unique challenges for the lead tenor and the lead soprano. Both roles demand singing of great emotional and physical intensity over a long period of time, culminating in a cathartic narrative for the soprano at the end of the monumental work that is among the longest and most powerful unbroken vocal solos in the operatic repertory.

Brünnhilde: Deborah Voight Sieglinde: Eva-Maria Westbroek Fricka: Stephanie Blythe Siegmund: Jonas Kaufmann Wotan: Bryn Terfel Hunding: Hans-Peter König

Conductor: James Levine Production: Robert Lepage Associate Director: Neilson Vignola Set Designer: Carl Fillion Costume Designer: François St-Aubin Lighting Designer: Etienne Boucher Video Image Artist: Boris Firquet

Original HD ‘live’ transmission: May 14, 2011

The Power of Mythology The second opera in Wagner’s monumental Ring cycle, Die Walküre has long stood on its own as an evening of extraordinarily powerful theatre. Part of Die Walküre’s appeal lies in its focus on some of the Ring’s most interesting characters at decisive moments of their lives: Wotan, the leader of the gods, whose compromise of his own laws has jeopardized the gods’ rule; his wife, Fricka, whose refusal to compromise causes more problems for the gods; his twin offspring, Siegmund and Sieglinde, who are meant to save the gods; and, above all, Wotan’s warrior daughter Brünnhilde (the Valkyrie of the title), who transforms from goddess to woman. These characters and others follow their destinies to some of Wagner’s most remarkable music. Die Walküre is set in mythological times, when gods, giants, dwarves, and humans all contended for power. While the first part of the cycle, Das Rheingold, moves between realms above and below the earth, Die Walküre takes place entirely in human territory, as the balance of power in the cosmic struggle tips ever so slowly toward humanity. While no location is specified in the libretto, the Teutonic mythology Wagner based his story on

and the significance of the Rhine River in the epic suggest a Germanic setting. Throughout the Ring cycle, Wagner uses a system of musical themes, or leitmotifs, associated with characters, events, emotions, and things. This fascinating approach has been the subject of intense musicological and philosophical investigation. A good example of how it works is found at the very beginning of Die Walküre, when the “thunder theme” is heard. It was first introduced in the final scene of Das Rheingold, before the gods enter Valhalla. In Die Walküre, it is apparent that this theme (like most of the Ring’s leitmotifs) has a direct, literal meaning - the character Siegmund is running through a storm - and also a less direct, oblique significance - we subconsciously connect Siegmund with the divinities in Valhalla, even before the character himself discovers his true identity.The beginning of Act III features the famous Ride of the Valkyries. In a dramatic masterstroke, Wagner uses the sound of eight powerful female voices, punctuated by shrieking laughter, to depict the terrible thrill of combat.The opera ends with some of the most moving music ever composed, as Wotan intones his farewell to Brünnhilde.

In a dramatic masterstroke, Wagner uses the sound of eight powerful female voices to depict the terrible thrill of combat


Anwar Abu Dragh & Maqamat Maqam Journey

Tuesday 27th March 2012

Tuesday 27th, Wednesday 28th & Thursday 29th March 2012 8:00pm - : Emirates Palace Ballroom 1

Bayt Al Farabi

Maqam, joza & oud: Anwar Abu Dragh Santour: Wissam Ayoub Al Azzawy Qanun: Hassan Faleh Oud: Ahmad Hameed Percussion (raq): Firat Fadel

As part of the Bayt Al Farabi project, Anwar Abu Dragh explores the legacy of Abu Nasr Al Farabi, a Muslim philosopher who founded the seven sciences and regarded music as the bridge between the arts and science.


Across the Arab world, Maqam refers to specific melodic modes. When a musician performs a maqam piece, the performer improvises around a set of rules. There are a number of different maqams, each with their own mood and characteristics. The Maqam has always been accompanied by three instruments: The santour, which is considered the predecessor of the piano since it is based on the same tonal system (although many in the West would classify it as a harp); the joza, which means ‘coconut’ in Arabic as part of it is formed using an actual coconut shell; and finally, the percussion (Raq), which when grouped with all the other instruments is collectively known as ‘The Baghdadian Chalghi’. Today, Abu Dragh and his ensemble work to continue the legacy of Al Farabi through a repertoire of Maqams, informed by classical Arabic poetry, dating back 1,400 years.

‘Min Wahi El Maqam’ For oud, santour, joza, qanun & percussion Music by Rawhi El Khamash

The Abu Dhabi Festival’s Bayt Al Farabi pays homage to the great 9th-century musician, philosopher and scientist Abu Nasr Muhammad Al Farabi (872AD – 950AD) through a series of concerts that explore his cultural contribution not only to the Arab world but also to Europe. The series features three outstanding musicians whose intimate knowledge and extraordinary skill exemplify Al Farabi’s enduring legacy. Al Farabi was one the earliest Islamic intellectuals. Educated in Farab, Bukhara and later Baghdad, he mastered several languages as well as various branches of science and technology, and was instrumental in transmitting the doctrines of Plato and Aristotle to the Arab world. His book on music ‘Kitab Al Musiqa’ (The Book of Music) presents philosophical principles about music, its cosmic qualities and its influences. His treatise ‘Meanings of the Intellect’ dealt with music therapy and the therapeutic effects of music on the soul and its ability to promote health. Al Farabi travelled far and wide across the Islamic empire. His contribution to science, philosophy, sociology, medicine, mathematics and music influenced the later Islamic philosophers such as Avicenna and continues to remain a driving force today.

‘Ween Raih Ween’ (traditional song) For oud, santour, joza, qanun & percussion ‘El Lail’ For oud, santour, joza, qanun & percussion Composed by Naseer Shamma ‘Maqam Ajam & Ya Ghoson Song’ For oud, santour, joza, qanun & percussion Composed by Naseer Shamma ‘Oum El Ouyon El Soud’ For oud, santour, joza, qanun & percussion Song by Mayhana Al Khalid ‘Maqam Hamayoun & Fok El Nakhal’ (folk song) For oud, santour, qanun & percussion


Göksel Baktagir

Faisal Al Sari

Eastern Wind


Wednesday 28th March 2012

Thursday 29th March 2012

The renowned Turkish virtuoso Göksel Baktagir and his ensemble revisits the time of Al Farabi through the traditional instruments of the qanun, nay, violin, oud and percussion.

Faisal Al Sari transcends East and West combining classical and jazz genres with the sounds of Emirati heritage. An Abu Dhabi Festival Commission and World Premiere.

Qanun: Göksel Baktagir Nay (flute): Eyüp Hamiş Violin: Can Olgun Oud: Bilen Işıktaş Percussion: Bülent Elmas

Oud: Faisal al Sari Req: Riad Mohsen Shnayen Bongos: Mohammed Ateeq Abdullah Piano: Julia Podsekaeva

Programme ‘Doğu Rüzgarı’ (East Wind) For qanun, violin, oud, ney & percussion Composed by Göksel Baktagir Inspired by Central Asia ‘Ipek Yolu’ (Silk Road) For qanun & percussion Composed by Göksel Baktagir About the caravans of the Silk Road ‘Mahur’ (Turkish Maqam) For qanun, violin, oud, ney & percussion ‘Garip’ (Lonely) For qanun, violin, oud, ney & percussion About a life of suffering. In the Turkish instrumental form of ‘saz semaisi’ in the Maqam Hicaz

‘Bayram’ For qanun, violin, oud, ney & percussion Composed by Göksel Baktagir Expressing the joy of the feast ‘Çocukluğum’ (As a Child) For qanun & percussion Composed by Göksel Baktagir Inspired by composer’s childhood ‘Azeri Ezgi’ (traditional song of Azerbaijan) For qanun, violin, oud, ney & percussion ‘Gül Bahçesi’ (Rose Garden) For qanun, violin, oud, ney & percussion Dedicated to all good-hearted people. Played in Maqam Uşşak ‘Kürdî Saz Eseri / Su Gibi (Like Flowing Water) For qanun, violin, oud, ney & percussion ‘Masum Aşk’ (Innocent Love) For qanun, violin, oud, ney & percussion ‘Merhaba’ (Hello) For qanun, violin, oud, ney & percussion ‘Atlantis’ For qanun, violin, oud, ney & percussion

Programme ‘Samaa'i Shatt A'araban’ For oud & raq By Tanburi Cemil Bey ‘Romance’ (traditional English folk song) For oud ‘Capriccio 1’ For oud & raq By Al Sharif Mohieddin Haidar ‘Malaguena Regional’ For oud By Juan Serrano ‘Capriccio: I Wish I had a Wing’ For oud, piano & raq By Naseer Shamma

‘Flying Sparrow’ For oud & raq By Munir Bashir ‘The Godfather’ For oud & piano By Nino Rota ‘Garcia Lorca’ For oud & raq By Naseer Shamma ‘Jazz Rock’n Roll Variation by Faisal Al Sari For oud ‘Spirit of the Union’ For oud & raq By Faisal Al Sari


Faisal Al Sari Synthesis Thursday 29th March 2012

About Synthesis Samaa’i Shatt A’raban: Tanburi Cemil Bey (1873 - 1916) was a Turkish tanbur, virtuoso (among other instruments) and composer known for his unique contribution to the ‘taksim’ (maqam improvisation) genre of Ottoman classical music. In reforming the traditional playing style, Bey developed a technique, which lightened the sonority of the tanbur. He was also the inventor of the yaylı (bowed) tanbur. Bey’s taksims and instrumental recordings have influenced generations of musicians. Romance: A traditional English folk song that can be played on several instruments. However, to date it has never been arranged for performance on the oud. Exemplifying the flexibility and range of musician and instrument, Al Sari adapts this inherently Northern European piece of musical heritage for a traditionally Arabic instrument, which over centuries spread its wings across continents. Capriccio 1: The caprice gives the opportunity for a composer’s talent to shine and the musician’s brilliance to sparkle thanks to its freestyle nature. Avoided by many, only tackled by the brave, the first caprice for the oud was composed by Al Sharif Mohieddin Haidar, whose subsequently inspired others to take up the challenge. Malaguena Regional: Composed for the classical guitar by the Spanish musician, Juan Serrano, born in 1936 in Cordoba, Andalusia. Originally composed to accompany the famous flamenco dance, the piece captures the essence of key folkloric phrases used for generations by the people of the region of Malaguena. Al Sari chose this piece for its depiction of Andalusian heritage. Capriccio - I Wish I had a Wing: Composed in the Caprice 1 model by Naseer Shamma in Tunisia during 1997, this piece acts as a commentary on ‘Lait Li Janah (I Wish I had a Wing)’ by Al Sharif Mohieddin Haidar. Shamma applies the musical debate technique along the lines of a poetic debate. In this way his piece, ‘Caprice Lao Can Li Janah’ works in parallel to ‘Lao Can Li Janah’, one of the most important compositions of modern times. It is marked by its complexity and speed.

Continuing Tradition

Flying Sparrow (Al Osfour Al Tay’r):The most renowned composition by the Iraqi composer Munir Bashir (1928 - 1997) and a unique piece that requires extraordinary skill and incredible accuracy. Notoriously difficult to perform, Al Sari performs the arrangement by Naseer Shamma.

Faisal Al Sari was introduced to the Oud in 1986 and his musical journey has since seen him become part of a new generation of Emirati artists.

‘The Godfather’: Adapted from the novel by Mario Puzo, the 1972 film directed by Francis Ford Coppola starring Marlon Brando and Al Pacino is considered one of the milestones of cinema history. The soundtrack was created by the Italian composer Nino Rota (1911 - 1979), and reflects the dramatic events of the narrative through a score full of feeling and emotion. Faisal Al Sari performs three pieces from the film on the oud accompanied by piano. Garcia Lorca: One of Naseer Shamma’s masterpieces was composed in Granada, Spain in 1998, during a literary conference organised by the poet, Adonis. The work is a tribute to the Spanish poet and humanitarian, Rodrigo Garcia Lorca (1898 - 1919) and was inspired by a visit to Lorca’s tomb. Shamma explores the link between between the poet and the Arab heritage of Andalusia (the area was under Arab rule at various times between 711 and 1492). The piece depicts Lorca’s ultimate victory through poetry over his assassin, General Franco. Jazz Rock and Roll: Variations on a selection of well-known Jazz, Blues, Rock’n Roll pieces as well as compositions by Al Sari. The Spirit of the Union: The idea came to Al Sari while watching a documentary about Burj Khalifa; how an impossible dream can become a masterpiece of dazzling reality with collective determination and hard work. Al Sari seeks to capture this united spirit in the piece through the beginning consecutive accords, the subsequent series of beautiful variations and a powerful finale.

A recipient of the 2009 Abu Dhabi Festival Award and ADMAF Creativity Award, his music straddles Eastern and Western genres and his repertoire combines both classical and jazz merged with undertones of his own Emirati heritage. Faisal graduated from the Abu Dhabi-based Bait Al Oud Al Arabi in 2011 and counts this experience as a foundation to his maturing as a soloist, composer and lately, as a teacher. “Bait Al Oud affected me greatly. My studies were based on a curriculum created by Oud maestro Naseer Shamma, and it mixed the different schools of music such as the Arabic, Oriental and broader international styles. This experience had a huge influence on my style, technique and performance. While previous methods takes an average of 10 years to allow a student to understand and master the oud, this teaching enabled me to achieve a higher level of skill in a very short time. Ultimately, Bait Al Oud broadened my horizons as well as my musical maturity. The 2012 Festival will see Al Sari perform Synthesis. “I’ll perform a select group of western pieces and variations that haven’t been performed on the oud before. The performance features several pieces that contain Arabic and Oriental Maqams along with other Maqams on the oud. I really wanted to demonstrate the flexibility of the oud and its ability to crossover and absorb really diverse

styles, between the East and West.” Mirroring the theme (Connecting Cultures) of this year’s festival, Al Sari is acutely aware of the vital role music plays in sustaining UAE musical heritage and its importance in underpinning national identity. “To me, music echoes a nation’s culture. Whoever listens to Emirati music is able to visualize this nation’s extraordinary journey, from grief to happiness, and how the people and their music rose from the environment in which it was created. There are stark and wonderful differences between the ‘Ahazeej’ (a form of chanting) of the sea, the land, celebration and war. These different colours of music were able to subconsciously preserve the Emirati heritage and identity.” Recognising the vitality of his own heritage has also helped Al Sari embrace wider genres. “I love classical music in general, but I also love Flamenco, Jazz, and Blues. I suspect that Bach and Mozart are the main western musical figures who inspire me the most.” Lately, teaching has become a large part of Al Sari’s life. “Music is all about taste, some people like Um Kulthum others like Fairuz. A few students today do want to learn the music of Mehad Hammad which is Emirati folklore but the majority want to learn the more-fast paced commercial songs. These are shortlived, unlike days gone by where musical tastes here were far more grounded in tradition. I can only guess that this is because of the pace of life we live today. It has changed people’s perspective on culture and how it affects their own lives.”

To me, music echoes a nation’s culture. Whoever listens to Emirati music is able to visualize this nation’s extraordinary journey

Abu Dhabi Festival is proud to support ‘Synthesis’, the first CD release by Faisal Al Sari.


© Costin Radu

Friday, 30th & Saturday, 31st March 2012 8:00pm - Emirates Palace Auditorium

Nikiya, a Temple Dancer: Natalia Sologub Solor, a Noble Warrior: Jiří Bubeníček Hamsatti, the Raja’s Daughter: Svetlana Gileva Kanj, the High Brahmin: Oleg Klymyuk Raja Dugmanta of Golconda, Hamsatti’s Father: Ralf Arndt The Rani, Hamsatti’s Mother: Ana Presta Ekavir, Solor’s Friend: Fabien Voranger Madhavan, Chief Fakir: Jan Oratynski The Golden Idol: István Simon Aja, Hamsatti’s Servant: Ráquel Martínez Brahmins, Royal Guards, Slaves, Servants: Members of the Extras

La Bayadère

Semperoper Ballet & NDR Radiophilharmonie Hanover, conducted by David Coleman

© Costin Radu

(The Temple Dancer)

From one of the most beautiful opera houses in the world, comes one of the world’s youngest and most dynamic ballet companies. Accompanying the Semperoper Ballet from Dresden is the NDR Radiophilharmonie Hanover, widely regarded as one of the most versatile orchestras in Germany. La Bayadère is a milestone of classical ballet. Set in ancient India, this typically romantic story tells of love, jealousy, intrigue, murder and revenge between Nikiya, a temple dancer; her rival, the Raja’s daughter Hamsatti; and Solor, a noble warrior passionately loved by both women. This exotic tale features ‘The Kingdom of the Shades’ - one of ballet’s most famous scenes. “If these innovations seem radical, they are also well done!” The Financial Times In association with:

Exclusive pre-concert talk for ticket holders only 7pm, Emirates Palace, Conference Lounge Centre

Storyline/Plot: Aaron S. Watkin, Francine Watson Coleman Choreography: Aaron S. Watkin after Marius Petipa Mise en Scène: Francine Watson Coleman Music: Ludwig Minkus Conductor/Musical Arrangement: David Coleman Set Design: Arne Walther Costume Design: Erik Västhed Lighting Design: after Bert Dalhuysen Dramaturgy: Katharina Riedeberger

About La Bayadère La Bayadère is a milestone of ballet literature. Its now legendary final act, the Kingdom of the Shades, approximately half an hour of ballet blanc, has gone down in dance history: The purest dancing, totally self-sufficient, with no dramatic link to the story, which presents a vision of ballet in the 20th century. The romantic Grand Ballet with a Russian influence is an artistic reflection of the ornateness of theTzar's court. It conformed to a technique that was Premiered in the Semperoper on November 30th, 2008

forced by Marius Petipa to ever greater virtuosity, which required one thing above all, from the corps de ballet to the ballerina: dancing perfection.

The romantic Grand Ballet with a Russian influence is an artistic reflection of the ornateness of the Tzar's court Marius Petipa had already been at the service of the Tzar for three decades when he wrote Bajaderka, which premiered in 1877 in St. Petersburg. The storyline contains the obligatory love story, with all its typical romantic conflicts — jealousy, intrigue, murder and revenge. At the end, the soul of a loving woman releases the guiltridden man from his earthly entanglements. It is no coincidence that there are similarities to Giselle, which was written in 1841 in Paris: As a young dancer, Petipa assisted Jules Perrot, who wrote the ballet and rehearsed it at the Tzar's court. The subject of Indian temple dancers, which Petipa used in his ballet, was nothing new. Since the beginning of the 19th century, they were one of the fixed characters of European music theatres, where they inspired their viewers' fantasy, which originated mainly in the spirit of European colonial aesthetics. It is no surprise, however, that Hindi temple dancing girls became one of the most popular figures of the Romantic period; after all, the dancers completely fulfilled the female ideal of this epoch. Their dual nature as priests and dancers corresponds to the characteristic dichotomy in the Romantic view of women: saint and sinner, unattainable and desirable at the same time. In Aaron Watkin's version, conductor David Coleman rearranged the music of Ludwig Minkus; stage designer Arne Walther lets Old India rise again; and costume designer Erik Västhed searched the Indian textiles markets of London.


La Bayadère Friday, 30th & Saturday, 31st March 2012

sends for Nikiya. She tries to impress her by offering her gifts of jewels, which Nikiya humbly refuses. Hamsatti, irritated and realizing that her attempts are of no avail, tells Nikiya that Solor is betrothed to her and they will marry. Nikiya shocked by this sudden news and in a fit of rage, grabs the Raja's dagger and charges towards Hamsatti. Just before stabbing her she stops herself horrified at what she has done and runs from the palace. Hamsatti swears to the Bayadere's death.

In the Palace Gardens Festivities are presented in honour of the engagement of Hamsatti and Solor. Upon orders from Hamsatti, Kanj brings Nikiya to dance at the celebration. A basket of flowers, apparently sent by Solor, is handed over to Nikiya and her spirit brightens. However, a poisonous snake is hidden among the flowers, which were actually sent by the Raja and Hamsatti. Nikiya is bitten by the snake. Kanj offers her an antidote to the poison, but Nikiya sees Solor being led away by Hamsatti and she decides that she would rather die than live without his love. Kanj rushes to Nikiya, ridden with guilt at what he has provoked.


Act II © Costin Radu

Solor's Tent

Act I

Despondent and depressed by Nikiya's death, Solor smokes opium, given to him by Madhavan to numb his grief.

The Kingdom of the Shades Solor in his dream-like euphoria hallucinates and conjures a vision of Nikiya's shade (spirit) a thousand times among a star-lit sky in the kingdom of the shades. Solor reminisces about their dance of love by the Sacred Fire.

In front of an Indian Temple


Solor, the noblest warrior in the land, wishes to offer a tiger as a gift to the powerful Raja. He sends his best friend Ekavir along with his Kshatriya warriors off hunting. Once alone he asks the fakir Madhavan for a rendezvous with the temple dancer Nikiya. They are interrupted by the arrival of the High Brahmin Kanj who orders Madhavan to prepare the festivities to honour the Sacred Fire. The Devadasis appear and among them is Nikiya, the holiest of the temple dancers. Kanj has long been overwhelmed by her beauty and confesses his love to her who rejects his advances as he is a man of God, and he is deeply hurt. Madhavan informs Nikiya of Solor's message. Nikiya agrees to meet him. Solor and Nikiya swear their eternal love to each other in front of the Sacred Fire. Unbeknown to them, Kanj is watching the secret love and swears revenge on Solor.


In the Palace of the Raja With festivities the Raja and Rani Dugmanta of Golconda announce the upcoming wedding between their daughter Hamsatti and Solor. Unexpectedly, Kanj appears and tells the Raja that Solor has sworn his eternal love to the Bayadère Nikiya in front of the Sacred Fire, hoping that the Raja would dispose of Solor. However, in a blind fury the Raja declares that it is Nikiya who must die and that the wedding between Solor and Hamsatti, who have been betrothed since childhood, will go ahead as planned. Hamsatti overhears their conversation and

Solor's Tent Waking from his trance, the wedding preparations can no longer be stopped. His friend Ekavir tells him he needs to hurry. But Solor's thoughts are only with Nikiya. He attends the preparations absentmindedly. Hamsatti, who has not failed to notice Solor's condition, tries to calm him to ensure that the wedding takes place as planned.

NDR Radiophilharmonie Hanover First Violins Kathrin Rabus, Leader Vladimir Lazov, Co-Leader Urara Oku, Co-Leader Michael Pohl Christian Heinrich Friedemann Kober Viola Mönkemeyer Hiroto Yashima Laurent Plettner Frank Wedekind Bogdan Dragus Tomasz Neugebauer

Second Violins Ladislaus Kosak, Principal Theresia Vit, Assistant Principal Volker Mutschler Rudolf Theby Johannes Meyer Katrin Strobelt Rosario Hernandez Kristina Altunjan Julie Tetens Caroline Müller

Violas Anna Lewis, Principal Christian Pohl, Assistant Principal Moshe Ben Dor Monika Worlitzsch Friedrich Stenger-Lutz Upendo Liepsch Tiberiu Idvorean Dorothee Alberts

In front of the Temple The Brahmins prepare everything for the wedding ritual; a golden idol dances to honour the gods. But Solor cannot escape his thoughts of Nikiya. A vision of her appears to him repeatedly and keeps interrupting the ritual. Mysteriously Nikiya's deathly basket of flowers appears, shocking everyone. Hamsatti, nervous that Solor will figure out she is responsible for Nikiya's death, urges her father to complete the wedding ceremony. The Raja orders Kanj to finish the wedding ritual immediately. When Kanj joins the hands of Solar and Hamsatti under the Mandap, the infuriated gods take vengeance for Nikiya's death by destroying the temple with a cyclone and burying everyone under its ruins.

Apotheosis Nikiya's spirit forgives and embraces Solor's with all her love. Joined together forever in love, they head to nirvana.

* Misri marks the beginning of an Indian wedding. ** Shaadi - the final religious ritual in a traditional Indian wedding, led by a Brahmin, where the bride and groom take their vows before god, symbolized by the Sacred Fire.

Cellos Nikolai Schneider, Principal Sebastian Maas Carsten Jaspert Christian Edelmann Amanda Anderson Gottfried Roßner Double Basses Jürgen Normann, Principal Holger Michalski Georg Elsas Karsten Schulz

Flutes Heike Malz, Principal Sabine Bleier Sarenka Siberski Oboes Roberto Baltar, Principal Mirjam Budday Clarinets Til Renner, Principal Franz Bumann Bassoons Malte Refardt, Principal Michael Grünwald Horns Stefanie Rübel, Principal Susanne Thies Dirk Alexander Margje Imandt Trumpets Stefan Schultz, Principal Jochen Dittmann, Principal Wilhelm Kammerer Fabian Neuhaus

Management: Director NDR Orchestras and Choir Rolf Beck General Manager Matthias Ilkenhans Assistant Cornelia Müller Marketing and Public Relations Dr. Torsten Blaich Julian Zeuner Tour Manager Margit Klingsöhr Education Bettina Pohl Librarian Bernd Weber, Head Dr. Jutta Heise Kathrin Metzmacher Stage Manager Uwe Nebel, Head Martin Stoll Andreas Meyer

Trombones Emil Haderer, Principal Gerhard Zolnhofer Christian Heilmann Tuba Peter Stadlhofer, Principal Timpani Raimund Peschke, Principal Percussion Wolfgang Schneider, Principal Oliver Arlt, Assistant Principal Andrea Schneider Agnieszka Arlt Philipp Arndt Harp Birgit Bachhuber, Principal Orchestral Board Christian Heilmann Carsten Jaspert Henrich Schaefer


Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky Narrator: Alex Jennings Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky in Words: Simon Russell Beale Nadezhda von Meck in Words: Dame Harriet Walter Baritone: Vasily Ladyuk Soprano: Hibla Gerzmava Piano: Peter Jablonski & Renato Balsadonna Violin - Vasko Vassilev Violin - Sophia Durrant Viola - Konstantin Boyarsky Cello - Christopher Vanderspar Dancers: Roberta Marquez & Valeri Hristov

Their Letters & His Music

Written & Directed by: Sir Ronald Harwood Associate Director: Justin Way Set Design: Emily Gottlieb Lighting Design: Nick Ware Special thanks to Lord Hall, The Countess of Chichester and Mr. Danny Wyler

Beloved Friend – told in words, music and dance

Nadezhda von Meck Monday 2nd April 2012 8:00pm - Emirates Palace Auditorium

Simon Russell Beale In gratitude for her support and friendship he dedicated his Fourth Symphony to her, but she insisted the dedication remain anonymous, so they called it ‘Our Symphony’. The letters and subsidies continued. They shared their innermost thoughts on music, religion, even love. She became deeply involved in his work and offered passionate encouragement. Their expressions of affection for one another became more and more exuberant. Von Meck invited Tchaikovsky to stay at her country estate at Brailov. They carefully co-ordinated their days so as not to meet. Only once did their paths accidentally cross – Von Meck in her carriage, Tchaikovsky out walking. Tchaikovsky tipped his hat to her, respectfully but coldly. Though he was displeased by this encounter, the love and affection expressed in their letters continued. They even deepened their bond by arranging for Tchaikovsky’s niece to marry one of Von Meck’s sons. Sadly the marriage proved to be an unhappy one, and soon too the passionate relationship between Tchaikovsky and Von Meck began to deteriorate. Von Meck’s financial situation became such that she was forced to sell her late husband’s estate in Brailov, much to the chagrin of them both. Despite this, Tchaikovsky did not realize the full extent of her debts. Encouraged by her many children who were worried about their dwindling inheritance, she cut off Tchaikovsky’s allowance For Tchaikovsky the pain caused by the cessation of this income was nothing compared to the sudden, and to him, tragic and inexplicable cessation of her letters. Tchaikovsky continued to write desperately to Nadezhda assuring her that his love for her was undiminished despite the fact she had withdrawn her financial support. He begged her for a response, but Nadezhda did not answer. He felt humiliated that she did not want his friendship now that she was no longer his patron. She wrote no explanations to Tchaikovsky, nothing to let him know she was dying of tuberculosis nor that she was becoming too weak to write. He appealed to Nadezhda’s son-in-law, Vladislav Pakhulsky, a fellow musician and one he considered a friend, to act as a go-between. But Pakhulsky, jealous of the favours Nadezhda had bestowed on Tchaikovsky, never delivered his messages. On 6 November 1893, Tchaikovsky died of cholera. Von Meck sent a wreath but no message of condolence. Two months later, she died.

This is a love story, joyous, passionate and painful like countless other love stories. But this one is different.

Beloved Friend Royal Opera House

A stellar cast of actors, opera singers and ballet dancers accompanied by world renowned pianists and a quartet of internationally acclaimed musicians give an intimate performance to mark the beginning of ADMAF’s strategic partnership with the Royal Opera House. Inspired by the letters between the composer Piotr Il’yich Tchaikovsky and his muse and patron Nadezhda von Meck, this dramatized recital in words, music and dance received its world premiere in 2009 at the Royal Opera House and was followed in 2011, at the invitation of HRH The Prince of Wales, with a private performance at Buckingham Palace. Exclusive pre-concert talk for ticket holders only 7pm, Emirates Palace, Conference Lounge Centre

Although Nadezhda von Meck was born into a landowning family, at 16 she married a poorly paid government engineer. Ambitious and intelligent, she helped him rise from poverty to greatness. With her energetic personality and organizing ability he became a successful railway tycoon, and when he died in 1876, he left her a very rich widow with 12 children. Her 12th was not his and the discovery of this is said to have hastened his death. The year of her husband’s death, she began her relationship with Pyotr Il’yich Tchaikovsky. She was 46 years old with a reputation for being a generous patron of the arts. By coincidence one of the musicians in her employment, Yosif Kotek, was a friend of Tchaikovsky. Tchaikovsky was 36, an impecunious aristocrat and a talented but still relatively unknown composer. Encouraged by Kotek, she wrote to him and commissioned a piece of music. Thus began a 13-year correspondence. Initially Von Meck praised Tchaikovsky’s music and commissioned more; in return Tchaikovsky expressed his gratitude. Soon, however, their letters became more intimate; and when Von Meck asked Tchaikovsky for his portrait, he obliged. Von Meck set boundaries to their relationship, asking that they should never meet. Apparently in this way she felt she would be less inhibited, more able to express her truest and innermost feelings. Tchaikovsky acquiesced, saying that to be personally acquainted with him would only lead to disappointment and he would be pleased to remain an idealized figure in her imagination. Meanwhile, Nadezhda von Meck continued to pay Tchaikovsky for the work she commissioned from him. Eventually he began to ask her for money even when he was not composing for her. She always responded generously. Tortured soul as Tchaikovsky was and struggling for peace of mind, he married Antonina Miliukova, thus hoping to deflect the society gossips. For him the marriage was an immediate disaster and drove him to breaking point. He contemplated suicide but instead decided on a hasty separation. Although he wrote to Von Meck describing his emotional anguish, he was loath to admit to her that he had failed as a husband. . Von Meck replied warmly and sympathetically. Even though she had written wishing him every happiness in his marriage, she admitted she had been secretly jealous of his young wife and was pleased and relieved the union had not lasted. She supported his separation whole-heartedly, and made him an extremely generous allowance of 6,000 roubles a year to ease his hardship and suffering.

Exclusive post - perfomance discussion for ticket holders only


8:00pm - Emirates Palace Auditorium

Natalie Cole in Concert The daughter of the legendary Nat King Cole makes her first appearance in the Middle East. The singer, songwriter, performer and winner of 9 Grammy Awards gives an unforgettable performance at the Abu Dhabi Festival 2012.

Natalie Cole Nine-time GRAMMY award winner singer, songwriter and performer Natalie Cole has proven to be one of the most beloved performers of all time. Natalie rocketed to stardom in 1975 with her debut album, Inseparable, earning her a No 1 single, ‘This Will Be (An Everlasting Love)’ and two Grammy awards for Best New Artist, as well as Best Female R&B Vocal Performance. In 1987, she released Dangerous, which sold over two million copies in the US and garnered her three hit singles including the hit cover version of Bruce Springsteen’s ‘Pink Cadillac.’ Natalie Cole was born in Los Angeles, California, the daughter of Nat King Cole and former Duke Ellington Orchestra singer Maria Cole. Raised in the affluent Hancock Park district of Los Angeles and was exposed to many great singers of jazz, soul, and blues. At the age of six Natalie sang on her father's Christmas album and began performing at age 11. In 1991 Natalie took a bold leap that would change her life and career forever. Already a highly successful R&B artist, she amazed everyone when she recorded Unforgettable…With

© Kwaku Alston

© Kwaku Alston

© Kwaku Alston

Wednesday, 4th April 2012

Musical Director: Gail Deadrick Keyboards: Alessandro Alessandroni Guitar: Adam Hawley Bass: Edwin Livingston Piano: Joshua Nelson Drums: Robert Miller

Love, an album of standards from the American Songbook that included a duet with her late father - Nat King Cole - on the title track. The album spent five weeks at No 1 on the pop charts, earned six Grammy awards and sold more than 14 million copies worldwide. Natalie’s secondary career as an actress has seen her star in director Delbert Mann's Lily in Winter and co-star with Laurence Fishburn and Cicely Tyson in Walter Mosley's Always Outnumbered. She played herself in Livin' For Love: The Natalie Cole Story, the biopic of her life, Natalie has made more than 300 major television appearances, from dramas like Law and Order and Touched by an Angel to talk shows with Oprah Winfrey, Ellen DeGeneres, and Larry King. Cole’s 2008 album Still Unforgettable garnered her two more Grammy awards for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album and Best Instrumental Accompanying Vocalist. It also earned Cole a NAACP Award for Best Jazz Artist. Natalie is also the author of a bestselling book Love Brought Me Back detailing her extraordinary life and the legendary musical influences she called her friends including Frank Sinatra, Sara Vaughn and Sammy Davis Jr. It also maps out her long battle with illness and her subsequent inspirational recovery from kidney disease. More recently Natalie sang with Tony Bennett on his Duets II album, the pair performed Watch What Happens. Meanwhile while her TV work has seen her appear on the reality TV series The Real Housewives of New York City. Natalie continues to tour widely and as a result has built up a whole new generation of fans.


...where there is a vision for culture, creativity blossoms

Friday, 6th April 2012 8:00pm - Emirates Palace Auditorium

A Night of Legends The tour de force of Arabic song, Fadel Shaker, pays homage to the icons of Arab music in an evening to remember. In true Arabic musical style, the masterpieces of the region’s most memorable stars comes to life once more, including the well-crafted melodies of Egypt’s Umm Kalthoum, the delicate sweetness of Najat, the thrill of Lebanon’s Sabah, and the nostalgia of Syria’s Farid Al Attrash, among others. All will receive Shaker’s inimitable magic touch. Acclaimed for his unique singing style and adored throughout the Middle East, the award-winning King of Romance is expected to give a rousing performance to mark the finale of the Abu Dhabi Festival 2012.



© Ian Whalen

Anwar Abu Dragh

Faisal Al Sari

Ralf Arndt

Göksel Baktagir

Renato Balsadonna

Anwar Abu Dragh was born in Baghdad in 1970. At the age of 21, he obtained a Diploma in Music with honours from the Institute of Musical Studies, and went on to earn a Bachelor’s degree in Music from The College of Fine Arts, University of Baghdad. He studied a further two years at the Arthur De Greef Academy in Belgium. Abu Dragh’s joined Al Bayariq, a group founded by Munir Bashir and supervised by Naseer Shamma, which significantly contributed to Abu Dragh’s musical development. He became Dean of The Institute of Musical Studies in addition to The School of Music and Ballet in Baghdad. For a period of time, he also served as Professor of Arabic Music at the Arab Cultural Centre in Brussels and participated in numerous local and international festivals. Abu Dragh currently works on creating a new derivative of Iraqi Maqam based on the roots of authentic classical music, which he also implements through his musical group, Maqamat, which specializes in Arab and Iraqi Maqam. He is currently the Director of Maqamat School for Arabic Music and Iraqi Maqam based in Belgium.

Faisal Al Sari first became involved with the oud in 1986. He began by teaching himself the instrument, until he met Ahmed Fathi in Sharjah. He then studied both the oud and phonetics with Riyadh Hassan, and received a diploma in music. Al Sari composed his first piece in 1992, and worked with various stars and artists in both the UAE and the GCC states. Among these were Adel Al Khomayyes, Abdullah Hamid, Fayez Al Saeed, Ibrahim Abdullah, Waad Al Bahri, Oraib and Adel Abdullah. One of the most important musical works he has performed is the opera ‘The Story of a State’, which was performed at Emirates Palace as part of the Education Without Borders Festival by the Higher Colleges of Technology. Al Sari studied Western solfege and opera singing with Sultan Al Khatib and studied the Eastern solfege, Al Qudud, Al Muwashahat, and Al Kulthumiyat with the late Radwan Rajab and Riyadh Hassan Al Khassa. In 2008, he joined the Bait Al Oud Al Arabi in the UAE capital Abu Dhabi. Whilst he was working towards graduation, he also studied for a teaching certificate and performed as a soloist. Al Sari also specialises in composition and research.

Principal Character Artist Ralf Arndt was born in Magdeburg, Germany and trained at the National Ballet School in Leipzig. He joined the Semperoper Ballet in 1982, and was a soloist from 1986 to 2008 before becoming a character soloist in 2008. His repertoire includes Tybalt/ Romeo ‘Romeo and Juliet’ (Productions by H. Wandtke; S. Thoss); Adam ‘Die Erschaffung der Welt’ (H. Neumann); Franz ‘Coppélia’, Ivan ‘The Firebird’, Palemon ‘Undine’, Jose ‘Carmen’ (H. Wandtke); Benno/ Wolfgang ‘Swan Lake’ (Productions by A. S. Watkin after M. Petipa and L. Ivanov; K. Russu); Dionysus ‘Abraxas’ (K. Russu); Poet ‘Raport’ (B. Cullberg); Lion ‘The Tamer’ (E. Pöchtani); ‘The Four Temperaments’, ‘In Search’, ‘Altera Pars’, ‘The Island of the Dead’, ‘Fading Away’, ‘Percussion’ (S. Thoss); ‘Le Sacre’ (Productions by J. Bönisch; J. Neumeier); ‘Bruckner’, ‘Farben’ (J. Bönisch); ‘Erde’ (K. Gdaniec); ‘Mahler’ (M. Bigonzetti); Schönberg’ (R. Dörnen); ‘Troy Game’ (R. North); ‘Ways’ (P. Zuska); ‘Voluntaries’ (G. Tetley); Ratscha ‘La Bayadère’, King Heinrich ‘The Sleeping Beauty’ (A. S. Watkin after M. Petipa). Arndt has been Head of the Department for Extras at the Semperoper Dresden since 2008. Previously, he taught at the Palucca School of Dance in Dresden and has worked as Guest Ballet Master in theatres at Chemnitz, Dresden, Hanover and Kiel.

Göksel Baktagir began his music education at the age of eight under the supervision of his father Muzaffer Baktagir. He graduated in 1988 from ITU State School of Art for Turkish Music. A year later, he began his graduate studies. In 1989, he was appointed as the kanun player to the State Turkish Music Group of Istanbul under the direction of Tanburi Necdet Yasar. During this period, he performed in England, France, Belgium, Denmark, Holland, Switzerland and Türkmenistan with the Necdet Yasar Ensemble and various other groups. To date, Baktagir has written 140 compositions, including 35 vocal and 105 instrumental works. His muhayyerkürdi song ’Tek Kelime‘ (A Single Word), was among the 10 most popular songs of 1997 by the newspaper, Milliyet. In 2000, his album ’Dogu Rüzgarı’ (Eastern Wind) won the Turkish Authors’ Association Award. Baktagir has succeeded in creating a broad body of work across numerous genres including New Age and Jazz. His celebrated instrumental work ‘Azeri’ arranged and performed by Baktagir and Yurdal Tokcan appeared in Mel Gibson’s film ‘The Passion of the Christ’. Baktagir currently spends his time lecturing between Mimar Sinan University State School of Art and Halic University in Turkey.

Renato Balsadonna has been Chorus Director for The Royal Opera since 2004. Born in Venice, he studied philosophy, piano and composition, worked as a répétiteur in Italy and was Assistant Chorus Master in Basle and at La Monnaie, Brussels, where in 1997 he was appointed Chorus Director. He subsequently worked on numerous La Monnaie productions including several world premieres. From 1999 he assisted Norbert Balatsch at the Bayreuth Festival. As a guest conductor he has worked with Frankfurt Opera Chorus, BBC Singers, Netherlands Radio Choir, the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia Chorus and the Grant Park Festival Chorus, Chicago. He has made numerous recordings for EMI, Deutsche Grammophon, Warner Classics, Opera Rara and Chandos with such conductors as Benini, Elder, Mackerras, Ono and Pappano. Next engagements include concerts with the South Bank Sinfonia, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and Massenet's 'Don Quichotte' in concert.

Konstantin Boyarsky Konstantin Boyarsky was born in Russia, but later moved to London to attend the Yehudi Menuhin School. He completed a Bachelor of Music degree and a postgraduate course in advanced performance with distinction at the Royal College of Music. During that time he won many major awards including The Malcolm Sargent Award and Martin Fund, the Bernard Shore viola competition, and was awarded a "Diploma of Honour" from Accademia Musicale Chigiana in Siena, Italy. In 2003 he was a prize winner at the International Tertis viola competition. Konstantin is currently Principal Violist of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. He also gives many solo and chamber music concerts, and both performs and teaches at many international music festivals. He is also Guest Professor at the Royal College of Music in London. A noted composer, Konstantin has created instrumental compositions and arrangements for viola and other instruments as well as two ballets "Sleepers" and "Children of War" which he wrote in collaboration with the Royal Ballet School. In July 2008 he was commissioned to write a chamber work for the Radio France and Arts channel. "Mosaique Musicale" was broadcast several times around the world, with rave reviews. In 2010 Konstantin was named "UK's Best young Classical Composer" by the international web-magazine www.


Born in Poznań (Poland) in 1981, Szymon studied at the Royal Flemish Conservatory in Antwerp. In 2008, he composed the score for ‘Sutra’, made in collaboration with choreographer Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, sculptor Antony Gormley and monks from the Shaolin temple in China. After the success of ‘Sutra’, his partnership with Cherkaoui continued with the score for ‘Orbo Novo’, commissioned by New York-based Cedar Lake Dance Company. His connection with modern dance continued with a cello piece, ‘I will’, for Rambert Dance Company and the score for ‘Dunas’, a duet for Cherkaoui and flamenco danseuse Maria Pagès. September 2009 saw the premiere of his concerto for piano, strings and percussion ‘Hommage à Schnittke’ during the Festival of Polish Piano Music in Słupsk. In May 2010, his piece ‘Septem’ premiered at the Sounds New Contemporary Music Festival in Canterbury, UK. Szymon's orchestral score for ‘Labyrinth’, a full-length ballet commissioned by Dutch National Ballet, premiered in June 2011 in Het Muziektheater in Amsterdam. This was another collaboration with Cherkaoui. November 2011 saw Szymon back in his hometown, Poznañ, for the premiere of his new score for ‘Desert’, a dance performance choreographed by Paulina Wycichowska.

Jiři Bubeniček Award-winning Principal Dancer Jiři Bubeniček was born in Lubin, Poland and trained at the Prague Conservatory of Dance, Czech Republic. Recipient of the 18th International Competition for Choreographers’ Publics Prize in 2004, among other commendations, he has been a Principal of the Semperoper Ballet since 2006. His extensive repertoire include Prince Désiré/ Prince Florimund/ Catalabutte/ Blue Bird ‘The Sleeping Beauty’ (Productions by J. Neumeier; A.S. Watkin after M. Petipa); Theseus – Oberon/ Lysander ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’; Mercutio/ Benvolio ‘Romeo and Juliet’; Solor ‘La Bayadère’ (N. Makarova); Colas ‘La Fille Mal Gardée’ (F. Ashton); ‘The Grey Area’, ‘Reverence’, ‘A Million Kisses To My Skin’ (D. Dawson); ‘Theme and Variations’, ‘Rubies’, ‘Emeralds’ (G. Balanchine); ‘Monotones’ (F. Ashton); ‘In the Middle Somewhat Elevated’, ‘Enemy in the Figure’, ‘Steptext’ (W. Forsythe); ‘Canon In D Major’ (J. Bubeníček). His numerous creations include Solor “La Bayadère” (A.S. Watkin after M. Petipa); Pas De Deux ‘Scheherazade I’, Pas De Deux ‘Blue Danube’, and ‘Trio’ (S.L. Cherkaoui). With his brother, he created ‘Bubeníček and Friends’ for Prague National Theatre. Also as an active choreographer, Bubeniček has danced at various international ballet galas and festivals in Germany, Czech Republic, Austria, Belgium, France, Switzerland, Denmark Sweden, Russia, Japan and Australia. He has appeared in several films.

© Knaku Alston

© Koen Broos

© Ian Whalen

Szymon Brzóska

Sandra Carrasco

Edmar Castaneda

Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui

Natalie Cole

Sandra Carrasco was born in Huelva, southwestern Spain where she began studying music as a young child. She is a person and a performer who expresses herself with the instrument of her voice. “There was no specific moment when I found my voice. The voice is like a filter that rises deep inside, from one’s soul,” she says. “People find it beautiful and special and that makes me happy, but I think that what is inside the person is what makes that voice reach the audience.” Her voice has been nurtured by producer Javier Limón. “He was the first person connected with music that I met when I arrived in Madrid. A relationship of friendship, respect and affection got started, one that I’ll always be grateful for, because it has given me a lot,” Sandra says. “The song selection process was slow and enjoyable. He showed me his themes and I loved them. Little by little we tried them out, without rushing, in an atmosphere of affection and calm. It was a delicious experience; he asked my opinion of everything, and we didn’t stop until I was satisfied. He’s shown incredible tact and psychological perceptiveness with me.”

Edmar Castaneda was born Bogotá, Colombia. Since moving to the USA in 1994, he has taken New York and the world stage by storm with the sheer force of his virtuosic command of the harp; revolutionizing the way audiences and critics alike consider an instrument commonly relegated to the ‘unusual’ category. Not unlike his fellow musicians that have transformed their lives and immediate circumstances through art, Castaneda’s journey traces back to humble yet inspiring beginnings. The son of a musician and a mother who nurtured his natural talents, he embraced the folkloric traditions of his native land. The ‘joropo’ dance classes, which he and his sister attended became for him a master class in movement, accompanied by the harp. While performing, Castaneda’s body seemingly engulfs his Colombian harp as he crafts unbelievable feats of crossrhythms, layered with nuances rivaling the most celebrated flamenco guitarist’s efforts. Castaneda is committed to sharing his mastery with others and improving people’s lives through his music. In addition to his performing career, which has included features at D’Rivera’s Carnegie Hall tribute, The DC Jazz Festival, Jazz at Lincoln Center, The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Castaneda has also gained recognition as a respected composer.

Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui’s debut as a choreographer was in 1999 with ‘Anonymous Society’. Since then he has made more than 15 pieces and won a slew of awards. Cherkaoui’s initial works were made as a member of the Belgian collective, les ballets C de la B – ‘Rien de rien’ (2000), ‘Foi’ (2003) and ‘Tempus Fugit’ (2004) – but he also undertook parallel projects: ‘Ook’ (2000); ‘D’avant’ (2002); ‘zero degrees’ (2005) with friend and choreographer Akram Khan; ‘Myth’ (2007) and ‘Origine’ (2008). In 2008, Cherkaoui created ‘Sutra’. This award-winning collaboration with Antony Gormley and the Shaolin monks has continued to tour the world to great critical acclaim. He continued with his first commissioned piece in North America, ‘Orbo Novo’ (for Cedar Lake Dance Company) and a series of duets such as ‘Faun’ and ‘Dunas’, with flamenco danseuse Maria Pagés (both in October 2009). Spring 2010 reunited him with Gormley to make ‘Babel’, the third part of a triptych that began with ‘Foi’ and ‘Myth’. 2011 saw the creation of ‘TeZukA’, his homage to Japanese manga artist Osamu Tezuka, as well as ‘Labyrinth’ for Dutch National Ballet. ‘Babel’ triumphed at the 2011 Laurence Olivier Awards, winning best new dance production.

When Natalie Cole’s seminal ‘Unforgettable…With Love’ came out in 1991, the jazz collection set a new standard for reinventing the Great American Songbook. The CD, which picked-up six Grammys, including Album and Record of the Year, spent five weeks at No.1 and sold more than eight million copies in the US alone. Yet instead of exploiting the moment and rushing out a second volume, Cole thoughtfully took a step back, devoted herself to several other stellar projects including her riveting autobiography, and waited until she felt ready to return to the songs that fulfil her heart and soul. Releasing ‘Still Unforgettable’ on September 9, 2009 the album won two Grammy’s, one for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album and Best Instrumental Accompanying Vocalist. It also earned Cole a NAACP Award for Best Jazz Artist.


© Lars Gundersen

© Ian Whalen

© Costin Radu

David Coleman

Bert Dalhuysen

Sophia Durrant

Hibla Gerzmava

Svetlana Gileva

Antony Gormley

Conductor David Coleman began his career at the London Opera Centre, before joining London Festival Ballet, later becoming its Principal Guest Conductor. He was Musical Director of ‘Rudolf Nureyev and Friends’, and premiered several of Nureyev’s major choreographies. As conductor of Paris Opera Ballet for many years, he was commissioned to write the reconstructed full-length ballet ‘Paquita’ from Deldevez’s original writings. In addition to being resident conductor with the Semperoper in Dresden, he is guest conductor with dance companies around the world, as well as La Scala Milan. Coleman’s recent works include Concerto for Violin, Fantasy for Brass, Colour Concerto for Oboe, Strings and Percussion, and a chamber orchestra version of ‘La Sylphide’. For the Semperoper Dresden, Coleman created a new version of ‘Sleeping Beauty’ with Aaron S. Watkin and Francine Watson, which he premiered in 2007. For the world premiere of David Dawson’s ‘Giselle’, he arranged and re-orchestrated a new score after Adam. In 2008, he reconstructed ‘La Bayadère’ and composed a new fourth Act using Minkus’ themes. His version of Swan Lake premiered in November 2009. Coleman’s recordings range from ballet classics and opera to choral works and contemporary scores. He appears regularly on European radio and television, discussing music and dance and their performance.

Bert Dalhuysen was born in 1958. After studying at the Academy for Photography and Photo Techonology in The Hague, Netherlands, he became part of the renowned Design and Photo Studio, Arinde Visualdesign, as a photographer and director. He has been Artistic Director of lighting of the Musikteater in Amsterdam and the Dutch National Ballet since 1986. Since 1989 he has worked independently as a lighting designer for ballet, opera and theatre. His work in the field of ballet includes collaborations with choreographers such as Van Manen, Gallili, Fabre, Pastor and Dawson. He was the lighting designer of the multiprize-winning productions ‘The Grey Area, ‘The Disappeared’ and ‘Giselle’ for David Dawson and ‘La Bayadère’ for Aaron S. Watkin.

Sophia Durrant formalised her musical education aged 11 at The Yehudi Menuhin School in the UK. From there, her studies took her through the Royal College of Music, University of Toronto, and Hans Eisler Hochshule in Berlin. Principal teachers include Mauricio Fuks, John Ludlow, Lorand Fenyves, Christoph Poppen and Ulf Wallin. Durrant has worked extensively as a chamber musician, guesting with groups such as the Schubert Ensemble, Schidlof Quartet and for many years as an invitee at the International Musicians Seminar, Prussia Cove. Orchestrally, she has enjoyed working with the Munich Chamber Orchestra, Camerata Academica of Salzburg, Academy of St Martin in the Fields and London Mozart Players. Durrant currently holds the position of principal second violin at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden where she has worked for 11 years.

Hibla Gerzmava graduated from the Moscow Conservatory in 1994, and finished her postgraduate course in 1996. Since 1995, she has been the soloist of the Stanislavsky & Nemirovich-Danchenko Musical Theatre in Moscow. She has also performed at The Mariinsky (St. Petersburg), Theatre des ChampsElysées and Theatre du Chatelet (Paris), the Teatro Communale, Florence and the Royal Opera House (London). Her repertory includes Ludmila (‘Ruslan and Ludmila’), the Swan Princess (Rimsky-Korsakov’s ‘Tale of Tsar Saltan’), the Shemakha Queen (Rimsky-Korsakov’s ‘The Golden Cockerel’), Rosina, Adina, Tatyana, Violetta and Mimi. She has appeared in concert and recital throughout Europe and the USA. Her concert repertory includes the Mozart and Verdi Requiems, Beethoven’s Symphony No.9 and Haydn’s ‘Creation’. During the 2009/2010 season, Gerzmava appeared as Mimi at the Royal Opera House, London. In the 2010/11 season, she made her debut as Antonia in ’Les Contes d’Hoffmann‘ at The Metropolitan Opera and returns this season as Mimi in ‘La Bohème’. Future roles scheduled there include Donna Anna, Desdemona and Liu. Gerzmava appeared as Donna Anna in ‘Don Giovanni’ at Covent Garden earlier this season and will return in the future as Maria in ‘Simon Boccanegra’. She will also make her debut this season at the Vienna Staatsoper as Vitellia (‘La Clemenza di Tito‘).

First Soloist Svetlana Gileva was born in Perm, Russia and trained at the Perm Ballet School. She joined the Semperoper Ballet in 2008, and has been a First Soloist since 2010. Previously, she danced with Aalto Theater Essen, Vereinigte Städtische Bühnen Krefeld-Mönchengladbach, and Mikhailovsky Ballet St. Petersburg. Her repertoire includes Nikiya/ Hamsatti/ Kingdom of the Shades 2nd Variation ‘La Bayadère’, Lilac Fairy/ Fairy of Vitality/ Ruby Fairy ‘The Sleeping Beauty’ (Productions by M. Petipa; A. S. Watkin after M. Petipa); Odette/ Odile/ Hungarian Princess ‘Swan Lake’ (Productions by M. Petipa; A. S. Watkin after M. Petipa and L. Ivanov); Louise ‘The Nutcracker’ (J. Neumeier); Don Quixote (M. Petipa); Medora ‘Le Corsaire’ (P. Gusev); Fairy ‘Cinderella’ (J. Perrot and J. Coralli); ‘Giselle’ (Productions by J. Perrot and J. Coralli; D. Dawson); ‘The Taming Of The Shrew’ (Productions by H. Schwaarz; J. Cranko); Demi-Soloist ‘Diamonds’ (G. Balanchine); ‘Esmeralda’ (J. Perrot); ‘Les Sylphides’ (M. Fokine); ‘Alles Walzer’ (R. Zanella); ‘Bach’ (R. North); ‘Das Verbrechen und die Bestrafung’ (G. Koftun); ‘The Second Detail’, ‘In The Middle Somewhat Elevated’ (W. Forsythe); ‘The World According To Us’ (D. Dawson); ‘Petite Mort’ (J. Kylián); ‘Le Souffle de l’Esprit’, ‘Unerreichbare Orte’ (J. Bubeníček).

Antony Gormley was born in London in 1950. Upon completing a degree at Trinity College, Cambridge, he travelled to India, returning to London three years later to study at the Central School of Art, Goldsmiths College and Slade School of Art. Over the last 25 years, Gormley has revitalised the human image in sculpture through a radical investigation of the body as a place of memory and transformation. His work has been exhibited extensively, with solo shows throughout the UK in venues such as the Whitechapel, Tate and Hayward Galleries, the British Museum and White Cube, and internationally at museums including the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington DC, and the Kölnischer Kunstverein in Germany. He has participated in major group shows such as the Venice Biennale and the Kassel Documenta 8. His ‘Field’ has toured the USA, Europe and Asia. ‘Angel of the North’ and, more recently, ‘Quantum Cloud’ are among the most celebrated examples of contemporary British sculpture. Gormley was awarded the Turner Prize in 1994 and the South Bank Prize for Visual Art in 1999 and was made an Order of the British Empire in 1997. He is an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects, Trinity College, Cambridge and Jesus College, Cambridge, and has been a Royal Academician since 2003.


© Thomasz Sikora

Sir Ronald Harwood His many plays include ‘The Dresser’, ‘Another Time’, ‘Taking Sides’, ‘Quartet’, ‘An English Tragedy’ and ‘Collaboration’. He is the author of several novels, and of ‘Sir Donald Wolfit CBE: His life and work in the unfashionable theatre’. His films include ‘The Dresser’, ‘Taking Sides’, ‘The Pianist’, ‘Being Julia’, ‘Oliver Twist’ and ‘The Diving Bell and the Butterfly’. He was nominated for an Academy Award for his screenplays of ‘The Dresser’ and ‘The Diving Bell and the Butterfly’ for which he won the Humanitas Prize and a BAFTA. In 2002, he won the Academy Award for ‘The Pianist’. He was made Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 1974 and was Visitor in Theatre at Balliol College, Oxford in 1985. He was President of English PEN, 1989-1993, and President of International PEN, 1993-97. He was Chairman of the Royal Society of Literature 2001-04. Since 2005, he has been President of the Royal Literary Fund. In 1996 he was appointed Chevalier de l’ordre Nationale des Arts et Lettres, and CBE in 1999. He received a knighthood in 2010.

Giovanni Hidalgo

Valeri Hristov

Peter Jablonski

Miles Jay

Alex Jennings

Giovanni Hidalgo was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico into a household surrounded by drums, bongos, congas and timbales. His grandfather had been a musician as well as his father, José Manuel Hidalgo ‘Mañengue’, a renowned conga player. Hidalgo was hired by the Batacumbele Band in 1980. In 1981, he traveled with them to Cuba, where he met José Luis Quintana ‘Changuito’. Together they were able to create a unique style of rhythm and ushered in a new musical era of Latin music. In 1982, Hidalgo was performing with Eddie Palmieri. The legendary jazz musician Dizzy Gillespie was so impressed that he told him that someday they must get together and play. This happened in 1988 when Hidalgo joined the Dizzy Gillespie United Nations Jazz Orchestra. In 1990, he released his first album titled ‘Villa Hidalgo’ and that same year he was hired as an adjunct professor at the Berkley College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts. There he taught all types of rhythms; Puerto Rican, Cuban, Dominican, Reggae, African and Jazz. He held this academic position from 1992 until 1996, when he decided to continue performing on tours. He is widely regarded as the greatest living conga player.

Born in Sofia, Bulgaria, Valeri Hristov trained at the State Choreographic School. In 1995, he joined PACT Ballet in South Africa, and from 1998 danced in Japan before joining Pacific Northwest Ballet in 2000. His repertory included Basilio, Franz, Prince Siegfried, James, Conrad, Benvolio, the Prince (The Nutcracker), Les Sylphides and leading roles in Concerto, Paquita, L’Aprèsmidi d’un faune, Aract, Five Tangos, Monotones, Merry Widow, Chaconne and Western Symphony. He joined The Royal Ballet in 2002, and was promoted to First Soloist, 2006. His repertory includes Lensky, Romeo and Paris, Ivan Tsarevich, Lysander, Palemon, Prince Siegfried, Les Noces, Homage to The Queen, Birthday Offering pas de deux, Les Rendezvous, Agon, Polyphonia, Sinfonietta, Four Temperaments, Sleeping Beauty, Voluntaries, Fin du jour, Song of the Earth, ‘Emeralds’ (Jewels), Serenade, Les Patineurs, Elite Syncopations, Scènes de Ballet and Symphony in C.

Swedish-Polish pianist Peter Jablonski has given concerts on all five continents, and has worked with the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin and the Philharmonia, Cleveland, Kirov, NHK Symphony, Seoul Philharmonic and Czech Philharmonic orchestras. He has also worked with the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, Hamburger Symphoniker, Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, London Philharmonic Orchestra and the major orchestras in Scandinavia. Jablonski has also worked with notable conductors such as Valery Gergiev, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Vladimir Ashkenazy and Myung-Whun Chung. Last season, he performed with Ensemble Orchestral de Paris, Beethoven Orchester Bonn with Osmo Vänskä and RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra. In May 2012, he will premiere a new piano concerto by Jouni Kaipainen with the Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra and Hannu Lintu. Peter is a strong advocate of Polish composers such as Wojciech Kilar, who dedicated his piano concerto to Jablonski, who gave the world premiere in Warsaw in 1997. In addition to performing a wide range of concertos, Jablonski also has an extensive recital repertoire. This season, he will appear at The International Piano Series at London’s Southbank Centre. Jablonski is Artistic Director of the Karlskrona Chamber Music Festival in Sweden and Altara Records. He has a multi-award winning discography with Decca and Deutsche Grammophon.

Miles Jay is an internationally accomplished double bassist, recognised widely for his abilities in expressing Middle Eastern musical traditions, as well as the range of artists with whom he collaborates. He has performed in over 20 countries, in such venues as Carnegie Hall and the United Nations, with Youssou N’Dour, Ziad Rahbani, Naseer Shamma, Jason Derulo, the Cairo Symphony Orchestra, Omar Faruk Tekbilek, Ross Daly, Trygve Seim, Fathy Salama, Azam Ali and Niyaz, and Dr. Ali Jihad Racy. Since receiving his BA in ethnomusicology from the University of California, Santa Barbara, Jay lived nearly 6 years in Cairo and Beirut, performing and recording with many of the region’s most beloved musicians while immersing himself in their respective music traditions. Stretching out beyond jazz and classical music, he has adapted a wide variety of Middle Eastern aesthetics to his bow technique, enabling his sound in a diverse range of ensembles and styles. Miles invented and hand built his own unique instrument, the Contrabass Sintir. Popular with musicians for its warmth and punch, it combines attributes of traditional North African instruments, with the playing technique of an upright bass. This instrument is featured extensively on Miles’ latest solo album release.

After Warwick University, Alex Jennings trained at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. He is an Associate Actor of both the National Theatre and the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC). His theatre credits include - for the National Theatre: Leontes in ‘The Winter’s Tale’ and Lord Foppington in ‘The Relapse’, for which he won the 2001 Evening Standard Drama Award, Best Actor; and Professor Higgins in ‘My Fair Lady’ (2003 Olivier Award, Best Actor in a Musical). For the RSC his many roles include Richard II, Peer Gynt (1996 Olivier Award, Best Actor) and Hamlet (1997 Helen Hayes Award, Best Actor). Other theatre work includes ‘Too Clever By Half’ (1988 Olivier Award, Best Comedy Performance & London Theatre Critics Award, Best Actor), ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’ with Dame Maggie Smith, ‘Candide’ with English National Opera, and ‘My Fair Lady’ with Théâtre du Châtelet, Paris. His television appearances include Inspector Morse, Poirot, Miss Marple, Waking the Dead, Spooks, and Cranford. Films include A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Wings of the Dove, Four Feathers, Five Children and It, Babel, and as Prince Charles in Stephen Frears’s film, The Queen. Jennings has worked extensively in radio as well as recording many audio books. 


© Ian Whalen

© Regina Recht

Daniel Jimenez (El Melón)

Niño Josele

Jonas Kaufmann

Oleg Klymyuk

Vasily Ladyuk

Robert Lepage

Flamenco Guitarist Daniel Jimenez, better known as ‘Melón’, was born in Wiesbaden, West Germany in 1986. His German mother is a classical pianist and his father a Spanish flamenco guitarist. At age one, the family relocated to Jerez de la Frontera in southern Spain, where Melón was raised in a musical environment. He has played on stage with Ketama, Pitingo and Marcos Vidal, among others, and is currently the guitarist of Sandra Carrasco, Niña Pastori and Anoushka Shankar, combining all their current tours.

Niño Josele was born Juan José Heredia in 1974 in Almería, Spain. He is a classical Spanish guitarist and exponent of the New Flamenco style. In the 1990s, Josele started searching for his own style. His debut album, ‘Calle Ancha’ was released in 1995. One year later, he won the Young Musicians Competition in the Flamenco Biennial Festival of Sevilla. He has supported, among others, Remedios Amaya, Tomatito, Pepe de Lucía, Montse Cortés and Duquende. The biggest boost to his career came with Diego El Cigala, with whom he studied until they were offered a show at Teatro Real, subsequently recorded in 2002. In his 2001 album, ‘El Sorbo’, Josele shared the bill with many first line cantaores and producermusician Javier Limón. In 2003, he finally released a self-titled album, produced by Javier Limón, and featuring Enrique Morente, Andrés Calamaro and the Barbès National Orchestra. He works with an ensemble of talented musicians, including Ralph Bowen, Alain Pérez, Piraña, and Phil Woods. Together, Josele faces his music. His truth. No more, no less.

Born in Munich, Germany, tenor Jonas Kaufmann began his professional career at the State Theatre in Saarbrucken in 1994 and was soon invited to make débuts in the Stuttgart Opera, Hamburg State Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Paris Opéra and Teatro alla Scala in Milan. He has appeared with some of the world’s leading conductors and orchestras, including the Berlin Philharmonic under Sir Simon Rattle as well as Nikolaus Harnoncourt, the Cleveland Orchestra under Franz Welser-Möst and the Vienna Philharmonic under Helmuth Rilling. Recent performances include ‘Lohengrin’ in Munich and at the Bayreuth Festival, Maurizio in ‘Adriana Lecouvreur’ at Royal Opera House Covent Garden and in concert at the Deutsche Oper Berlin and Carnegie Hall, Florestan in ‘Fidelio’ in Munich, Werther in Vienna and Paris, and ‘Cavaradossi’ in London, Vienna, Milan, Berlin, and Zurich. This season, he is playing the title role of ‘Faust’, Siegmund in ‘Die Walküre’, and a recital at the Met, Enée in ‘Les Troyens’ at Covent Garden, the title role of ‘Don Carlo’ in Munich, ‘Faust’ in Vienna, and Don José in ‘Carmen’ and Bacchus in ‘Ariadne auf’ Naxos in Salzburg. He is also performing concerts and recitals in Paris, Vienna, Munich, London, Berlin, Baden-Baden, Athens, Brussels, Hamburg, and Essen.

Second Soloist Oleg Klymyuk was born in Lutsk, Ukraine and trained at the Kiev State Choreographic Academy. He joined Semperoper Ballet in 2003, becoming Second Soloist in 2006. Previously he danced as a soloist with Ulmer Theater, and the Ukrainian National Ballet. His repertoire includes ‘La Bayadère’ (Productions by M. Petipa; A. S. Watkin after M. Petipa); ‘The Sleeping Beauty’ (A. S. Watkin after M. Petipa); ‘Giselle’ (J. Perrot und J. Coralli); ‘Romeo and Juliet’ (L. Lavrovsky); ‘The Nutcracker’ (Productions by M. Petipa; J. Neumeier); ‘Swan Lake’, ‘Paquita’, ‘Don Quixote’ (M. Petipa); ‘The Fire Bird’, ‘Petruschka’, ‘Chopiniana’ (M. Fokine); ‘The Taming Of The Shrew’ (J. Cranko); Spartacus’ (Y. Grigorovich); ‘Ist’s Morgen Der So Blendet’, ‘Haydn-Schau’, ‘Ludwig II. – Swan Lake’, ‘30 Deutsche und eine Sonate’, ‘Erwin’, ‘Franz Schubert-Sonata C Minor’ (A. Plucis); ‘Im Wind ein Raunen’ (M. Cartagena); ‘Steptext’, ‘In the Middle Somewhat Elevated’, ‘The Second Detail’ (W. Forsythe); ‘Petite Mort’, ‘Sechs Tänze’ (J. Kylián); ‘Symphony N° 2’, ‘The Creation/ Die Schöpfung’ (U. Scholz); ‘Theme and Variations’ (G. Balanchine); ‘Empty House’ (J. Inger); ‘The Grey Area’, ‘The World According To Us’ (D. Dawson); ‘Le Souffle de l’Esprit’, ‘Unerreichbare Orte’ (J. Bubeníček).

In 2010, Baritone Vasily Ladyuk made a highly successful debut with the Houston Grand Opera as Prince Yeletsky in ‘Pique Dame’. Recent engagements include Belcore in ‘L’Elisir D’Amore’ at the Mikhailovsky Theater, St. Petersburg; the title role of Tchaikovsky’s ‘Eugene Onegin’ at the Mariinsky Theater and the Bolshoi Opera; and ‘Onegin’ at  The Royal Opera, Covent Garden. His Metropolitan Opera appearances include Andrei in Prokofiev’s ‘War and Peace’, Silvio in ‘Pagliacci’ and Harlequin in Ariadne auf Naxos.   He made his debut at Teatroalla Scala as Onegin and sang Germont in ‘La Traviata’ at the Teatro Fenice. His 2011-12 performances include Rachmaninoff’s ‘The Bells’ at the Ravinia Festival with the Chicago Symphony under James Conlon; Marcello in a new production of ‘La Bohème’ in Oslo; and a return to the USA as ‘Onegin’ for Opera Carolina.  Future work includes concerts and recording of ‘The Bells’ under Vladimir Spivakov in Moscow plus ‘Onegin’ in Moscow with Mikhail Pletnev. Vasily is a first-prize and audience choice award-winner of the Francisco Viñas International Singing Competition, and a winner of the Shizuoka International Opera Competition, Japan. He is also a regular guest soloist of the Bolshoi Theatre, and is analumnus of the Moscow Academy of Choral Arts, where he studied both voice and choral conducting.

Versatile in every form of theatre craft, Robert Lepage is equally talented as a director, scenic artist, playwright, actor, and film director. His creative and original approach to theatre has won him international acclaim and shaken the dogma of classical stage direction to its foundations. In 1994, Lepage founded the production company Ex Machina and has produced plays including ‘The Seven Streams of the River Ota’ and ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’. He wrote and directed his first feature film ‘Le Confessional’ in 1994 and went on to direct films including ‘The Polygraph’, ‘Nô’, and ‘Possible Worlds’. He opened The Caserne, a multidisciplinary production centre in Quebec City in 1997 where he and his team have since created and produced opera productions, film projects, and theatrical and visual works including ‘The Andersen Project’ (2005), ‘Lipsynch’ (2007), ‘The Blue Dragon’ (2008), ‘Eonnagata’ (2009) and ‘The Image Mill™’ (the largest architectural projection ever achieved). He is the creator and director of Cirque du Soleil’s ‘KÀ’, a permanent show in residence in Las Vegas. Operatic directorial projects include ‘The Rake’s Progress’ at La Monnaie (2007), Lorin Maazel’s ‘1984’ for Royal Opera House Covent Garden (2005), among others. This season, he is responsible for the production of Wagner’s Ring cycle at the Met.


© Marcus Krüger

© Ron Rinaldi

© Isabelle Massoudy

© Jörg Meyer

James Levine

Roberta Marquez

Hassan Massoudy

Jay Hunter Morris

NDR Radiophilharmonie Hanover

Cesare Picco

The Music Director and Conductor has conducted nearly 2,500 performances at the Met, more than any conductor in the company’s 127-year history. Maestro Levine inaugurated the ‘Metropolitan Opera Presents’ television series for PBS in 1977 and ‘The Met: Live in HD’ series in 2006. He founded the Met’s Lindemann Young Artist Development Program in 1980; returned Wagner’s complete Ring to the repertoire in 1989 (in the first integral cycles in 50 years); and launched a series of concerts featuring the MET Orchestra at Carnegie Hall. In addition to his responsibilities at the Met, Levine is a distinguished pianist and an active and avid recital collaborator. From 1973 to 1993, he was Music Director of the Ravinia Festival, summer home to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. His activities outside the USA include relationships with Europe’s most distinguished musical organisations: the Salzburg (1975 –1993) and Bayreuth (1982–1998) festivals, the Vienna Philharmonic, and the Berlin Philharmonic. He was Chief Conductor from 1999 to 2004 of the Munich Philharmonic, and Music Director from 2000 to 2004 of the Verbier Festival Youth Orchestra and from 2004 to 2011 of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Tanglewood Festival. He has conducted every major orchestra in America and Europe.

Roberta Marquez was born in Brazil, where she trained at the Maria Olenewa State Dance School. In 1994, she joined the Municipal Theatre Ballet in Rio de Janeiro, becoming a Principal in 2002. Her repertory included Aurora, Odette/ Odile, Nikiya, Swanilda, Juliet, Chloë, Sugar Plum Fairy, Giselle, Princess Stephanie, Katerina (Cranko’s ‘Taming of the Shrew’), Floresta Amazônica, Serenade, Theme and Variations and Suite in Blanc. She has also danced Nikiya as a guest artist with American Ballet Theatre. Her awards include Best Dancer of the Year at the Rio de Janeiro Dance Awards (2001), and Silver Medal and Best Couple at the Moscow International Dance Competition (2001). Marquez joined The Royal Ballet as a Principal in 2004 and has since danced Manon, Cinderella, Lise, Sugar Plum Fairy, Dora Penny, Odette/Odile, Aurora, Swanilda, Juliet, Marie, Tatiana, Irina, Titania, Sylphide (‘La Sylphide’), Pupil (‘The Lesson’), Bride (‘Wedding Bouquet’), Afternoon of a Faun and Symphony in C.

Hassan Massoudy was born in 1944 in Najaf, Iraq. He moved to Baghdad in 1961, to study under several prominent teachers of classical calligraphy. His desire to study art, coupled with the political events in Iraq at the time, saw him leave for Paris in 1969, where he enrolled at the École des Beaux- Arts. Receiving his degree in 1975, he returned to calligraphy with renewed vigour, creating an amalgamation of styles that blends the past with the present, combines oriental and occidental modes, and finds startling commonalities between the rigorous demands of tradition and the exploratory instincts of modernity. From 1972, he toured Europe for 13 years with ‘Arabesque’, a multimedia performance integrating music, poetry, movement and calligraphy. Massoudy’s work is well represented in many public and private collections, including the British Museum, London; National Museum of Jordan, Amman; Musée du Quai-Branly, Paris; Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris; National Museum of Ethnography, Osaka; Sharjah Museum, UAE; and Wereldmuseum, Rotterdam. A gifted teacher and writer, his many publications include The Calligrapher’s Garden (Saqi Books, 2010). Massoudy’s signature style is immediately recognisable, and was the promotional image for the British Museum’s groundbreaking exhibition, Word Into Art: Artists of the Modern Middle East (2006).

Jay Hunter Morris was first drawn into the opera spotlight in 1995, when he created the role of Tony in Terrence McNally’s play ‘Master Class’ at the Philadelphia Theatre Company. He continued in the role at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles, at the Kennedy Centre in Washington, and finally on Broadway, where he was nominated for an Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Debut of an Actor. Recent performances include Siegfried with the San Francisco Opera, Števa in Monte Carlo, and Erik in ‘Der Fliegende Holländer’ with Atlanta Opera, Seattle Opera, Arizona Opera, and Opera Australia. He has created many roles in world premieres including Captain James Nolan in Adams’s ‘Doctor Atomic’, Father Grenville in Heggie’s ‘Dead Man Walking’, and Mitch in Previn’s ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’ with San Francisco Opera; Unferth in Elliott Goldenthal’s ‘Grendel’ with the Los Angeles Opera; and Marky in Howard Shore’s ‘The Fly’ at Paris’s Théâtre du Châtelet. This season, he shall be playing the title role of ‘Siegfried’ and Siegfried in ‘Götterdämmerung’ at the Met, Captain Ahab in Jake Heggie’s ‘Moby Dick’ at the Adelaide Festival, and Tristan in ‘Tristan und Isolde’ with the Welsh National Opera.

As a musical ambassador of Hanover and Lower Saxony, the NDR Radiophilharmonie enjoys an excellent reputation going far beyond the broadcasting area of the North German broadcasting company. Regular broadcastings, guest performance tours and tours abroad as well as, not least, countless CD productions, provide continuous evidence of the artistic quality and international standing of the orchestra which is based in Lower Saxony’s state capital. At the start of the 2009/2010 season, Eivind Gullberg Jensen became Chief Conductor of the orchestra. He is one of the most highly esteemed conductors of the younger generation and is in much demand as a guest conductor with many of Europe's leading orchestras. Besides Eivind Gullberg Jensen and Eiji Oue, Conductor Laureate, there have been, and remain, many top young conductors as guest conductors of the orchestra who have caused a sensation in recent years in the international music world: Gustavo Dudamel, Andris Nelsons, Kristjan Järvi and Pietari Inkinen, to name a few. Numerous outstanding soloists including Anne-Sophie Mutter, Gidon Kremer, Rudolf Buchbinder and Frank Peter Zimmermann have also appeared with the orchestra in recent years. The NDR Radiophilharmonie tours both in Europe and overseas. Recent performances have included appearances in Austria, Italy, Spain, France, Norway, South America, Japan and in London’s Royal Albert Hall.

Cesare Picco is an Italian pianist who has studied the piano since the age of four. He has performed with numerous chamber groups and orchestras such as Orchestra of The Musical Afternoons in Milan, Twentieth Century and Beyond Ensemble, Quintet Bibiena, Berlin Chamber Soloists, Royal Manchester Orchestra. His compositions have been presented in various music festivals, including Academy Chigiana, September Music, Gaudeamus Rotterdam, Yard Art of Montepulciano. In 1999, commissioned by the Arena of Verona, he wrote the opera ’The Journey of Hans‘. As a composer he collaborates with numerous artists such as Luciana Savignano étoile (for which he wrote the ballet La Lupa), Jules and Jim, and Moon and Tango with whom he performed at the Teatro alla Scala in Milan. Cesare has also performed with artists such as Michael Buble, Terence Blanchard, Al Jarreau and Simply Red.


© Harper Smith DG

Simon Russell Beale Simon Russell Beale is an Associate Artist of the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) and National Theatre. RSC performances include Konstantin in ‘The Seagull’ and Ariel in ‘The Tempest’. Numerous productions at National Theatre include ‘Hamlet’, which won him the Evening Standard Best Actor Award. Vanya in ‘Uncle Vanya’ and Malvolio in ‘Twelfth Night’ at the Donmar Warehouse and New York’s Brooklyn Academy won him the 2002 Olivier Award for Best Actor. In 2009, Simon played Leontes in ‘The Winter’s Tale’ and Lopakhin in ‘The Cherry Orchard’, both directed by Sam Mendes at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, on a European tour, and at the Old Vic. He played Sir William Collyer in a film version of ‘The Deep Blue Sea’, and a cameo role in the film ‘My Week With Marilyn’. In 2011 he played The Duchess in the Royal Ballet's ‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland’ at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. Television work includes ‘A Dance To The Music of Time’, for which he won the BAFTA Award for Best Actor, and has filmed two series of ‘Spooks’. For BBC 4, he has presented two series of ‘Sacred Music’ and the series, ‘Symphony’. Simon was awarded a CBE in the 2003 Queen’s Birthday Honours List for services to the Arts.

The St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra The St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra, Russia’s oldest symphonic ensemble, was founded in 1882, on the Order of Alexander III. The Court musical choir was established, the prototype of today’s Honoured Collective of the Russian Federation. In the early 20th century, the orchestra played the first Russian performances of Richard Strauss’ symphonic poems ‘Ein Heldenleben’, ‘Also Sprach Zarathustra’ Mahler’s First Symphony, Bruckner’s Ninth Symphony and Skriabin’s ‘Poem of Ecstasy’. Among the conductors were Richard Strauss, Arthur Nikisch, Alexander Glazunov and Sergey Koussevitsky. In 1917, the ensemble became the State Orchestra and was soon incorporated into the newly founded Petrograd Philharmonic. In 1934, the Orchestra became the first ensemble to receive the name ’Honoured Collective of the Russian Federation‘. Four years later, Evgeny Mravinsky joined the orchestra and for half a century, created one of the best orchestras in the world. In 1988, Yuri Temirkanov became its principal conductor. According to Gramophone’s ratings the orchestra is in the top 20 best orchestras in the world today. This season was opened on the birthday of Dmitri Shostakovich. Under the direction of Maestro Temirkanov, the orchestra performed the legendary ‘Leningrad Symphony’ upon the 70th anniversary of the Symphony (1941-2011).

Vasilis Saleas Born in Greece in 1958, Vasilis Saleas was taught to play the clarinet at the age of nine by his father and uncle, he performed his first club concert two years later. By the age of 14, he had mastered the clarinet and recorded his first disc. Saleas is now the foremost clarinet player in Greece. A former accompanist for Mikis Theodorakis, Dionisis Savopoulas, and Stamatis Spanoudakis, Saleas has worked with Greek instrumentalist and composer Vangelis Papathanasiou since the early 1990s. His debut solo album, ‘Orama: The Music of Vangeli’, featured interpretations of Vangelis’ compositions. His second solo album, ‘Vasilios Saleas’, followed in 2000.

Fadel Shaker

Naseer Shamma

Anoushka Shankar

Fadel Shaker was born in 1969 in Saida, southern Lebanon. He is a Lebanese Palestinian and has lived in Lebanon his whole life. In 1997, he was discovered and was signed on to produce three albums. This was Shaker’s first significant career break. Shaker focused primarily on singing Magamat, the hardest of Arabic melodies, and has tried to preserve the true Arabic musical style in his songs. His songs are almost unique in that they contain no western influence. His unique singing style, has made him one of the most popular performers in the Middle East today. Fadel’s albums are Walah Zaman (1998), Baya’a El Qolob (1999), El Hob El Adeem (2000), Hobak Khayal (2001), Sidi Rouhy (2003), Saharney El Shook (2004), Allah Aalam (2006) and Bada Al Bal (2009). He was nicknamed by his fans as ‘Malek El Romansia’ (The King of Romance).

Naseer Shamma was born in 1963 in Kut, a village on the Tigris River in Iraq. When he was 11, he saw an oud in the hands of a music teacher. Although his father, a shop owner, was religiously conservative, he did not object to his son’s artistic ambitions. Shamma began studying the oud at the age of 12 in Baghdad, following in the footsteps of Jamil and Munir Bachir. In 1985, he played his compositions at his first concert, attended by several renowned Iraqi artists. Shamma received his diploma from the Baghdad Academy of Music in 1987. He began to teach while continuing his studies. Shamma has composed music for films, plays and television, and has written a unique oud method for one hand, designed for children injured during the Gulf War. Between 1993 and 1998, he taught oud at the Higher Institute of Music in Tunisia, and in 1999, became Director of the Arab Centre for the Oud in Cairo. He performs on the oud combining ancient methods with his own modern compositions. He has constructed an eight-string oud following the manuscript of the 9thcentury music theorist Al Farabi. This new design (8 instead of 6 strings) has expanded the musical range of the oud and has given it a distinct tonality.

Anoushka Shankar is a unique artist with a tremendous understanding of the great musical tradition of India. Trained by her father Ravi Shankar, the legendary sitar virtuoso and composer, she released her first solo album, ‘Anoushka’, in 1998 to tremendous critical acclaim. Two albums followed, ‘Anourag’ (2000) and the Grammy Award-nominated ‘Live at Carnegie Hall’ (2001). Anoushka has premiered several new works by her father, including a piece for sitar and cello with cellist Mstislav Rostropovich at the 1999 Evian Festival and ‘Symphony’ with the London Philharmonic Orchestra in 2010. Anoushka has shared the stage with luminaries including Sting, Madonna, Nina Simone, Herbie Hancock, Elton John, Peter Gabriel and James Taylor. More recently, she has been developing her work as a composer. Her fourth solo album, the Grammy Award-nominated ‘Rise’, featured several new compositions. She continues to tour extensively both as a classical artist and with her group, The Anoushka Shankar Project. Her album ‘Breathing Under Water’ was released in 2007. In 2011, she signed to Deutsche Grammophon. Following her latest CD ‘Traveller’ (2011), Anoushka is touring Europe, India and the USA this season. As her solo career continues to blossom, she is poised to carry forward her father’s legacy as one of the most creative and influential figures in the music world.


© Ian Whalen

© Ian Whalen

© Hugo Glendinning

Sanjeev Shankar

Shaolin Temple

István Simon

Natalia Sologub


Yuri Temirkanov

Born into a family of musicians of Banaras Gharana in which the shehnai and flute has featured for the past 450 years, Sanjeev Shankar realised his strong affinity towards music at the age of seven. His father Daya Shankar, an internationally acclaimed shehnai player, helped fuel his blossoming talent with inspiration and guidance. Sanjeev also had the privilege to learn Shehnai from his grandfather, the legendary musician, Anant Lal. After formal training, which allowed him to attain proficiency of the highest order in Raga, Taal and Laya, Sanjeev was awarded a scholarship by the Government of India’s Department of Culture, in recognition of his outstanding talent in the field of music. Recently, Sanjeev has been consolidating his knowledge under the instruction and guidance of the legendary sitar maestro, Pandit Ravi Shankar.

The warrior monks performing in Sutra are from the Shaolin Temple, situated near Songshan mountain in the Henan Province of China and established in 495AD by monks originating from India. In 1983, the State Council defined the Shaolin Temple as the key national Buddhist Temple. They follow a strict Buddhist doctrine, of which Kung-Fu & Tai Chi martial arts are an integral part of their daily regime. A patriarchal clan system presides within the Temple and in nearly 800 years, there have been over 30 generations of monks. The representatives of the current generations have, in their surnames, the characters of ‘Su’, ‘De’, ‘Xing’, ‘Yong’, ‘Yan’ and ‘Heng’. Master Shi Yongxin is the present Abbot of the Shaolin Temple. Shaolin Kung-Fu is one of the oldest Chinese martial arts traditions. Based on a belief in the supernatural power of Chan Buddhism, the moves practiced by the Shaolin Kung-Fu monks are its major form of expression. According to the guidebooks handed down in the Shaolin Temple Kung-Fu has 708 movement sequences, plus another 552 boxing sequences and 72 unique skills. The monks of the Shaolin Temple regard the perfection of their Kung-Fu warrior skills as their lifelong goal. Fully understanding life with no fear in their hearts, their physical and mental practice embodies the ancient Chinese belief in ‘the unity between heaven and man’.

Second Soloist István Simon was born in Tirgu Mures, Romania and trained at the Hungarian Dance Art Academy. He has won numerous awards including Gold Medal International Ballet Competition Helsinki (2005); Gold Medal at the International Ballet Competition Brno (2003); and Gold Medal at the International Ballet Competition St. Pölten (2002). He has been with the Semperoper Ballet since 2007 His repertoire include Romeo ‘Romeo And Juliet’ (L. Seregis); First Cavalier/ Blue Bird ‘The Sleeping Beauty’, 2 Escorts ‘La Bayadère’ (A. S. Watkin after M. Petipa); Basil ‘Don Quixote’, Ali Pas De Deux ‘Le Corsaire’ (M. Petipa); Prince ‘The Nutcracker’ (R. Landgren); Lucentio ‘The Taming Of The Shrew’ (J. Cranko); Hilarion/ Bridegroom ‘Giselle’, The King ‘The World According To Us’, ‘On The Nature Of Daylight’, ‘The Grey Area’, ‘A Million Kisses To My Skin’, ‘Reverence’ (D. Dawson); Demi-Soloist ‘Rubies’, ‘Theme and Variations (G. Balanchine); ‘The Second Detail’, ‘Enemy In The Figure’ (W. Forsythe); ‘Empty House’ (J. Inger); ‘Canon in D Major’, ‘Le Souffle de l’Esprit’, ‘Unerreichbare Orte’ (J. Bubeníček); ‘Symphony In D’ (J. Kylián); ‘Tempo’ (R. North).

Award-winning Principal Dancer Natalia Sologub was born in Bashkortostan, Russia and trained at the Rudolf Nureyev Choreographic School in Ufa. She is recipient of the 2001 and 2005 Golden Mask awards for Best Female Role, among other commendations. Previously a Principal with the Bashkirian State Opera and Ballet Theatre, and First Soloist with the Kirov (Mariinsky) Ballet, she became a Principal of the Semperoper Ballet in 2006. Her extensive repertoire includes Giselle ‘Giselle’ (Productions by J. Perrot and J. Coralli; D. Dawson); Julia ‘Romeo and Juliet’ (L. Lavrovsky); Odette/ Odile ‘Swan Lake’, Pas De Deux ‘Le Corsaire’, Grand Pas ‘Paquita’ (M. Petipa); Hamsatti/ Nikiya ‘La Bayadère’ (A.S. Watkin after M. Petipa); Manon/ Mistress ‘Manon’ (K. MacMillan); Sylph ‘La Sylphide’ (A. Bournonville); Masha/ Louise ‘The Nutcracker’ (Productions by K. Simonov and M. Chemiakin; J. Neumeier); ‘Chopiniana’ (M. Fokine); ‘Rubies’ (G. Balanchine); ‘Petite Mort’ (J. Kylián); ‘The Grey Area’, ‘A Million Kisses To My Skin’, ‘On The Nature Of Daylight’, ‘The World According To Us’, ‘A Sweet Spell Of Oblivion’ (D. Dawson). In addition to several creations, Sologub has participated in national and international ballet galas and festivals in Russia, Switzerland and Argentina.

Flamenco percussionist Bernhard Schimpelsberger (aka Taalis) is a unique drummer and percussionist. Born and raised in Austria, he started playing the drums at the age of 10. While still in his late teens, he discovered his love for Indian rhythm and pursued his passion of aligning this with his Western roots during years of dedicated research. Holding a Master’s degree in Western musicianship, Taalis studied Indian rhythm with his guru, the Tabla master Pandit Suresh Talwalkar and percussion legend, Trilok Gurtu in India. He plays a customised hybrid drum kit, which enables him to constantly push the boundaries between the traditional and the contemporary. The list of his collaborators includes the pioneers of today’s music industry. He has recorded and toured with Nitin Sawhney, Talvin Singh, Susheela Raman, Akram Khan, Niladri Kumar and Rakesh Chaurasia. Taalis has performed at some of the world’s most prestigious venues such as New York’s Lincoln Centre, Cite de la Musique in Paris and London’s Royal Festival Hall.

Yuri Temirkanov is among the world’s conducting elite. His career is closely linked with the city of St. Petersburg (formerly Leningrad). In 1968 at age of 29, he led the Academic Symphony Orchestra of the Leningrad Philharmonia; in 1976, he became artistic director and principal conductor of the Mariinsky; and in 1988, he was appointed chief conductor of the St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra (becoming its artistic director in 2000). Temirkanov has received numerous national and international prizes and awards. As principal guest conductor, he has collaborated with orchestras including the London Royal Philharmonic, Dresden Philharmonic, Baltimore Symphony, and the Danish Radio National Symphony Orchestra. Since 2009, he has been the music director of Teatro Regio di Parma. In recent years, Temirkanov prefers to tour with the St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra. For over 10 years, he has led the ‘Arts Square’ International Winter Festival, which marks the culmination of the winter season in St. Petersburg. The festival brings together the St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra, Russian Museum, Mikhailovsky Theatre, and the Saint-Petersburg Theatre of Musical Comedy. Unique in its conception, the festival has won recognition among local and foreign audiences, reinforcing the status of St. Petersburg as one of the cultural capitals of Europe.


© Sheila Rock

Bryn Terfel

Pirashanna Thevarajah

Christopher Vanderspar

Vasko Vassilev

Erik Västhed

Maxim Vengerov

Born in Pwllheli, North Wales in 1965, Bass-Baritone Bryn Terfel entered London’s Guildhall School of Music in 1984. In 1988 he won the Kathleen Ferrier Memorial Scholarship and the following year graduated from the Guildhall, receiving the school’s Gold Medal. Shortly after that he represented Wales in the Singer of the World Competition in Cardiff and launched his career by winning the lieder prize. Career highlights include Hans Sachs in ‘Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg’ at Welsh National Opera, Scarpia and Wotan at Royal Opera House Covent Garden, the title role of ‘Der Fliegende Holländer’ at Covent Garden and with Welsh National Opera, ‘Don Giovanni’ and ‘Falstaff’ in Vienna, and the title role of Sondheim’s ‘Sweeney Todd’ at London’s Royal Festival Hall. He has also sung Méphistophélès in ‘Faust’ and the title role of ‘Gianni Schicchi’ at Covent Garden; Nick Shadow in ‘The Rake’s Progress’ with the San Francisco Opera; ‘Figaro’ at La Scala; ‘Falstaff’ in Houston, Los Angeles, London, and at the Salzburg Festival; and ‘Jochanaan’ at the Salzburg Festival and in London, Vienna, and Munich. This season, he performs Wotan in ‘Das Rheingold’ and ‘Die Walküre’ and the Wanderer in ‘Siegfried’ at the Met and Leporello in ‘Don Giovanni’ at the Met and La Scala.

Pirashanna Thevarajah started learning the Mridangam at the age of nine under Sri M. Balachandar at the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan in London. Though Pirashanna had already started performing within a couple of years, he had his arangetram (first full concert) in September 1999 at the age of 13 in Chennai. Pirashanna is now a versatile percussionist who is also proficient in the art of Konnakol (performing percussion syllables vocally). He has performed with many classical and contemporary musicians and dancers, such as Pandit Ravi Shankar, M. Balamuralikrishna, Mandolin U. Shrinivas, Anoushka Shankar and Talvin Singh, to name a few. He has also performed across the world in many prestigious venues including the Royal Albert Hall, Carnergie Hall, Disney Hall, and festivals such as WOMAD and Glastonbury.

Born into a musical family, he started to play cello at the age of six. He studied with William Pleeth and later with Jacqueline Du Pre and Maurice Gendron. He won first prize in the Heran Cello competition in Czech Republic and the Overseas League competition in London. He became principal cello of the City of Birmingham Orchestra at the age of 21 and three years later joined the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House as principal cello. Christopher also has a wide-ranging solo career playing concertos with many leading orchestras and is a member of several chamber groups including the Soloists of Covent Garden and the Vanderspar string trio with both brother Edward and sister Fiona.

Born in Sofia in 1970, Vasko Vassilev was awarded prizes in three major international violin competitions as a teenager. He subsequently embarked upon an international solo career. Since becoming the first ever Concert Master at the Royal Opera House, and its youngest, he has continued to broaden his artistic horizons. He was a founderdirector of the Soloists of the Royal Opera House and continues as Artistic Director of Laureate, which is exclusively made up of international prize-winners, and of the London Chamber Orchestra. In 2005, he made his British conducting debut at the Royal Albert Hall, and was appointed Creative Producer of the Royal Opera House

Erik Västhed was born in Dala-Jarna in Sweden, and trained at the Royal Swedish Ballet School in Stockholm. After working with many European ensembles he decided to study costume design at the renowned Wimbledon School of Arts in London. He established himself as a successful costume designer in various ballet companies including the Victor Ullate Ballet before working with the Semperoper Ballet in Dresden in 2007 with a production of ‘Sleeping Beauty’, in 2008 with ‘La Bayadère’ and in 2009 with ‘Swan Lake’.

Widely regarded as one of the world’s most dynamic artists, Maxim Vengerov has performed sold-out concerts with the world’s most eminent orchestras in every major city in the world. Steeped in the celebrated Russian tradition of music making, he enjoys international acclaim as a musician, tireless in his search for new means of creative expression. Vengerov now divides his time equally between playing the violin, conducting and teaching. In the 2012, he will perform as conductor and/or soloist with various orchestras including concerts in Munich, Paris, Geneva, London, Toronto, Montreal and Quebec as well as a tour of Asia. He joined the Menuhin Academy in Switzerland as Musical Advisor in 2011 and became Menuhin Professor of the Royal Academy in London. As Chairman of the prestigious Wienawski Competition in Poznan, Poland, Vengerov has been auditioning over 200 musicians over the last year; travelling to nine world capitals and selecting the finalists for the October 2012 competition. In 1997, Vengerov became the first classical musician to be appointed UNICEF Envoy for Music, enabling him to inspire children worldwide through music. As a UNICEF goodwill ambassador, he has performed for underprivileged children in Uganda, Thailand and the Balkans, and has helped raise funds for UNICEF assisted programs. Maxim Vengerov plays ex-Kreutzer Stradivari (1727).


© Ian Whalen

© Ian Whalen

© Ian Whalen

Deborah Voigt

Fabien Voranger

Elena Vostrotina

Dame Harriet Walter

Arne Walther

Aaron S. Watkin

Deborah Voigt is known for the singular power and beauty of her voice, as well as for her captivating stage presence. A leading dramatic soprano, internationally revered for her performances in the operas of Richard Wagner and Richard Strauss, she has also portrayed some of the great heroines in Italian opera to great acclaim. An active recitalist and performer of Broadway standards and popular songs, Voigt has an extensive discography, and has given many enthusiastically received master classes. She also appears regularly, as both performer and host, in the Metropolitan Opera’s “Met: Live in HD” series. Career highlights include Minnie with the San Francisco Opera and Lyric Opera of Chicago, Salome at Lyric Opera of Chicago, her first Isolde in Vienna followed by a 23-minute standing ovation, President Clinton’s visit to her Met performances as Aida, and a breakthrough Ariadne in Boston. This season, she shall be performing Brünnhilde in ‘Die Walküre’, ‘Siegfried’, and ‘Götterdämmerung’ at the Met, a Broadway concert at Washington National Opera, and concerts with the New York Philharmonic, Montreal Symphony, Minnesota Orchestra, and Melbourne Symphony Orchestra.

First Soloist, Fabien Voranger, was born in Aix-en-Provence in France and trained at the Royal Ballet School London, Studio Ballet Marseille, and École de Danse de l’Opéra de Paris. He became first soloist for the Semperoper Ballet in 2008 and has also worked with Ballett der Wiener Staatsoper, Deutsche Oper Berlin and Ballet National de Marseille. His extensive repertoire includes Romeo/ Tybalt ‘Romeo and Juliet’ (Productions by R. van Danzig/ Y. Vamos); Franz ‘Coppélia’ (Productions by R. Hynd; G. Harangozó); Spartacus ‘Spartacus’ (R. Zanella); Blue Bird ‘The Sleeping Beauty’ (Productions by Y. Vamos; A. S. Watkin after M. Petipa); ‘Swan Lake’ (Productions by A. S. Watkin after M. Petipa and L. Ivanov; R. Nurejev; J. Neumeier; R. Petit); Albrecht/ Bridegroom ‘Giselle’, ‘The Grey Area’, ‘On The Nature Of Daylight’, ‘A Million Kisses To My Skin’, ‘The World According To Us’, ‘A Sweet Spell Of Oblivion’ (D. Dawson); ‘La Bayadère’ (A. S. Watkin after M. Petipa); ‘The Second Detail’ (W. Forsythe); Voranger has danced at various international ballet galas and festivals in Japan, Italy, France and Turkey and has performed as Guest Principal Dancer with the International Ballet of Tokyo.

Award-winning Principal dancer Elena Vostrotina was born in St. Petersburg, Russia and trained at the Vaganova Ballet Academy. She was the Critics’ Choice for ‘Outstanding Performance by a Female Artist’ in Dance Europe Magazine (2009) and received the 2009 Award for Best Dramatic Actress in ‘La Bayadère’ (M. Petipa staged by I. Zelenski) in Novosibirsk. Following the Kirov Ballet, Vostrotina joined Semperoper Ballet in 2006 as Second Soloist, becoming Principal in 2011. Her extensive repertoire includes Odette/ Odile ‘Swan Lake’ (M. Petipa); Nikiya/ Kingdom of the Shades 3rd Variation ‘La Bayadère’ (M. Petipa staged by I. Zelenski; A. S. Watkin after M. Petipa); Odette, 2 Swans, The Butterfly, Hungarian Dance ‘Illusions – like ‘Swan Lake’, Arabian Dance ‘The Nutcracker’ (Productions by J. Neumeier; K. Simonov und M. Chemiakin); Soloist ‘Rubies’, Soloist ‘Diamonds’ (G. Balanchine); Approximate Sonata, ‘Steptext’; ‘In The Middle Somewhat Elevated’, ‘Enemy in the Figure’, ‘The Second Detail’ (W. Forsythe); ‘A Million Kisses to my Skin’, ‘Reverence’, ‘On The Nature Of Daylight’ (D. Dawson); ‘Intimate Distance’, ‘Le Souffle de l’Esprit’, ‘Unerreichbare Orte’ (J. Bubeníček). She is also a Principal Guest Artist at Novosibirsk Ballet Theatre and has appeared in several films.

Harriet Walter has worked extensively in theatre, television, film and radio. She is an associate artist with the Royal Shakespeare Company, where she played Cleopatra in ‘Antony and Cleopatra’ alongside Patrick Stewart; Lady Macbeth, opposite Anthony Sher; ‘All’s Well That Ends Well’ with Peggy Ashcroft; ‘Twelfth Night’ and ‘Three Sisters’, winning an Olivier Award for the last two. Harriet played Elizabeth I in ‘Mary Stuart’ (Donmar, West End) for which she won the Evening Standard Award and was nominated for a Tony Award for the Broadway transfer. Other theatre credits include Women Beware Women’ at the National Theatre ‘Cloud Nine’, ‘Hamlet’ and ‘The Seagull’ at the Royal Court. Film credits include ‘The Wedding Video’, ‘A Royal Affair’, ‘The Domino Effect’, ‘The Young Victoria’ (Queen Adelaide), ‘Atonement’, ‘Bright Young Things’, ‘Sense and Sensibility’ and Louis Malle’s ‘Milou et Mai’. She has published three books, ‘Other People’s Shoes’ and ‘Macbeth’ for the Faber series ‘Actors on Shakespeare’ and ‘Facing It’, a photographic book celebrating beautiful older women. Harriet Walter was awarded a CBE in the 2000 Queen’s Birthday Honours List, and a Dame Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (DBE) in the 2011 New Year’s Honours List for services to the Arts.

Born in Dresden, Arne Walther completed his education as carpenter for set construction at the Saxon State Opera Dresden. Since 1992, he has worked as Assistant to the Technical Director, and since 2008 as Technical Production Manager. He is a certified Chief Carpenter and Lighting Manager. Walther made his debut as set designer in 1994. Since then he has created a variety of set designs, spatial installations and lighting conceptions for opera, ballet and television. Among his achievements, he designed the sets for choreographies by Stefan Thoss for the Hamburg Ballet, Stuttgart Ballet, Semperoper Ballet, in addition to the State Opera Ballet Hannover, Kiel Ballet, Chemnitz Ballet and the Ballet of the GärtnerplatzTheater in Munich. At the Semperoper, Walther has worked with Vladimir Derevianko (‘Giselle’, ‘Don Quixote’, ‘Chopiniana’), Aaron S. Watkin (‘Theme and Variations’, ‘The Sleeping Beauty’, ‘La Bayadère’, ‘Swan Lake’) and David Dawson (‘Giselle’). He has also designed sets for opera productions at the Semperoper, such as ‘Il Tutore’ directed by Manfred Weiss, ‘La Dirindina’ by Alexander Brendel and ‘Švanda Dudák’ by Axel Köhler. His designs have toured to the US, UAE, France, Spain and Indonesia, among others. Since 2006, Walther lectures at the Academy of Fine Arts in Dresden, teaching set design drawing and is a supervising graduate tutor.

Aaron Sean Watkin was one of the most promising students of the National Ballet School of Canada, and continued his dance studies at the School of American Ballet with private study. He danced as a soloist with the National Ballet of Canada, English National Ballet and as a soloist with the Dutch National Ballet, and became a principal soloist at Frankfurt Ballet under William Forsythe. In 2000, he joined La Compañia Nacional de Danza in Spain with Nacho Duato. During this period, Watkin danced choreography by Petipa, Ashton and Wright, as well as contemporary works from Balanchine, Forsythe, Kylian and Duato. In 2002 he was named Associate Director of the Victor Ullate Ballet in Madrid. As personal choreographic assistant to William Forsythe, Watkin was responsible for the supervision of several of his ballet productions worldwide. In addition, he worked as choreographic assistant to David Dawson in ‘Reverence’ at the Kirov Ballet and Johan Inger in ‘Negro con Flores’ at the Cullberg Ballet. Watkin’s professional experience, his excellent knowledge of the classical ballet as well as contemporary collaborations led him to position himself as a sought-after mentor in leading European companies. In 2007, he choreographed his first full-length ballet production, ‘Sleeping Beauty’ followed by ‘La Bayadere’ in 2008, and ‘Swan Lake’ in 2009. In 2011, he created a new production of ‘The Nutcracker’ together with the Rector of the Palucca Hochschule für Tanz Dresden, Professor Jason Beechey.


ADMAF TEAM The Abu Dhabi Festival is presented and organised by the Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation


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