The Royal Opera Muscat was officially opened on October 12, 2011 and has since hosted numerous performances by world-famous opera and ballet companies, renowned symphony orchestras as well as well-known individual singers and musicians from all over the world.
The building of the opera house was originally ordered by the ruler of Oman, Sultan Qaboos bin Said Al Said, who has always been a fan of classical music and arts. In the initial seasons many of the performances were of classical music and dance. In recent years, more Arabic performers have also appeared at the Opera House, playing not only to an Arab audience that knows them well, but also to a large audience of ex-patriates who would normally not get the opportunity to hear and see such performers. In this respect the Opera House fulfils the Sultan’s vision that it should serve as a centre of excellence in global cultural engagement and enrich lives through diverse artistic, cultural, and educational programs.
One exceptional event was on December 3, 2016, when the Lebanese virtuoso violinist, Jihad Akl, gave truly memorable performance. A master of mood and drama, Lebanese violinist Jihad Akl has been called ‘The Violin Magician’. Within structures akin to those of classical music, Akl creates a distinctive sound that is strong and powerful with the arresting tonal resonance typical of Oriental music.
Jihad Akl (جهاد عقل – jihaad 3aql) was born in 1968 in Beirut, Lebanon. His father started to teach him classical music at the age of five and he continued to study intensively with his father, who was a musician and music teacher, for more than a decade. He won his first music competition in 1974 at the age of six and, by the time he was fourteen, Jihad was playing regularly on Lebanese Radio. Today Jihad Akl tours widely throughout the Arab World and beyond. He adopts a unique violin approach by mixing the Oriental with the Western music styles.
More information about him can be found here.
There are a number of videos of his music on YouTube.