Musical Oasis: Opera in Oman

Opera lovers who are used to travel between Berlin, New York, and Milan to chase beautiful voices, can add another destination to their itinerary: In 2011, a new opera house opened up in Muscat, the capital of the desert state Oman. The Royal Opera House Muscat is situated in a splendid building uniting Arabic architecture with modern hi tech. Likewise, the musical program includes a mix ranging from popular Italian operas to ballet performances and oriental music. The opera house was a gift from Sultan Qaboos, who has ruled in Oman since 1970 and who has the reputation of being an opera fan. The new cultural temple could provide a boost to tourism. The Omanis are building "oases" for visitors to make them feel comfortable in the Muslim country - this, at least, is the view of German-born conductor Sebastian Lang-Lessing, who had an appearance in Oman last year. Another native of Germany finds herself at the epicenter of the cultural diversity: Christina Scheppelmann, who grew up in Hamburg, is the CEO of the Royal Opera House Muscat. Georg Hirsch visited the opera house in Oman.

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