RIYADH — The Theater and Performing Arts Commission announced the premiere of the first grand Saudi opera, “Zarqa Al Yamama,” set for April 25 at the King Fahd Cultural Center.

This landmark event is supported by the Minister of Culture Prince Badr Bin Abdullah Bin Farhan, marking a significant cultural milestone for Saudi Arabia.

This opera, performed entirely in Arabic — a rarity in the predominantly European-language dominated field of opera — features a blend of classic sung poems and musical passages inspired by prominent operatic works, integrated with traditional Saudi music elements.

“Zarqa Al Yamama” is based on the story of a heroine from the pre-Islamic era in the Al-Yamama region of Najd.

The narrative unfolds around a tragic tribal conflict, brought to life with a blend of orchestral movements and choral performances that promise to deliver a culturally rich and emotionally engaging experience.

The opera’s libretto was penned by the acclaimed Saudi poet Saleh Zamanan, known for his award-winning poetry and plays, who has incorporated his unique literary style into the historical storyline.

The production aims to connect with modern artistic trends and public aspirations while honoring a significant part of Saudi heritage.

This production, resulting from a collaboration between Saudi and international artists, will run from April 25 to May 4, offering 10 performances over eight days.

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