Riyadh: Saudi talents take the stage in the major production of "Zarqa Al Yamama," marking Saudi Arabia's first and the Arab world's largest opera spectacle.

This opera transports audiences on a journey through the annals of pre-Islamic history, immersing them in the story of a woman from the Geddes tribe warning her people of an impending peril. The text of the work is penned by the Saudi poet and writer Saleh Zamanan. Drawing inspiration from heritage and historical literature, Zamanan weaves a sophisticated Arabic libretto, infused with the rhythmic allure of poetic verses.

The narrative introduces audiences to a story originating from the heart of the Arabian Peninsula, presented by Saudi talents Khayran Alzahrani, Sawsan Albahiti, and Rimaaz Oqbi, alongside a lineup of international luminaries including renowned mezzo-soprano Sarah Connolly, Aleksandar Stefanoski, Amelia Wawrzon, Serena Farnocchia, Paride Cataldo, and George von Bergen, accompanied by a host of Saudi performers.

Years of meticulous preparation have gone into bringing this production to life, as affirmed by Sultan Al-Bazie, CEO of the Theater and Performing Arts Commission. The project boasts a diverse ensemble of 18 nationalities, blending their expertise in directing, vocals, music, and acting.

Al-Bazie said that this opera represents a remarkable milestone for Saudi culture, showcasing one of the most renowned narrative and heritage stories with the highest international standards.

Artistic Director Ivan Vukcevic reflects on the challenge of infusing Arabic language with European culture in operatic singing. The team has transcribed Arabic into Latin script, enabling non-Arab performers to eloquently pronounce the language.

"Zarqa Al Yamama" unveils an enduring tale from the depths of Arabian Peninsula heritage, centered around the wisdom and resilience of a woman from the Geddes tribe. She guides her people to safety amid epic events that forewarn of great dangers.

"Zarqa Al Yamama" is performed until Saturday, May 4, with a total of 10 shows over 8 days at the King Fahd Cultural Center in Riyadh.