Dubai Opera to World Premiere ‘Al Wasl’

By Francisco Salazar

On Dec. 16, the new opera “Al Wasl” by Mohammed Fairouz, and co-authored and written by Maha Gargash, will premiere at the Dubai Opera.

The work, which is a collaboration between Dubai Opera and Welsh National Opera, will be performed through Dec. 19. “Al Wasl” was commissioned for Expo 2020 Dubai and will be conducted by Justin Brown and directed by Sir David Pountney.

Sung in English, “Al Wasl,” which means “the connection” in Arabic and is also the old name for Dubai, features over 100 cast and musicians. The opera tells the story of the United Arab Emirates as a connector between civilizations, highlighting the beauty of shared connections, truth, and hope, and the story spans over 1000 years.

“The stage is dominated by an image of rings that intersect with one another. The story of Al Wasl begins in the desert, and we created a rather original way of depicting this desert in a metaphorical way,” said Sir David Pountney in a press release. “In the middle act, we are in the present, where there is a strong reference to the creation of the Burj Khalifa. We go on into the future in the final act, where we are in pure fantasyland about what the future may or may not look like.”

The opera will star soprano Meeta Raval in one of the lead roles, among others.