Colourful start to Abu Dhabi Festival
The annual arts and cultural festival in the Capital kicked off on Thursday with a stunning performance of the Korean ballet, Giselle.
The 16th edition of the Abu Dhabi Festival has returned with more than 100 events, 18 productions and two commissions across 25 venues.
The festival is witnessing a spectacular line-up of concerts and performances in the first week, presenting the leading
luminaries of international ballet, opera and music.
The month-long arts and culture fest focuses this time around on the Republic of Korea – which has been named the ‘country of honour’.
The central theme of the festival is ‘Culture of Determination’, which celebrates the positive impact people make even in the face of adversity and coincides with the Special Olympics World Games to begin in Abu Dhabi next week.
The festival will present more than 500 international artists from 17 countries. “I am so excited about the beginning of the Abu Dhabi Festival,” said 32-year-old Filipino expat Joana Robert. “This is one of my favourite months in the Capital as I enjoy month-long performances from a variety of international artists in different places.”
Today, there will be a concert by the Korean Symphony Orchestra, conducted by maestro Chi Yong-Chung and featuring the acclaimed piano soloist, Jae Hyuck-Cho.
Award-winning American jazz pianist, composer, producer, educator and Quincy Jones artist Justin Kauflin will perform a concert featuring music from his new album, Coming Home, on the night of March 11 at The Arts Centre in NYU Abu Dhabi.
Opera superstar Sir Bryn Terfel will be joined by a host of stars including Kristine Opolais and Vittorio Grigolo in Pucciniâ’s masterpiece, Tosca, on March 15.
The dramatic music will be performed by Sinfonia Cymru orchestra, conducted by Gareth Jones, with the C.Ã”.R Welsh choir.
Celebrating the Special Olympics World Games being held in the Capital, the Abu Dhabi Festival is collaborating with Special Olympics Korea for a special concert titled Stand Up For Inclusion on March 16, featuring an eclectic selection of works by internationally renowned composers from the worlds of classical and pop music.
The festival also showcases Distant Prospects, an exhibition that delves into the history of European landscape painting from Liechtenstein, The Princely Collections.
Also running alongside the event is an educational programme complete with panel discussions, guided tours and creative workshops. What’s more, a residency opportunity is on the offing that will see five Emirati artists visiting Vaduz and Vienna. Organisers will also recognise outstanding achievements in the music industry at the Abu Dhabi Festival Awards.
This year’s recipients will include mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato, Aurelie Dupont, for her outstanding devotion to the art of ballet; Barenboim – Said Akademie, for its commitment to building bridges through arts and culture; and the late Ousha Bint Khalifa Al Sweidi in honour of her exceptional contributions to Emirati poetry.