Access all arias: La Scala in Milan plans show in Saudi Arabia

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Time: July 10, 2018

MILAN: The head of the world’s most famous opera house wants to bring singers and musicians to Saudi Arabia for a star-studded operatic performance.

“We will find a way to do it,” said Alexander Pereira, chief executive and artistic director of Teatro alla Scala in Milan — known throughout the world simply as La Scala.

“It’s about bringing our choir and our orchestra, about 250 people, and doing something that can strike the public. I could propose the Symphony No. 9 by Beethoven, a masterpiece of the European tradition; or if we wanted to do something Italian we could perform ‘La Traviata’ in the form of a concert or choirs and arias, as we do with great success in Japan, for example.”

Pereira believes it is only a matter of time before Saudi Arabia has its own opera house.

“These things done in Saudi Arabia would have great value given the importance of the country and the influence it exerts on the Arab and Muslim world in general,” he said.

“It would be a great driver for the world of theater and opera music. Outside the field of art I have also seen with great pleasure the reforms made and planned in favor of the female world, truly remarkable and appreciable.”

The reopening of cinemas in Saudi Arabia was a natural first step, Pereira said. “It is the fastest and most comfortable to do. Movies can be bought and broadcast without much difficulty, while theater is a more difficult world.

“Opera and concert require live performances, because fascination and energy are created only through real contact with the public,” he said.

It is therefore necessary to move dozens of artists, find suitable places for size and acoustic quality, and therefore it takes time.

“But Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s reforms seem to be very fast, there is great dynamism and willingness to do things. In this way everything can be done.”

This article was first published in Arab News

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