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Posted On: 12 December 2011 05:16 pm
Updated On: 8 November 2019 03:29 pm

Amphitheatre at Katara to open today with musical show

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Amphitheatre at Katara to open today with musical show
Sunday, 11 December 2011 05:01



Amphitheatre at Katara to open today with musical show


BY RAYNALD C RIVERA

DOHA: The Katara Amphitheatre, the centrepiece of the Cultural Village, opens tonight with a dazzling musical show featuring a melange of world renowned artistes, which according to officials fittingly projects Katara as a venue which warmly welcomes a blending of culture.

“The event coincides with the opening of the fourth United Nations Alliance of Civilizations Forum, a very important event towards blending of cultures to which Katara is also aimed at,” Abdulrahman Al Khulaifi, President of Katara, told local and international media on the eve of the much anticipated event.

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Patterned after Greek amphitheatres, the architectural wonder considered one of the largest amphitheatres in the Middle East with a seating capacity of 4,000 people, will witness performances by artistes coming from diverse backgrounds led by legendary multi-awarded Greek musician Vangelis, who composed, conceived, designed and directed the show.

Best known for his iconic, award-winning musical score for the film Chariots of Fire, Vangelis is regarded as one of the greatest composers of electronic music of all time.

Held under the patronage of the Emir H H Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, the grand opening to be hosted by Oscar winner Jeremy Irons, will feature Vangelis’ original three-part Choral Fantasy, inspired by a message of hope.

Gert Hof, the world’s greatest Light Artist, will enchant the audience and paint the skies over Doha to the alluring sounds of Vangelis. The show will open with the performance of the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra, highlighting elements of improvisation mixed with European classical orchestral sequences.

The second part will feature famed Romanian soprano Angela Gheorghiu, accompanied by both the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra and the Yurlov Moscow State Academic Choir.

The third act brings together beloved Tenorissimo Roberto Alagna and Gheorghiu for a duet and will then conclude with an encore of Vangelis’ greatest hits.

The finale, entitled “Child of Hope,” composed by Vangelis with lyrics written by Tim Rice will be performed by the multi-ethnic Qatar Philharmonic Children’s Choir.

“Since opening, Katara has not only provided a platform for aspiring artists and musicians but also introduced Qatar to world renowned musicians and performers. As home to one of the largest open air amphitheatres in the Middle East, Katara is dedicated to showcasing the diverse cultures of the world and the Amphitheatre provides the perfect stage for international and local artists,” said Al Khulaifi.

The spectacular performance, which will be attended by members of the ruling family, heads of state and dignitaries, will incorporate electrifying and awe-inspiring art and film projected on a large screen, accompanied with lights and pyrotechnics.

“The opening of the Amphitheatre is another milestone for Katara. This is just the start of a series of shows to be organised at the Amphitheatre which is now a significant section of Katara set to witness more visitors. It will host one major event every month,” said Imad Sultan, Cultural Director of Katara.

Around 5,000 to 7,000 visitors come to Katara daily and 20,000 to 25,000 visitors during weekends, according to Al Khulaifi.

Currently only 30 percent of the 1m sqm area of Katara is completed, while the rest of the infrastructure will be finished in five years time, said Al Khulaifi. The Peninsula