Saturday, March 5, 2011

Al Ain Classics Festival 2011

The second part of our Al Ain adventure this past weekend was a symphony concert at the Al Jahili Fort. The concert series is sponsored by the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority and is offered under the patronage of HH Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Minister of Foreign Affairs. (side note - can you imagine little kids learning to write their names over here? And I thought Hollfelder was difficult! :) This is the 11th annual festival and is a series of concerts offered in Abu Dhabi and Al Ain. This night's performance was Russian Classics and included Shostakovich, Rachmaninov, Rimsky-Korsakov and the 1812 Overture by Tchaikovsky. The Al Jahili Fort is an outdoor venue and they spiffed it up for the performances - carpet covering the sand floors of the entire fort, covered chairs for the patrons and an amazing stage for the orchestra - the sound was incredible, especially for an outdoor venue. Tickets were only 100AED ($27) which is amazing. The patronage for the arts is fabulous here in Abu Dhabi and makes it very affordable to see things like this.

Like most music performances of this nature, no photography or recording was allowed, but I did capture a few pictures before the concert began to give you a look at the Fort and stage.

A view of the entrance. You can see the red carpet on the sand and that not everyone follows the dress code here. Those skirts are pretty short for UAE conservative standards.
We were in the general admission seats maybe about halfway back. You can see the sound panels .
Another view with more of the inside of the fort. Notice they also had big screens and would zoom in on the soloists and specific musicians throughout the performance. It wasn't a problem not to be in the front rows. 
This is from our seats looking back to the entrance. That whole area is carpet (not just the red area, but the tan color as well). Can't even imagine how much carpet they must have brought in or how they hauled it, or how they'll clean it!
For those of you who aren't aware, the 1812 Overture (remember the Lone Ranger theme music?) calls for cannons to go off during the final movement. Because this was a fort, we were really hoping for the real thing, but no luck. Then, we started to think that through a bit ... cannons going off ... in the Middle East ... given some of the recent events in the region ... hmmmm, maybe it was better to have just bass drums. ;)

No comments:

Post a Comment