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FIT FOR A KING

Amanda Holloway visits the Royal Opera House Muscat, Oman’s unique performance venue which blends traditional craftsmanship with bold architectural statements from the country’s ancient past and forward-looking present

Muscat

National treasure: the Royal Opera House Muscat

Modern-day opera houses often reflect the ambitions of their paymasters: all those fantasies in steel and glass designed to look like icebergs, birds or sailing ships. But the Royal Opera House Muscat (ROHM), an imposing white marble edifice stretching over 80,000 square metres along a tree-lined highway, is an altogether more restrained building. Its blend of Islamic architecture and contemporary craftsmanship reflects the taste of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said, the Anglophile ruler who has brought Oman into the modern world without jettisoning its traditional culture.

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About Opera Now

British soprano Sophie Bevan discusses her starring role in a new opera at ENO; exploring the hidden art of the répétiteur; traditional craftsmanship meets contemporary design at Oman’s Royal Opera House Muscat; and Cardiff prepares to crown the Singer of the World. Plus, our pick of this year’s top singing competitions around the world; English Touring Opera proves that learning about opera can be educational and fun; American baritone and movie star Nelson Eddy; Simon Callow’s Wagnerian triumph; and Elisabeth Schwarzkopf’s legendary recordings.
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