DUBAI: The metropolitan nature of Dubai made it the perfect spot for the BBC Proms’ international lineup of musical acts, which took place at the Dubai Opera from March 19-22, according to the venue’s chief executive.
Although the BBC Proms — one of the biggest classical musical festivals in the world — has only left London three times, it has universal appeal because of its “internationality of music,” Jasper Hope, chief executive of Dubai Opera, told Arab News.
“The Proms features musicians from Sweden and the UK, among other countries, as well as the likes of Bushra El-Turk, a British composer with roots in the Middle East,” Hope said.
To add more of a local twist to the British festival, Dubai Opera formed the “Dubai Opera Festival Chorus,” a singing group composed of local residents who performed alongside world-class musicians at the Proms.
Asked when the group will perform in any other shows, Hope said: “When you have formed a really talented group, you know you have to continue going,” without giving specific details on future performances.
Hope was particularly excited that they have managed to bring the BBC Proms back for the second time, only two years after its Middle East debut in 2017. Hope recalled the debut event, saying much of the crowd were first timers.
“The BBC Proms is all about making classical music accessible to everyone… People can be nervous when attending something called an opera,” he said, as he emphasized Dubai Opera’s role in “inspiring (the) local community to take interest” in the culture and arts scene.
Established in 1895, the BBC Proms is based predominantly in London’s Royal Albert Hall. It was derived from the British tradition of “promming,” usually held in public gardens around London.