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

Updated 10 July 2018

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

  • Laa Scala chief executive says it is only a matter of time before Saudi Arabia has its own opera house. 
  • “Opera and concert require live performances, because fascination and energy are created only through real contact with the public,” says Alexander Pereira

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.”


Saudi Cabinet congratulates security forces for thwarting terror cell

King Salman chairs the virtual meeting. (SPA)
Updated 30 September 2020

Saudi Cabinet congratulates security forces for thwarting terror cell

  • King Salman thanked international leaders and officials for their messages of congratulations to the Kingdom and its people on the occasion of its 90th National Day

RIYADH: The Saudi Cabinet on Tuesday congratulated the Presidency of State Security for its work in identifying and apprehending the suspected members of a terror cell in the Kingdom.

Some of those who were arrested allegedly trained at sites in Iran run by the country’s Revolutionary Guards. A cache of weapons and explosives was also seized.

Ministers expressed their appreciation for the efforts of the presidency’s employees in tracking down those who threaten the security and stability of the Kingdom and the safety of those who live there.

Majid Al-Qasabi, the acting minister of media, said that while reviewing the latest regional and international developments, cabinet members reiterated the Kingdom’s call during the recent International Atomic Energy Agency General Conference for the international community to adopt a firm stance on Iran, and take steps to address its violations of international agreements relating to its nuclear-research program. They also reaffirmed Saudi support for efforts, in partnership with the international community, to make the Middle East a nuclear weapon-free zone.

The virtual meeting was chaired by King Salman, who began by passing on his condolences and sympathy to the people of Kuwait and the family of its Emir, Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, who died on Tuesday. He also congratulated the emir’s successor, Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah.

King Salman thanked international leaders and officials for their messages of congratulations to the Kingdom and its people on the occasion of its 90th National Day. He also briefed ministers on his recent telephone conversation with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during which the two leaders reviewed bilateral relations and discussed opportunities to further develop them.

The cabinet commended the king for his speech during the UN’s 75th General Assembly in New York, during which he emphasized the his country’s continued commitment to assisting the international community in efforts to deal with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and address its humanitarian and economic implications.

Ministers also noted that his speech reflected the Kingdom’s dedication to security, stability and prosperity as a strategic choice, its call for peaceful coexistence, moderation and solidarity among all countries and peoples to address humanitarian challenges, its support for political solutions to conflicts, and its efforts to combat extremism in all its forms.

Al-Qasabi said that the Cabinet welcomed the announcement by the Kingdom that the G20 Leaders’ Summit will take place as planned as scheduled on Nov. 21 and 22, albeit virtually as a result of the pandemic. Saudi Arabia hold the presidency of the G20 this year.

Ministers also expressed their appreciation for international efforts, led by G20 countries, that have resulted in the provision of more than $21 billion to support the production of diagnostic and therapeutic tools during the pandemic, and the development and distribution of vaccines. In addition, more than $11 trillion has been allocated to protect the global economy, and more than $14 billion to mitigate the debt burdens of less-developed countries and help fund their health services and social programs. The Cabinet also reviewed the latest local and international developments in the pandemic, along with preparations for the safe resumption of Umrah.

Ministers reiterated the Saudi call, during an emergency meeting of the Council of Arab Ministers Responsible for Environmental Affairs, for urgent action to avoid an environmental catastrophe in the Red Sea as a result of the deteriorating condition of the oil tanker Safer, which has been anchored off the coast of Yemen, near Ras Issa port, since 2015.

The Cabinet also expressed its concern over developments in the dispute between Armenia and Azerbaijan, and urged both sides to agree a ceasefire and resolve the conflict peacefully in accordance with UN Security Council resolutions.