• Flash stages the UAE’s largest ever classical music concert with an audience of over 11,000 • Andrea Bocelli’s breathtaking performance provides another milestone for the Abu Dhabi-based events company, and a lasting highlight of the 6th Abu Dhabi Music and Arts Festival
Abu Dhabi, UAE, 27 March 2009: In front of a sell-out audience of over 11,000 people, Flash Entertainment delivered the biggest classical music concert in U.A.E history tonight with Andrea Bocelli: Incanto, Live in Abu Dhabi. Flash overcame the elements to deliver a fabulous classical concert to the delight of the thousands at the Emirates Palace, including His Highness Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan and dignitaries from across the region.
Bocelli was joined on stage for a number of duets and one trio by soprano Paola Sanguinetti and baritone Gianfranco Montresor. They were accompanied by The Bolshoi Theatre Orchestra, one of the oldest orchestras in Russia and one of the world’s largest symphony orchestras under the leadership of Conductor M° Marcello Rota. Earlier in the week at the festival, the orchestra had accompanied superstar soprano, Angela Gheorghiu, and renowned tenor, Jonas Kaufmann in an opera gala and three performances by the incredible Bolshoi Ballet Company.
The concert began with the Overture from Russlan and Ludmilla by Glinka performed by the Bolshoi Theatre Orchestra. Bocelli’s first solo was La Donna è Mobile from Verdi’s Rigoletto. This aria is a showcase for tenors and Bocelli did not disappoint to the delight of the audience. Bocelli was joined by Montresor for Au Fond du Temple Saint from The Pearl Fishers by Bizet – a song in which they discover they are in love with the same woman. A solo of O Mio Babbino Caro from Gianni Schicchi by Puccini was performed by soprano Paola Sanguinetti followed by baritone Montresor’s solo of Sortita Escamillo from Bizet’s Carmen.
Andrea Bocelli’s second solo was the battle cry of Di Quella Pira from Il Trovatore (or The Troubadour) by Verdi. The first half of the concert ended with two duets from one of the greatest and most popular operas, La Bohème, by Puccini. The first with Montresor was O Mim? Tu Più Non Torni. The second saw a resplendent Ms Sanguinetti join him for O Soave Fanciulla.
After the intermission, The Bolshoi Theatre Orchestra performed Farandole from Bizet’s L’Arlesiènne. Three solos by Andrea Bocelli followed – Vieni Sul Mar by Aniello, Voglio Vivere Cos? by D’Anzi and Granada by Lara. Ms Sanguinetti then performed Vilja Lied from The Merry Widow by Lehar. Three more Bocelli solos came next with Mamma by Bixio, Non Ti Scordar Di Me by De Curtis and O Surdato ‘nammurato by Cannio. The orchestra then played the Suite from Rota’s The Godfather, followed by a Bocelli / Montresor duet of Funicul? Finiculà by Denza. All three singers came on stage for the first and only trio of the night bringing the house down with Brindisi from La Traviata by Verdi.
This groundbreaking event marked Flash’s first ever classical show, the company having previously brought superstars from the worlds of pop and rock to the capital. Speaking on the night, John Lickrish, Managing Director of Flash commented;
“This was a fantastic night for Abu Dhabi. We have been looking forward to this concert for weeks and Andrea Bocelli gave a truly magnificent performance. We are proud to have presented the largest ever classical concert in the UAE, with the world’s biggest selling classical solo artist of all time. When you add the fabulous surroundings of the Emirates Palace into the mix, this will be a night the entire UAE remembers for a very long time”.
Bocelli’s first ever performance in Abu Dhabi marked the end of a very successful first week for the 6th Abu Dhabi Music and Arts Festival, which is held under the patronage of His Highness General Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces . Coming up in the second week of the Festival, which is organised by the Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation, is the cream of Arabic performers Naseer Shamma, Latifa and Magida El Roumi. There is also a unique collaboration between three superb artists, the “man with the golden flute” Sir James Galway, the celebrated pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet and the Russian cellist Nina Kotova in a Trio Recital.
Andrea Bocelli, Incanto, was sponsored by Mubadala, Aldar and Du in association with Etihad Airways.
The title sponsor of this year’s Festival is the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage (ADACH) and the other festival sponsors are Mubadala and Etihad Airways. The festival is a feast of ballet, opera, classical and Arabic music and runs until 2 April 2009. The full programme also includes a visual arts component, a strong educational programme and a community programme reaching across all the Emirates which celebrates the community values of Bilad al Khair or ‘land of blessings’ which is the name given to the UAE.
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