- Title: Jordan hosts opera festival amid Roman ruins
- Date: 23rd July 2017
- Summary: (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) MEMBER OF THE AUDIENCE, YASMINE ABU SALAH, SAYING: "This is an important opportunity. It is really wonderful to be able to get to know the culture of different countries. This show has introduced us to different cultures, it is really important for events like this to be held regularly, and for people to try and attend these shows because it's nice to learn about other cultures."
- Embargoed: 6th August 2017 11:22
- Keywords: Opera festival Amman Giuseppe Verdi's La Traviata Roman Amphitheatre
- Location: AMMAN, JORDAN
- City: AMMAN, JORDAN
- Country: Jordan
- Topics: Arts / Culture / Entertainment
- Reuters ID: LVA0046QXRZ9X
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:Melodies from renowned opera, La Traviata, reverberated across the ancient ruins of the Roman Amphitheatre in Amman as part of the first night of the Jordan Opera Festival.
The festival is the first of its kind to be held in the Arab world according to organisers.
La Traviata, or Fallen Woman, was composed by Italian musician Giuseppe Verdi and premiered in 1853.
The lead role of Violetta, the tragic star-crossed lover, was played by Jordanian soprano Zeina Barhoum.
The singer, who has performed on stages in Rome, Dubai, Lebanon and others said this was a great opportunity to promote the art form in the region.
"We are doing something that is very important. We received great feedback from the audience, and many people attended [the event]. People enjoyed the show, and I hope this will continue to take place in the coming years as well," she said.
Barhoum was joined on stage by more than 150 musicians, singers and dancers from over ten different countries around the world.
Artists dazzled audiences with the breadth of their vocals, standing out in flamboyant costumes.
Audience member, Michelle Nazzal, said he was proud to see a Jordanian woman take the lead in this cultural milestone.
"Today the opera [festival] is taking place for the first time in the Arab world, and with the lead singer a Jordanian, a big percentage of the artists who participated in the performance are Jordanian, and this pushes them to develop theatre and musical arts in general," he said.
Organisers hope the Amman Opera Festival, which is to become an annual event, will encourage Jordan to build it its own dedicated opera house like the UAE, Oman and Kuwait.
Performances of La Traviata were held on July 19 and July 22 in downtown Amman.
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