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Abou Hassan Opera in Jordan.

AMMAN (Star) On June 7 Jordanian opera aficionados will be able to attend a Jordanian production of Carl Maria von Weber's Abou Hassan opera. The forthcoming opera is the result of cooperation between several Jordanian and European artistic institutions that wish to offer, for the first time in Jordan, an oriental opera that combines music, dance and theatre. Placed under the artistic supervision of the French conductor Didier Talpain, this creation will rely on an orchestra comprised of professional Jordanian and European musicians. The French Cultural Center in Amman and the French Embassy are producing this show and taking care of the coordination between the different partners, as well as the management of the opera. The Petra National Trust is also a major support in the project, uniting more than 100 people. Director of the Performing Art Center (PAC) Lina Al-Tal will be directing the opera with a talented repertoire of Jordanian actors and dancers. Didier Talpain, who produced Abou Hassan in Athens several years ago, will conduct the orchestra that will be accompanied by the baritone Pierre-Yves Pruvot, the tenor Jean-Marc Delescluse, as well as Miss Hiroko Kouda, coloratura soprano. Dima Bawab, a young and brilliant Jordanian soprano, who is currently studying at the national conservatory in Paris, will be playing the leading female role. The chorus will come from Louaize in Lebanon.The show will come in two stages: part two will span 45 minutes and is entitled Precentor/ Choirmaster by Domenico Cimarosa. Followed by a short intermezzo for baritone and orchestra, without any direction or costumes and The Theatre director by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart for two sopranos, tenor, baritone and orchestra.The second part that will last 50 minutes will feature the Abu Hassan opera performance, which is the seventh of the fifteen scores created by the German composer Carl-Maria von Weber, irresistibly evokes the Turkeries so fashionable in the late 18th Century and particularly the most famous of them, The Kidnapping from the Serail by Mozart (1782). It is a small dimensional piece of work that comprises three roles (demanding on part of the solo artists), a small chorus and spoken roles. As for the argument it is inspired by an episode of the Thousand and One Nights, known under the title Abu El-Hassan or the Sleeper Awakened. It is rather amoral and narrates the tribulations of the couple Abu Hassan and Fatime who, to get away from the pack of their creditors lead by Omar, feign to be dead to gain the sympathy of their generous master the caliph and his wife Zobeide. At the announcement of a reward offered by the caliph to whoever will be able to explain these deaths, they quickly come back from "the kingdom of the dead" and all ends in a general rejoicing, as it should in a play of this kind. All costumes and opera sceneries are to be created by Jordanian individuals and the rehearsals will take place at the PAC's premise. The performance that will be held at Jerash's big theater will be taped and issued on DVD during the first semester of 2007.The opera is to be first performed at the Royal Cultural Center on June 7 during a gala evening and on June 8, in Jerash's big theater. Abou Hassan Opera in Jordan

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Publication:The Star (Amman, Jordan)
Date:May 31, 2006
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