Cities of Salt

Zaid Jabri

Wed 22 July 2015, 7.45pm

Highlights · Music · Performance · Royal Opera House

Cities of Salt

Cities of Salt


Wed 22 July 2015, 7.45pm

Royal Opera House

Linbury Studio Theatre
Bow Street, London WC2E 9DD
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Pre-performance Talk

6.15pm, Linbury Studio Theatre
The development of new music and opera by Arab composers.
Free to ticket holders.

The year is 1932. Oil has been discovered in the Gulf states. The Bedouin men and women of one small oasis are caught in the whirlwind of forces embodied by the oil industry and the local oligarchy; a new epoch is being born.

Prize-winning Syrian composer Zaid Jabri presents a concert performance of four scenes from his new opera Cities of Salt. Writers Yvette Christiansë and Rosalind Morris provide the libretto, adapted from Peter Theroux’s translation of the seminal novel of the same title by Abdelrahman Munif. The opera is written for full orchestra with 7 soloists and chorus; this concert will feature scenes from each of the opera’s three acts.

Jabri’s music for Cities of Salt skillfully draws on Arab and European musical traditions, infusing the Western symphonic tradition with a sense of the Middle East through the use of microtones and vernacular traditions. His intelligent score brings this modern and timely tale to life in all its poignancy and violence.

Performed by Southbank Sinfonia and Borough Chamber Choir, conducted by Michal Klauza, introduced and narrated by Nadim Sawalha.

Pre-performance Talk
6.15pm | Royal Opera House | Free to ticket holders
The development of new music and opera by Arab composers.

A co-production between The Royal Opera, Shubbak and the Brunel Institute for Contemporary Middle Eastern Music.

Supported by Open Society Foundations, Arab Fund for Arts and Culture – AFAC, and the Polish Cultural Institute. Shubbak gratefully acknowledges contributions from private donors Mehboob Hamza, Jenny Hall and those who wish to remain anonymous.