A night of opulence at the Royal Opera House Muscat
13.02.2013 22 °C
I reached Muscat just before midnight after a 7.5 hour flight from Zurich. There was about an hour long stop over in Dubai where most people got off and the cabin was noticeably less formal once the flight was resumed.
It seemed to take an age to get my 20 Omani Rial (about £35) "Visa On Arrival" and get through passport control but eventually I emerged in the Arrivals Hall to be met by my cousin Sally and her husband Dave.
My visit coincided with a one date only visit by the National Symphony Orchestra from America to the new Royal Opera House in Muscat.
The building is stunning architecturally with no expense spared, obviously an attempt to get a bit of kudos over the neighbouring gulf states! The entrance hall feels particular opulent and many people wanted their photo taken by the bottom of the main staircase.
In Muscat the Royal Opera House is some where to be seen and mingling amongst the audience waiting to go in with us we saw UK TV presenter Michael Parkinson.
Although they were not so keen on photos being taken in the main auditorium it was equally stunning and we had a box right next to the stage, probably the best seats in the house although it felt we were a bit on show!
The conductor of the National Symphony Orchestra was Christoph Eschenbach and they performed Beethoven's Egmont Overture and Mozart's Turkish Concerto in the first half with Dan Zhou on violin. For the second half they played Brahms's Symphony No. 2 in D Major. The acoustics were brilliant and from where we were sat we could see every section of the Orchestra.