Commitment: Saudi Arabia will build an opera house

Commitment: Saudi Arabia will build an opera house


norman lebrecht

May 01, 2017

Ahmed al-Khatib, chairman of the kingdom’s General Entertainment Authority, Ahmed al-Khatib, has told Reuters he expects to open several cinemas and an opera house in the coming years.

The last cinemas were shut 40 years ago under religious pressure, but the entertainment authority has been charged with creating western-style diversions at home to stop Saudis squandering their wealth in London and New York.






  • Robert Holmén says:

    “…Conservatives, he added, could simply opt to stay at home if they did not care for such entertainment…”

    Because conservatives are such a let-others-live-their-lives-as-they-please bunch.

  • John Borstlap says:

    I would be curious what they would do with scenes with the Rhine Maidens in the Ring, or the 2nd act of Parsifal, or with La Traviata, Carmen or the Bachanal in Tannhäuser. Probably they will invite a couple of Regietheater directors to change the plot.

    And what about Strauss’ Salome and Elektra? Although the bloodshed would go down well, the female involvement would probably not be acceptable, and although the Dance of the Veils in Salome appears to conform to Middle-Eastern dress code, their being taken-off will meet some disapproving resistance.

  • Daniella says:

    There r other beautiful operas which would not cause a problem.