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Abu Dhabi Festival 2024’s Country of Honour Revealed!

Under the theme “The Will for Hope” Supporting Tarahum for Ghaza Campaign by Emirates Red Crescent

Under the theme “The Will for Hope” Supporting Tarahum for Ghaza Campaign by Emirates Red Crescent.

The Abu Dhabi Festival 2024, proudly under the honorary patronage of His Highness Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan and the Founding Honorary Patron of the Abu Dhabi Festival, is set to cast a spell on the world. This twenty-first edition of the Festival is themed “The Will for Hope,” a testament to the power of art and culture in illuminating the darkest of times. In this article, we will journey through this remarkable cultural celebration, exploring its rich lineup of performances, its commitment to fostering hope, and its dedication to promoting global understanding.

The Power of Art: “The Will for Hope”

In the heart of Abu Dhabi, the Abu Dhabi Festival 2024 shines as a beacon of hope and creativity. Under the esteemed patronage of H.H. Sheikha Shamsa bint Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Nahyan, this edition of the Festival carries a profound message of optimism. It reminds us that the arts can light the way and inspire change even in the most challenging times.

Under the theme “The Will for Hope” Supporting Tarahum for Ghaza Campaign by Emirates Red Crescent

A Cultural Extravaganza: What to Expect

The Lineup

The Abu Dhabi Festival 2024 boasts a breathtaking lineup of performances that span the spectrum of artistic expression. This Festival has everything from classical ballet to jazz, opera to traditional Arabic showcases. Let’s delve into some highlighted performances that promise to leave audiences spellbound.

Chinese New Year: The National Ballet of China

Date: 26 and 27 January 2024
Venue: Emirates Palace
Premiere: Arab World Premiere

The Festival starts with a mesmerizing performance by the National Ballet of China. Experience a reimagined ‘The Nutcracker’ by Tchaikovsky, taking you on a journey from a Beijing temple fair to enchanting fairy realms, concluding with a thrilling explosion of firecrackers.

Puccini Opera Gala

Date: 31 January 2024
Venue: Emirates Palace
Premiere: Arab World Premiere

On the 100th anniversary of the death of Giacomo Puccini, the Festival presents the Orchestra of the Puccini Festival at Torre del Lago. With Soprano Valeria Sepe and tenor Francesco Meli, this promises to be a powerful and moving experience for opera enthusiasts.

Pablo Ferrández

Date: 1 February 2024
Venue: The Blue Hall, The Arts Center at NYU Abu Dhabi
Premiere: Arab World Premiere

Renowned cellist Pablo Ferrández, hailed as a “new cello genius,” presents a richly varied program, offering a profound and emotional journey through classical music.

Kamasi Washington

Date: 3 February 2024
Venue: Emirates Palace
Premiere: Arab World Premiere

Saxophonist and bandleader Kamasi Washington redefine jazz boundaries, fusing jazz, hip-hop, R&B, and classical music for a unique and unforgettable experience.

Music Residency and Recital with Leia Zhu

Date: 9 February 2024
Venue: The British School Al Khubairat

Violin prodigy Leia Zhu collaborates with 30 young musicians in the UAE during a one-week residency, culminating in an incredible recital.

Pretty Yende / Francesco Demuro

Date: 11 February 2024
Venue: The Red Theater, The Arts Center at NYU Abu Dhabi
Premiere: Arab World Premiere

Soprano Pretty Yende and tenor Francesco Demuro come together for a program of operatic jewels, singing extracts from Donizetti, Verdi, Bellini, and Gounod.

Yamen Saadi

Date: 13 February 2024
Venue: The Red Theater, The Arts Center at NYU Abu Dhabi
Premiere: Arab World Premiere

Yamen Saadi, concertmaster of the Vienna State Opera Orchestra, delivers a supremely virtuosic violin performance.

Lucas and Arthur Jussen

Date: 19 February 2024
Venue: The Red Theater, The Arts Center at NYU Abu Dhabi
Premiere: Arab World Premiere

Piano duo Lucas and Arthur Jussen showcase their extraordinary talent with a breathtaking performance of classical works.

Lawrence Brownlee

Date: 25 February 2024
Venue: The Red Theater, The Arts Center at NYU Abu Dhabi
Premiere: Arab World Premiere

International opera star Lawrence Brownlee brings a dazzling array of works celebrating vocal artistry.

Kirill Gerstein

Date: 27 February 2024
Venue: The Red Theater, The Arts Center at NYU Abu Dhabi
Premiere: Arab World Premiere

Pianist Kirill Gerstein presents an energetic and imaginative program spanning various musical traditions.

Sheikh Mahmoud El Tohamy

Date: 14 March 2024
Venue: Louvre Abu Dhabi
Premiere: World Premiere

Known as the ‘Sheikh of Egyptian chanters,’ renowned Inshad master Sheikh Mahmoud El-Tohamy presents the world premiere of ‘The Carpenter’s Daughters, featuring poems from Egypt, Sudan, Tunisia, and the Maghreb.

China National Symphony Orchestra

Date: 8 December 2024
Venue: Emirates Palace
Premiere: Arab World Premiere

The festival culminates with a grand performance by the China National Symphony Orchestra, known for its breathtaking interpretations of Western classics and Chinese national music.

China as the Country of Honour

In 2024, the Abu Dhabi Festival designated China as the Country of Honour, marking 40 years of diplomatic ties between the People’s Republic of China and the UAE. This celebration promises a culturally rich experience, strengthening the bonds between the two nations.

Under the theme “The Will for Hope” Supporting Tarahum for Ghaza Campaign by Emirates Red Crescent

A Message of Hope: Fostering Optimism

The Festival’s theme for 2024, “The Will for Hope,” is a testament to the enduring power of art and culture. It serves as a beacon of hope, breaking through darkness and negativity and spreading coexistence, peace, and human fraternity values.

Giving Back: Supporting Gaza

A portion of the 2024 revenues of the Abu Dhabi Festival will be donated to the Tarahum for Gaza campaign by the Red Crescent. This contribution aligns with the official efforts of the United Arab Emirates to alleviate the suffering of the Palestinian people and aid those affected in Gaza.

Voices of Support

H.H Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the United Arab Emirates and Abu Dhabi Festival ​Founding Honorary Patron, emphasized the Festival’s role in fostering hope and spreading coexistence, peace, and human fraternity values. He highlighted the significance of culture and the arts in conveying the message of the tolerant and open-minded UAE to the world.

His Excellency Sheikh Salem bin Khalid Al Qassimi, Minister of Culture, expressed the Ministry’s commitment to enriching the local cultural landscape through partnerships with culture, art, and heritage institutions in the UAE.

H.E Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi, shared his vision of nurturing creativity and empowering artistic talents while preserving the rich heritage of the UAE.

A Message of Gratitude

Her Excellency Huda Ibrahim Alkhamis, the founder of the Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation and the founder and Artistic Director of the Abu Dhabi Festival, expressed her gratitude to the nation’s wise leadership, led by His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, for their unwavering support in propagating culture and reinforcing the country’s standing as a global hub of culture and creativity.

Supporting Cultural Exchange

His Excellency Zhang Yiming, Chinese Ambassador to the UAE, expressed China’s deep honour as the Guest Country of Honor for the Abu Dhabi Festival 2024. This collaboration signifies the strong cultural ties between the two nations and showcases the richness of Chinese arts and cultural heritage to the global audience.

Partners in Excellence

Homaid Al Shimmari, Deputy Group CEO and Chief Corporate & Human Capital Officer at Mubadala, the Festival’s Lead partner, highlighted the alignment of Mubadala’s vision with the Festival’s commitment to supporting artistic talent and fostering innovation.

GS Energy, the Festival’s Energy partner, echoed the sentiment of supporting cultural excellence and fostering creativity.

Conclusion

The Abu Dhabi Festival 2024 is more than just a celebration of art and culture; it’s a testament to the enduring power of the human spirit. Under the patronage of visionary leaders and committed to fostering hope, this Festival shines as a beacon of optimism. With performances that span the globe and a dedication to supporting noble causes, it is a true testament to the UAE’s vision of a brighter, more culturally enriched world. So, mark your calendars and be prepared to be enchanted by the magic of “The Will for Hope” in 2024.

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