Taking Abu Dhabi to the World


Date 2019

Just as the Abu Dhabi Festival brings the world to the UAE capital, so too does it take Abu Dhabi to the world. In 2019, audiences across the globe will experience new initiatives made possible by the Abu Dhabi Festival in the spirit of cultural diplomacy


Co-produced by Komische Oper Berlin and Abu Dhabi Festival
Sunday, 27 January (Premiere Performance)

With Giacomo Puccini’s masterpiece La Bohème, the playful, provocative and meticulous Barrie Kosky is staging a key work of contemporary life in nineteenth-century Paris – as a portrait of life between art, unrequited love and modern isolation in the face of death. Under the musical direction of Jordan de Souza, ensemble member Nadja Mchantaf in the role of the fragile Mimì and the young Armenian tenor Liparit Avetisyan as the exuberant poet Rodolfo tackle one of the most moving love stories in the history of musical theatre.


Co-produced by Teatro Real, Lyric Opera of Chicago and Abu Dhabi Festival
March 2018-2020

On the occasion of the Bicentennial and the 20th anniversary celebrations, the Teatro Real revived one of the most monumental and emblematic productions of its recent history: AIDA by Giuseppe Verdi. It premiered in 1998 with the staging, scenography, and costumes by Hugo de Ana. Now we see a restored and updated version of one of the most popular operas by the composer from Busseto. Maestro Nicola Luisotti returned to the Teatro Real to conduct the chorus and orchestra of the Teatro Real with three casts of today’s best voices: Violeta Urmana, Ekaterina Semenchuk, Daniela Barcellona, Gregory Kunde, Fabio Sartori, Alfred Kim, Liudmyla Monastyrska, and Anna Pirozzi, among others.


Visit and End-of-Year Concert Conducted by Peter Eötvös
17-23 June

The Reina Sofia School of Music was established in Madrid, in 1991 and is open to students from around the world. It has also been ADMAF’s international strategic cultural partner since 2015.
Composer, conductor and teacher, the Hungarian Peter Eötvös, will be visiting the school to give his invaluable insight to students, as well as conducting works by Mozart, Stravinsky and Beethoven, and his own compositions. These will be performed by the students during their end-of-year concert at Teatro Real in Madrid (also one of ADMAF’s strategic international partners), in the presence of Her Majesty, Reina Sofia.


Support of Les Acrobates de Tanger’s Presentation and UK Tour of HALKA, and Amir ElSaffar Ensemble & Vanesa Aibar: Luminiscencia

Dates & Venues: 6 July – The Lowry, Salford/Manchester
9 July – Lighthouse, Poole’s Centre for the Arts, Poole
11 July – Queen Elizabeth Hall, Southbank Centre, London

14 highly skilled acrobats from Morocco in a family-friendly and heart-warming show visits three UK cities in a partnership between Shubbak – London’s largest festival of Contemporary Arab Culture and Abu Dhabi Festival, and working in collaboration with Crying Out Loud.
Amir ElSaffar Ensemble & Vanesa Aibar: Luminiscencia
Date & Venue: 6 July – Sadler’s Wells, London

The acclaimed Iraqi-American musician Amir ElSaffar brings together an ensemble of great exponents of the new vanguard of Flamenco; including the unconventional Flamenco dancer Vanesa Aibar, vocalist Gema Caballero, and Flamenco percussionist Pablo Martin Jones. The ensemble also includes mastermind electronics musician Lorenzo Bianchi Hoesch, as well as ElSaffar’s sister, Dena ElSaffar, who plays violin and traditional Iraqi fiddle. Using elegant, melodic arabesques to connect traditions, this special line up merges East and West into a unique evening of soulful dance and music.

A Fondation Royaumont production, supported by the Abu Dhabi Festival and presented in partnership with Shubbak, Flamenco Festival and Sadler’s Wells.

UK premiere

Pierre Boulez Saal

Syrian clarinetist and composer Kinan Azmeh, artist in focus of the Pierre Boulez Saal, brings his latest collaboration to Berlin: Songs for Days to Come is a journey of music and poetry that explores themes such as home, faith, and friendship. Azmeh has set contemporary Syrian poems in chamber music soundscapes that meld Arabic and Western traditions with improvisation and spoken voices. The result is a powerful expression of the freedom that can be found in art, music, and literature in troubling times. Wed, 29 May 2019, 19:30 at the Pierre Boulez Saal hall in Berlin, Germany In Partnership with Pierre Boulez Saal

2019 – 2021

Performances in USA, Canada, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Oman and UAE
The Festival is supporting Palestinian singer and musician, Omar Kamal, with his new world tour in which he will be performing songs from his latest album, set for release on 7 March, 2019 as part of the Abu Dhabi Festival Composers’ Platform.