The magic of AlUla attracts the King of Opera
Sunday, 28 January 2024

The magic of AlUla attracts the King of Opera

In 1990, a few weeks after landing in London to start my asset management assignment with NCB, now SNB Capital, I went to my first-ever opera concert at Hyde Park performed by the late legend Luciano Pavarotti. Since then, attending opera concerts has become a frequent social outing for me in London and other European capitals.

Years later, under the umbrella of our BMG Foundation, the corporate social responsibility arm of BMG Financial Group, we launched Foundation Classics, an initiative to organize concerts in the Gulf and Middle Eastern capitals to showcase the beauty of classical music. As we witnessed our region confront the looming threat of being inundated by commercialized music that fails to elevate the tastes and sensibilities of our youth, it became the humble ambition of the BMG Foundation to restore balance and provide an arena for exposure to the wonders and beauty of classical opera.

Another mission of Foundation Classics is to discover and promote the work of exceptionally gifted composers and sopranos from the region, presenting them internationally. One of the talented artists I recently met was Sawsan Al-Bahiti, the first soprano in Saudi Arabia.

At the core of BMG Foundation's exemplary charitable and philanthropic work are its noble sponsors. Over the years, they have fulfilled their corporate social responsibility through the foundation's activities, and without their generous and distinguished contributions, such heights of success would never have been achieved.

Last Friday, I attended a breathtaking musical night starring the King of Opera, Andrea Bocelli, along with other leading artists, including Al-Bahiti, at Maraya Musical Hall in AlUla, one of the most magical cultural sites in Saudi Arabia.

As some of you may know, the maestro legend Bocelli is an Italian opera singer, songwriter, and record producer. He developed a passion for music as a young boy; his mother said music was the only thing that made him happy. He began piano lessons at 6 and later learned to play the flute, saxophone, trumpet, trombone, guitar, and drums. He received the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic.

If you've ever wondered what it's like to experience an adventure through time, marveling at some of the grandest architectural sights that date back more than 200,000 years, then AlUla is a must-visit. With its ancient historic cultural sites, gorgeous oasis valleys, and sandstone mountains, AlUla is truly a testament to human endeavor and natural beauty. Because of AlUla's uniqueness, Bocelli chose to perform a fifth time in the ancient oasis city.

Last Friday’s performance was stunning, combining AlUla’s magical ambiance with Bocelli’s majestic performance.

Basil M.K. Al-Ghalayini is the chairman and CEO of BMG Financial Group.

Source Arab News

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