Celebrating its landmark 10th edition, Abu Dhabi Festival (ADF) 2013 will bring a spectacular three-week programme of world-class artistic talent to the UAE capital, featuring new commissions and Arab World Premieres which further affirm the festival as one of the leading cultural events on the world stage.
Ground-breaking work includes the Institut du Monde Arabe visual arts exhibition '25 Years of Arab Creativity', which presents over 30 artists from 13 Arab nations, including two Emirati artists. The exhibition celebrates IMA's 25th and ADF's 10th anniversaries, and offers an exhaustive panorama of contemporary Arab creation.
Opera has played a significant role in the festival's history with previous appearances from Jose Carreras, Anna Netrebko, Angela Georghiu, and Dmitri Hvorostovsky. This year Placido Domingo will perform a selection of operatic arias supported by Grammy Award winning soprano Ana Maria Martinez and accompanied by the renowned Czech Philharmonic and conductor Eugene Kohn. Also, British baritone Bryn Terfel will perform an evening of beloved opera arias, alongside traditional Welsh songs, with rising star Viktoria Yastrebova and the Czech Philharmonic, conducted by Jiri Belohavek.
Ballet continues to be a favourite in 2013 with performances by The Mariinsky Ballet, accompanied by the Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra. In 'Homage to Fokine' the ballet will present a colourful evening of dance featuring four distinct but equally compelling short ballets, all originally choreographed by the legendary Michel Fokine.
Instrumental classical music features strongly with Chinese pianist Yundi in recital, and a concerto performance from American violinist Joshua Bell.
Brazil's Gilberto Gil brings an intimate, acoustic concert to Abu Dhabi Festival drawing upon Samba and Bossa Nova, African music, Rock, Roots and Reggae. A versatile performer, Gilberto Gil is an iconic artist and musical ambassador.
The Festival champions the very best of Arabic artistic expression. A new Abu Dhabi Festival commission 'The Rahbani Legacy' by Lebanese composer Oussama Rahbani celebrates the music of the late Rahbani brothers – Mansour and Assi - and their unparalleled contribution to the music, theatre and poetry of the Middle East during the 20th century. In celebration of the 10th edition, ADF's has also commissioned 'Poème Orientale' by the Franco-Lebanese poet and composer, Bechara El-Khoury, which will be performed by the Czech Philharmonic on March 26th.
Her Excellency Mrs Hoda I. Al Khamis-Kanoo, Founder and Artistic Director of the Abu Dhabi Festival, said: "The Festival's vision is to both support and capture the multi-cultural essence of Abu Dhabi. Aligned with the capital city's urban planning and economic diversification, the Abu Dhabi Festival has supported Abu Dhabi's identity over the past 10 years as a crossroads of creativity. By creating a platform for community arts, we are fostering a spirit of discovery and an appetite for cultural expression that strengthens society. In 2013, Abu Dhabi Festival shall celebrate the past, the present and the future of artistic innovation, as it continues to build bridges across the world through ongoing strategic partnerships. By investing in creativity, we nurture mutual understanding and cultural dialogue between countries and communities everywhere."