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The Aspen Institute and Royal Opera House Muscat Announce the ROH Muscat

Aspen Creative Arts World Summit

Submitted by: Aspen Institute

Categories: Events, Events

Posted: Jun 13, 2011 – 05:27 PM EST


WASHINGTON, D.C., Jun. 13 /CSRwire/ - The Aspen Institute Global Initiative on Culture and Society and the newly built state-of-the-art Royal Opera House Muscat (ROH Muscat) of the Sultanate of Oman have announced their strategic partnership and the planning of an unprecedented ROH Muscat - Aspen Creative Arts World Summit to be held in Muscat, Oman, November 28-30, 2011.

The announcement was made at the Aspen Institute by Her Excellency Dr. Rawya Saud Al Busaidi, chair of the Board of Directors of ROH Muscat and Omani minister of higher education; Ms. Iman Al-Hindawi, director general of ROH Muscat; and Elliot Gerson, Aspen Institute’s executive vice president for policy and public programs and international partnerships, during a public dialogue on Arts in Motion: Arab Renaissance and Cultural Diplomacy. Additional presenters were H.E. Hunaina Sultan Al-Mughairy, ambassador of the Sultanate of Oman to the United States of America; and Damien Pwono, founder and executive director of the Aspen Institute Global Initiative on Culture and Society. Participants included US and international press, cultural diplomacy practitioners, policymakers, and arts and culture professionals.

Established by Royal Decree, ROH Muscat is an iconic multidisciplinary arts and culture center. In the words of H.E. Dr. Rawya Saud Al Busaidi, "ROH Muscat is a landmark that will serve as a world-class performing arts venue and an incubator for creativity and innovation. The stunning venue is now completed and it will pay tribute to and present a mosaic of artistic and cultural expressions from around the world."

With its Grand Opening scheduled for October 12, 2011, ROH Muscat will engage diverse audiences domestically, regionally, and globally in the groundbreaking public diplomacy strategy and cultural development path championed by His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said. Iman Al-Hindawi stated that "in addition to its artistic offerings, ROH Muscat will also serve as a laboratory for creativity and intellectual exchanges, highlighting the importance of dialogue and candid debate among arts and culture stakeholders." Accordingly, "the Aspen Institute is the ideal partner for the launch of ROH Muscat's public humanities and cultural policy dialogue series with the ROH Muscat - Aspen Creative Arts World Summit. As the first meeting of its kind, the Summit will engage diverse stakeholders at many levels," Al-Hindawi added.

Dr. Pwono said that "ROH Muscat has the necessary ingredients to make this nascent organization a strong force in cultural globalization with a significant impact on the worldwide quest for stewardship and cooperative engagement in the cultural sector." He added that "the ROH Muscat - Aspen Creative Arts World Summit will bring influential media, arts, and culture professionals and organizations together to discuss the challenges of creativity and the extent to which they enhance or undermine innovation and public participation in cultural life." The Summit theme of Arts in Motion reflects shifting trends in the interpretation, presentation, and consumption of diverse artistic and cultural expressions in an interconnected world, the impact of social technologies, the status and mobility of young professionals, the emergence of new cultural markets or spaces, and the contribution of the arts to socioeconomic development and social change.

Elliot Gerson thanked the leadership of ROH Muscat for selecting the Aspen Institute as a strategic partner at this early stage of ROH Muscat's institutional development process. He highlighted that "The Aspen Institute is pleased to join forces with ROH Muscat in designing and implementing legacy initiatives that will not only help build human and institutional capacity for cultural development in Oman, but also seed innovation in the broader field of arts and culture." He also added that "This partnership will benefit from the work of three outstanding Aspen Institute colleagues: Damien Pwono who leads the Institute’s Global Initiative on Culture and Society, Lisa Consiglio who runs the Aspen Writers' Foundation, and Damian Woetzel who has just come onboard as the new director of the Institute's Arts Program and Harman-Eisner Artist-in-Residence Program. Their ongoing and independent work will provide synergies for the strengthening of our arts and culture programming reflecting the Institute’s mission as envisioned by its founders."

H.E. Hunaina Sultan Al-Mughairy welcomed the partnership between ROH Muscat and The Aspen Institute, stating that "I welcome this strategic move that will enhance our efforts to strengthen cultural exchanges and mutually beneficial relationships between the Sultanate of Oman and the Unites States."

Introducing the artistic program of their inaugural season, ROH Muscat's Board of Directors revealed that: "Franco Zefirelli will direct the commissioned production of Giacomo Puccini's last masterpiece, Turandot." Another opera production specially commissioned for the opening season is "Carmen" directed by Gianni Quaranta. Those interested in classical music should look forward to a Gala Concert by Plácido Domingo and the Royal Oman Symphony Orchestra. They will also be captivated by the rich repertoires of Renée Fleming and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, a performance by Yo-Yo Ma and the London Philharmonic Orchestra." Ballet enthusiasts will rejoice in the performances of "Don-Quixote" by the American Ballet Theatre, "Shim Chung" by the Universal Ballet Korea, "Giselle" by the Teatro alla Scala, and "Swan Lake" with the Mariinsky Ballet. Jazz fans can look forward to Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra. The inaugural program will also include music by acclaimed performers from the Arab world, including a tribute concert celebrating the contribution of Egyptian Diva Umm Kulthum.

About the Royal Opera House Muscat
The Royal Opera House Muscat is Oman's premier venue for arts and culture. The organization is based in Muscat and its vision is to serve as a centre of excellence in global cultural engagement that simultaneously presents the world's best artistic and cultural expressions and promotes dialogue across civilizations. The mission of this first opera house in the region is to enrich lives through diverse artistic, cultural, and educational programs engaging difference and promoting timeless values. The multidisciplinary work of ROH Muscat will showcase rich and diverse artistic creations from Oman, the region, and the world; provide a space for culture and socioeconomic development reflection and actions domestically and internationally; inspire audiences and nurture creativity with innovative programs; foster cultural vitality and unleash talent; sustain livelihoods through the arts and cultural tourism; and put cultural diplomacy into practice by reinvigorating global and multi-disciplinary collaborations and exchanges.

About The Aspen Cultural Diplomacy Series
The Aspen Cultural Diplomacy Series of the Global Initiative on Culture and Society seeks to build a neutral platform for reflection, network building, policy formulation, and leadership development in the cultural sector.

About The Aspen Institute
The Aspen Institute mission is twofold: to foster values-based leadership, encouraging individuals to reflect on the ideals and ideas that define a good society, and to provide a neutral and balanced venue for discussing and acting on critical issues. The Aspen Institute does this primarily in four ways: seminars, young-leader fellowships around the globe, policy programs, and public conferences and events. The Institute is based in Washington, DC; Aspen, Colorado; and on the Wye River on Maryland's Eastern Shore. It also has an international network of partners.

For more information, please contact:

Jim Spiegelman VP/Communications and Public Affairs
Phone: 202-736-3849


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