Pathways through Classical Music

Since the Inauguration, the Royal Opera House Muscat has not wavered in further diversifying the countries of origin for its seasonal rosters, as well as broadening the genres and kinds of programs presented with a continuing focus on diversity in genre and innovative artistry in performances. We are delighted to invite you to join us for ROHM's new digital programme in 2021 launching with a series of momentous concerts with the Royal Oman Symphony Orchestra and the Muscat Royal Philharmonic Orchestra with the Opera Choir Group. May you enjoy the artistic journey ahead!


The Royal Oman Symphony Orchestra

  In 1985, His Majesty the late Sultan Qaboos bin Said bin Taimour (1940 – 2020) had a dream: to establish a professional orchestra made entirely of Omani nationals. This brilliant idea was born of his passionate and inspiring commitment to his people and from his belief that music would serve as a vehicle for the promotion of peace, tolerance, and international cooperation. The realization of his vision for the Royal Oman Symphony Orchestra (ROSO) began in 1985. On the 1st July 1987, under the patronage of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said bin Taimour, ROSO performed its inaugural concert in the auditorium at the Al Bustan Palace. As a touring orchestra covering the region and Europe, ROSO serves as a bridge between East and West, performing to an international standard on a world stage. Their performances often feature the signature Omani fragrance of frankincense, the ladies of the orchestra perform in the national dress designed in the red and green colours of Oman's flag with traditional gold headpieces set on their foreheads. Both the appearance and performance offered by the orchestra demonstrate the richness of the nation of Oman and the people of Oman, entrusting them with the additional role as ambassadors of their country. With a range which includes improvisation in taqasim (melodic progression) and raga scales to the strict rules of Western counterpoint, they exhibit advanced techniques and fine musicianship. Their repertoire spans many different genres of music.

The Muscat Royal Philharmonic Orchestra

The Muscat Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (MRPO) was formed on 1st March 2010 following a directive from His Majesty, the late Sultan Qaboos Bin Said and established as the sister orchestra to the Royal Oman Symphony Orchestra (ROSO), which was founded in 1985. Originally, the orchestra was made up of 60 young musicians, of roughly equal numbers of men and women, then in 2012 a further 140 students joined the group. The MRPO was initially divided into two distinct groups each receiving intensive training to build a robust foundation in orchestral technique. Alongside a rigorous timetable of rehearsals, students of MRPO are expected to take advantage of a comprehensive academic timetable offered across a number of subjects. The orchestra has worked with a number of guest conductors, such as Peter Stark, Mark Messenger, David Curtis and Keith Pascoe, and individually, many MRPO students have taken part in masterclasses, with guest artists such as violist Jonathan Barritt and cellist Julian Lloyd Webber. The MRPO began performing private concerts in 2018, quickly followed by public concerts within the Royal Guard of Oman. This concert at the Royal Opera House Muscat is their first public performance for a wider audience.

The Opera Choir Group

The Opera Choir Group was formed in October 2012 following a directive from His Majesty, the late Sultan Qaboos Bin Said. Young people between the ages of 10 and 14, from across Oman, were auditioned. The Opera Choir Group was initially given intensive training in choral technique, focusing in much the same way as the training for the orchestra, in establishing a very strong technical musical foundation upon which to build the sound of the choir. Alongside their music training and academic studies with MRPO, the choir have participated in Royal Opera House Muscat educational workshops, such as the Rossini Project. The Opera Choir Group has been involved in private performances since December 2015, initially working with the Royal Guard of Oman Military Choir but later performing as the Opera Choir Group. They began giving public concerts in 2017. In January 2019 the ladies of the Opera Choir Group performed with the Royal Guard of Oman's Military Choir and the Royal Oman Symphony Orchestra at the inauguration concert for the Royal Opera: House of Musical Arts. In September 2019, opera students were invited to audition for ROHM’s production of Mozart's The Magic Flute, and nine students were selected to perform in the opera. They have continued to participate in joint ventures with ROSO and the Military Choir.

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