Advertisements
Menu

Historic Al-Ula springs to life with violin strings at Winter at Tantora Festival

0 Comments


Featured post on IndiBlogger, the biggest community of Indian Bloggers

In a landmark concert, French violinist Renaud Capucon dazzled  crowd at Saudi Arabia’s historic Al-Ula on Friday, 4th January 2019. Capucon performed at Al-Ula in northwestern Saudi Arabia as part of the first Winter at Tantora festival and concert series. Capucon is the latest internationally renowned musician to perform at the home of one of the Kingdom’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Renaud Capucon performing at concert. Photo credit: Center for International Communication (CIC), Ministry of Media, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Winter at Tantora, which opened on December 20 and runs until February 9, is hosted by the residents of Al-Ula, a small town next to the ancient Nebatean site of Madein Saleh. Many weekend cultural events and musical performances by world-famous artists will be staged in course of the event.

Ancient site of Madein Saleh. Photo credit: Center for International Communication (CIC), Ministry of Media, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Capucon said about the occasion, “It’s a wonderful area. It’s quite incredible to feel this nature all around and to be there for the first time and to know that nobody was here before … and to be able to play here. I think it’s the first classical music concert here ever, and I feel very honoured and very inspired by what I see around us.”

Renaud Capucon at concert. Photo credit: Center for International Communication (CIC), Ministry of Media, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Visitors are now able to take a tour of the many historical sites in and around Al-Ula, one of the most fascinating vestiges of ancient Arabia in the Kingdom. The small oasis town some 380 kilometres north of Madinah was founded in the 6th century. Today it serves as the gateway to Madein Saleh, the Kingdom’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site. More than 2,000 years old and carved from stone by the Nabataeans, the tribe that also built Petra in Jordan, Madein Saleh is expected to become one of Saudi Arabia’s premier tourist destination as the Kingdom forges a tourism and hospitality industry.

A UNESCO heritage site. Photo credit: Center for International Communication (CIC), Ministry of Media, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Madein Saleh was originally called Al Hijr, or Hegra, by its Nabataean builders who carved its magnificent tombs out of sandstone outcrops. The finely worked details display Assyrian, Egyptian, Phoenician and Hellenistic influences which, along with the ancient wells that dot the area, exemplify the architectural accomplishment and hydraulic expertise of Nabataean civilisation. According to Royal Commission for Al-Ula (RCU), Al-Ula has the potential to be a beacon for the Arab world, a gateway that embraces local and international visitors to experience Saudi Arabia’s unique culture, and the stories built on ancient civilisations.

Tourists at the ruins. Photo credit: Center for International Communication (CIC), Ministry of Media, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

After the beginning of ‘Winter at Tantora Festival’ famous Saudi singer Mohamed Abdo performed on December 21. The recent concert by Capucon will be followed by the appearance of famous Arab composer, Omar Khairat of Egypt, on January 11. Chinese pianist Lang Lang is due to perform on Friday, January 18; and popular Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli will make his debut concert performance in Saudi Arabia on February 1.

Arab hospitality in middle of ruins. Photo credit: Center for International Communication (CIC), Ministry of Media, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

A definite crowd-pleaser will be a hologram concert by the late Egyptian diva, Um Kulthum, on January 25, in a show that will be supported by a live orchestra. Wrapping up the Winter at Tantora concert series on February 8 will be Grammy-nominated composer Yanni, the Greek pianist who had kicked off a series of musical concerts in the Kingdom late in 2017.

Expert hands at work. Photo credit: Center for International Communication (CIC), Ministry of Media, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Lebanese singer Majida El-Roumi performed at Winter at Tantora on December 28. She said it was an honour for her to perform at “this great global event” in Saudi Arabia, adding that the world was eagerly waiting “for the Kingdom to open its doors”.

Local craft at sale for tourists. Photo credit: Center for International Communication (CIC), Ministry of Media, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Such musical shows that were unimaginable less than two years ago have become part of life in Saudi Arabia over the past two years, thanks to Vision 2030, that has charted a course for the country’s modernisation and to make it a global destination for business and tourism. Many of these music performances were sponsored by the General Entertainment Authority (GEA) that was set up to organise, develop and lead the entertainment sector and to provide exciting entertainment options to Saudis.

A taste of local delicacies. Photo credit: Center for International Communication (CIC), Ministry of Media, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

In other Winter at Tantora activities, hundreds of multicoloured hot-air balloons will be released at the end of this month into the sky above Al-Ula for over a week. The first Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Endurance Cup horse race is set to take place on February 2.

An unforgettable experience. Photo credit: Center for International Communication (CIC), Ministry of Media, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Have you ever witnessed a musical concert in midst of a UNESCO Heritage site? How does it feel? Lets us know the experience in the comments section below. 

Featured post on IndiBlogger, the biggest community of Indian Bloggers

Spread the love! Share the post!!

Advertisements
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

1 thought on “Historic Al-Ula springs to life with violin strings at Winter at Tantora Festival”

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: