The two performances of Aida on 18 and 21 October at the Katara Amphitheatre were sold out even before we arrived in Qatar.
Last night we headed out with friends to the Belgian Cafe at the Intercontinental hotel. We had an early meal and were chatting at the table. The people at the table behind who knew someone in our group said that they’d got two spare tickets as their friends couldn’t make it.
We snapped up both tickets for 300 QAR, which was a saving of 200 QAR on the original price, and immediately headed of to Katara about a five minute taxi ride away.
The Katara Amphitheatre is a brand new marble structure, impressive from both the inside and outside. We headed through the xray scanner at our entrance and took our seats. Unlike when we saw the Barber of Seville at the Roman amphitheatre in Verona, cushioned seats were provided to cover the hard stone.
We sat in the evening heat as the place filled up with expats and a large number of Qataris.
The opera was very good, though to be fair I have no real experience to make that judgement and I only recognised one of the tunes.
Screens on either side of the stage gave the translation in Arabic and English. I only hope the Arabic was better than the English. The Italian seems to have been translated by Yoda so that the verb appeared at the end of the sentence… ‘You, with me here buried’ or ‘A cease now, it is this way aids advances’.
We left just as the fat lady stopped, so missing the curtains calls and also the crush to get out. It was a really unexpected evening out and whilst opera wouldn’t usually be my first choice of musical entertainment, both the spectacle and ambiance made it a great evening out .