We arrived at Katara Beach by Karwa (taxi). Unsure exactly where the Drama Theatre was, we asked a man passing on a golf cart who promptly told us to jump on. The Drama Theatre was at the opposite end of Katara Beach from the taxi rank, so we enjoyed the mini ride between the side alleys and amongst people wandering along the beach front.
On arrival we joined a few people milling around the foyer, avoided having our photo taken, and headed in ready for the show. We took our cheap seats near the back of the theatre and waited. A few more people wandered through, but the theatre remained mostly empty. Finally it was time for the show to start, but before it did we were all told to move forward – bonus, paying for a cheap seat and moving up front!
However, it saddened me to see the theatre only a third or so full to see international opera singers Veronique Mercier (soprano) and Gian Luca Pasolini (tenor), accompanied by Massimiliano Bullo on piano. A lack of promotion, a difficulty in the purchasing process, and a delay in printing of the tickets meant this was not a sold out affair, but instead, an intimate show.
I was a little sceptical and concerned the singing may send me into slumber. My musical background lies in 1990s alt-rock, whereas Hubby is a long-time opera fan, and therefore thrilled to see opera in Doha. Since we started dating I have seen a few operas, but I never quite ‘get’ them, often finding myself getting bored, or hoping the ending comes soon (tip: it doesn’t).
Opera Emotions presented a range of the best songs from various operas, and a Puccini wrap up. Now, if you’re anything like me and have absolutely no idea who Puccini is, what he did, or even how to pronounce his name, apparently it was pretty exciting (although he’s seen as being in second place to Verdi) and Hubby was ecstatic. Think Madame Butterfly, Tosca, or La Boheme. Both singers performed beautifully, and it was wonderful to see the emotion on their faces, and be close enough to see the acting that went alongside it. It turns out, I even recognised quite a few of the songs and felt my skin tingle with the performance.
Overall it was a beautiful show, and the right length for me to enjoy the opera.