If you’re reading this, then I’m delighted you’ve been sticking with 7 must-sees in Muscat. So welcome back to number 4, the Royal Opera House Muscat! You won’t be able to miss it, as every taxi driver will point it out to you – they’re very proud, and rightly so.
ROHM, as it likes to be known, is another example (as is the Grand Mosque) of glorious contemporary Omani architecture. Holding 1,100 people, as well as opera it hosts classical and contemporary musical and theatrical productions – not just from Oman, but from all around the world. It also places a big emphasis on cultural outreach and education, both locally and internationally, to promote understanding, among young people, especially of the great source of enrichment that art and culture provide.
One innovative feature that caught my eye in ROHM’s upcoming programme are ‘coffee and dates‘ events. Attendees at these are indeed offered Omani coffee and dates as a display of traditional hospitality, at the same time as listening to informal talks by international stars, and being able to meet them. I see that Cliff Richard will be at one of these on 5 October 2017, if you need to rush to book your flight!!
All-in-all, the ROHM complex is a great place to visit that includes landscaped gardens, an auditorium, a concert theatre, and upmarket shops and restaurants. The main auditorium and atrium is open to the public for guided tours, usually in the mornings only (I just walked in and bought a tour ticket – but check the website, which, by the way, has some gorgeous dramatic music playing on the home page, that sadly Shazam didn’t recognise!).
Don’t miss as part of the tour the display cabinets of fabulous and bizarre antique instruments – including my personal favourite, the French c. 1872 snake-mouthed ceramic wind instrument pictured below.
Click individual photos to enlarge & scroll