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A Concert For Tomorrow – Debut of the Orchestra of the Teatro alla Scala at Dubai Opera

A Concert For Tomorrow – Debut of the Orchestra of the Teatro alla Scala at Dubai Opera


Dubai Opera



Gala Concert with the Orchestra of

 Teatro alla Scala in Milan

December 1st, 2023

Teatro alla Scala Orchestra

Soprano Aida Garifullina

Tenor Vittorio Grigolo

Conductor Michele Gamba


With the support of Plenitude and in collaboration with the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and the Italian Ministry of Culture.

Held during the UN Climate Change Conference (COP28), Dubai Opera presents an extraordinary gala concert featuring for the first time in the United Arab Emirates, the Orchestra of the Teatro alla Scala, Milan. 

United Arab Emirates, Dubai 20 November 2023: Dubai Opera, the UAE’s leading center for performing arts and culture, and the iconic Teatro alla Scala in Milan, the vanguard of Italian artistic excellence, have proudly announced an extraordinary cultural initiative.

For the very first time, the Teatro alla Scala Orchestra will perform in the Gulf Region, with an illustrious gala concert in the United Arab Emirates, presented by the Dubai Opera.

At the conductor’s helm will be the distinguished Milanese maestro, Michele Gamba, joined by the globally acclaimed soprano, Aida Garifullina, and the esteemed Italian tenor, Vittorio Grigolo. The evening’s repertoire will feature a selection of the most renowned compositions from the hallowed annals of Italian opera, showcasing the genius of Verdi, Puccini, and Mascagni.

This landmark event embodies the highest echelons of both institutional and cultural significance, offering a platform to foster new avenues of dialogue, while celebrating the pinnacle of Italian artistic excellence on the Middle East’s most esteemed stage. This auspicious occasion coincides with the United Nations Climate Change conference in Dubai, dedicated to charting the future of our planet.

Dominique Meyer, Superintendent of the Teatro alla Scala Foundation, remarked: “I am profoundly delighted that the Teatro alla Scala Orchestra will make its debut at the Dubai Opera. We look forward to presenting masterpieces by Giuseppe Verdi and Giacomo Puccini, whose centenary commemorations are on the horizon. These composers embody the tradition and essence of our theatre, and the Teatro alla Scala Orchestra shall render their works with an unmistakable resonance and fervour. On the podium, we shall have the youthful yet accomplished conductor, Michele Gamba, who has previously led numerous productions at La Scala and other eminent theaters. Additionally, internationally acclaimed vocalists, Aida Garifullina and Vittorio Grigolo, shall grace us with their exceptional talents. Equally momentous is the context of this concert: La Scala shares concerns about the perils of global warming and is steadfast in its commitment to an actionable plan for energy efficiency and resource optimisation, already bearing fruitful outcomes.”

An Opera Experience Like No Other

This unmissable operatic soirée reinforces the cultural and amicable bonds between Italy, Dubai, and the Emirates, as it serves as a platform for the exchange of art, beauty, a penchant for innovation, and an unwavering pursuit of excellence in every sphere, as underscored by Antonio Tajani, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the Republic of Italy: “Since my arrival at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, I have strongly promoted cultural diplomacy through the organization of major initiatives that can showcase our excellences and increase Italy’s attractiveness around the world. The extraordinary concert by La Scala from Milan fits perfectly into this framework. We are convinced that culture, in these difficult times, is a precious tool to foster dialogue and open new bridges of collaboration. I am delighted that our Emirati friends will be able to experience first-hand, in the splendid setting of the Dubai Opera House, the musical excellence of La Scala. This is just one example of the vitality of our bilateral relations, which we want to further strengthen in every area.”

Arts at the Forefront of Global Consciousness

The La Scala Gala in Dubai will also take place during the COP28 global climate change conference in Dubai, emphasising the pivotal role of art and culture in disseminating a heightened intellectual awareness of pressing environmental concerns. Music, as the universal language, emerges as an indispensable medium for sharing, dialogue, and collective purpose.

Gennaro Sangiuliano, Minister of Culture of the Republic of Italy, remarked: “The concert of the Teatro alla Scala Orchestra at Dubai Opera is going to be an extraordinary show, celebrating the friendship between Italy and the United Arab Emirates and bringing inspiration to the delegates at the UN Conference on Climate Change (COP28). Music touches the deepest chords of the human soul and brings people together. With the world facing one of the key challenges of our time, Italy is happy to put its cultural excellence at the service of dialogue between nations.”

His Excellency Sheikh Salem Al Qassimi, Minister of Culture and Youth, said: “The UAE has made steady steps to enhance its position as a global cultural hub that empowers creativity and provides a platform for world-class exhibitions, art and cultural events. This well-deserved status can be attributed to the strategic vision of our future-facing leadership, who have been investing in building a robust cultural and creative ecosystem in the country.” HE added: “This collaboration stems from a deep desire to bring the best cultural offerings from around the world and to enrich the local creative landscape of the country. It also reflects on the strong and friendly ties between the UAE and Italy.”

Dubai: A Mosaic of Cultures and Artistic Endeavour

Dubai is rapidly emerging as an unparalleled platform for fostering intercultural dialogue and celebrating artistic eminence. Her Excellency Hala Badri, Director General of Dubai Culture and Arts Authority, said: “Nestled within Dubai’s cultural tapestry, ‘Concert for Tomorrow’ represents the fusion of cultures in our city, where the arts flourish, and collaborative efforts between the public and private sectors drive artistic excellence. The inspiration it ignites in our city’s opera aficionados and music enthusiasts is of great importance. Dubai Culture is proud to take part in another event that promises enrichment and captivation, reinforcing our commitment to fostering a dynamic, high-achieving, and inclusive arts community, aligned with Dubai’s cultural vision of being a global centre for culture, and incubator for creativity and a thriving hub for talent.”

Commenting on this momentous occasion, Paolo Petrocelli, Head of Dubai Opera, stated: “In just a few short years since its inauguration, Dubai Opera has not only asserted itself as a cultural beacon within the Gulf region, but has also emerged as a shining star in the Middle Eastern arts landscape. We are immensely proud to include within our upcoming artistic season such a profoundly significant and culturally enriching event, confirming our growing commitment to promote and celebrate international artistic excellence within the Arab world.”


Plenitude, Eni’s Benefit Corporation, integrating production from renewables, energy services and a large network of electric vehicle charging points, is glad to support the Dubai Opera House’s La Scala event, one of the major global opera and music events. For Plenitude music, art and culture are important vehicles for the development of individuals and communities.

The “La Scala in Dubai Opera Gala” is poised to exceed the expectations of the eagerly anticipated international audience gathered in the auditorium. The program ingeniously interweaves grand symphonic compositions, including the opening symphony of Nabucco and interludes from Mascagni’s Cavalleria Rusticana and Puccini’s Manon Lescaut, with the most cherished arias and duets from the world’s operatic repertoire, featuring selections from Traviata, Bohème, Gianni Schicchi, and Rigoletto. This repertoire perfectly complements the talents of the two youthful yet eminent protagonists: the Tatar soprano, Aida Garifullina, whose journey from her hometown of Kazan to the world’s most prestigious opera stages has captivated global audiences, and the Italian tenor, Vittorio Grigolo, whose vocal prowess and stage presence make him an ideal interpreter of the Verdi and Puccini oeuvre, a journey that has seen him grace the most illustrious international theaters, beginning with La Scala.


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