Located in the north western region of Saudi Arabia is Al Ula, a stunning location of stunning oases and golden sandstone. This over-five-thousand-year-old region has been home to some of the world’s oldest civilizations and has recently been home to “Winter at Tantora,” a series of eight consecutive weekends of musical, sporting, and agricultural events that began last December and has brought in world renowned talents from across the globe to perform. This weekend, one more famous name joined the festival, critically-acclaimed opera singer Andrea Bocelli.
Yesterday in Al-Ula Valley, Winter at Tantora festival pic.twitter.com/K2BenXcfMN— Andrea Bocelli (@AndreaBocelli) 2 février 2019
Performing for the first time in Saudi Arabia, Bocelli regaled a sold-out venue packed with music lovers from across the Kingdom and beyond. The famous Italian tenor, known worldwide for his unique blend of modern pop and classic opera that continues to inspire millions, took to the stage at Al Ula’s Maraya Concert Hall and performed what many felt was a beautiful and unforgettable show.
واصلاً ما بين بصيرة روحه ووجدان الجماهير، أبدع أندريا بوتشيلي بصوته على مسرح مرايا، إبداعًا أسطوريًا يليق بمقامه كظاهرة إنسانية وموسيقية، وب #العلا أرض الحضارات والآثار. #بوتشيلي_في_العلا #شتاء_طنطورة#Bocelli pic.twitter.com/SCzX4wYe3Y— Winter At Tantora شتاء طنطورة (@WinterAtTantora) 1 février 2019
During his performance, Bocelli spoke to fans, expressing his delight at performing in Saudi Arabia, saying, “This is my first time to perform in Saudi Arabia, and I’m very pleased with the great reception and hospitality I received from the organizers and the wonderful audience here […] Al Ula is a great surprise. It’s a beautiful natural destination, and it has been an honor to sing in such majestic surroundings.”
برقةٍ بالغة وعلى أنغام إيقاع الڤالس، يطرز الفنان الكبير أندريا بوتشيلي حالة بديعة من الإنسجام الفني بصحبة السوبرانو المبدعة ماريا أليدا على مسرح مرايا. #بوتشيلي_في_العلا #شتاء_طنطورة#Bocelli pic.twitter.com/RjkVqDGtxu— Winter At Tantora شتاء طنطورة (@WinterAtTantora) 1 février 2019
Speaking to Saudi Gazette prior to Bocelli’s performance, Italian Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Luca Ferrari discussed the impact of Bocelli’s concert, saying, “The concert by Andrea Bocelli in Al Ula reflects the thriving relations between Italy and Saudi Arabia. Everything about this event speaks about the strong cultural ties between our two countries and people […] Bocelli is one of most famous Italian singers worldwide and he is very much loved in Saudi Arabia.
The concert hall for the event – Maraya – has also been designed by an Italian company, reflecting the natural beauty of the region. Indeed, Al Ula is a fantastic venue not only because of its beauty, its rich history and the hospitality of its people […] It has an important legacy but it is also projected well into the future, in line with Vision 2030. And we are very much supporting it.”