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Andrea Bocelli To Perform A World-First Concert In Saudi Arabia’s Hegra

The beloved Italian tenor’s magnetic voice will be complemented by the unique backdrop of carved tombs…

Andrea Bocelli on his previous visit

It’s Saudi Arabia’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site and the most well-known and recognised one in AlUla. And now the 52-hectare ancient city of Hegra will hold a world-first concert starring Andrea Bocelli. The world’s most beloved tenor will be performing in the majestic atmosphere that surrounds AlUla’s gem on April 8, with tickets to the one-of-a-kind event going on sale on April 1. While numbers are limited, the good news for those in the GCC who miss out on the opportunity is that they will be able to watch Bocelli singing live on MBC 1 at 10pm (KSA time).

The blind Italian master tenor will be the first artist in known history to stage a concert within the city walls of Hegra. And the event, which promises to be an unmissable celebration of heritage, culture, music and optimism, will be performed in front of an audience of less than 300 in respect of the environment and COIVD-19 safety measures.

Bocelli, whose most famous songs include “Time to Say Goodbye” and “The Prayer,” will deliver a stripped-back set comprising musicians from the Arabian Philharmonic. Plus, special guests will join the multi-platinum selling superstar with piano-bar beginnings. These include his son Matteo Bocelli, Loren Allred and soprano Francesca Maionchi, while Eugene Kohn will be at the piano. There’s also a surprise guest who is remaining under wraps until the event is underway. The set list remains a secret too, but organisers have promised that fans from every walk of life will not be disappointed.

Tuscan Bocelli, endowed with a voice that has been described as the most beautiful in the world, will perform amongst the unique backdrop of Al Khuraymat’s 20 carved tombs. Archaeologists say this cluster of tombs features some of the best preserved in Hegra. (One of the distinctive features is the elegant gynosphinxes, the spirit guardians with women’s heads, lions’ bodies and wings, adorning the corners of pediments.)

The concert marks the third successive year the 62-year-old crooner, who makes listeners feel they have a direct line to the angels, has performed in AlUla. Bocelli delighted audiences at the two previou Winter at Tantora festivals.

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About Hegra
Hegra, found in AlUla, 100 km from Riyadh, was built in the first century BCE by the Nabataeans and believed to be the principal southern city of their kingdom. The ancient desert city in north-west Saudi Arabia is home to thousands of tombs. And at least 100 of these have elaborate carved facades, cut out of the sandstone outcrops surrounding the walled urban settlement, a signature of the skilled Nabataean craftsmen. Current research also suggests Hegra was the most southern outpost of the Roman Empire after the Roman’s conquered the Nabataeans in 106 CE. 

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