DSF “Journey of Celebrations” to kick off on a high musical note with renowned WNO Orchestra in Zabeel Park

DUBAI: The 20th edition of the Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF) is set to kick off on a high note with the first performance in Dubai by a 75-member troupe of the world-class Welsh National Opera (WNO) Orchestra, the main opening event of the much-awaited festival on 1 January in Zabeel Park.

Set to be the biggest in the festival’s history, the 20th edition of DSF will be held under the theme “20th Anniversary – A Journey of Celebrations” and will take place from 1 January to 1 February 2015 offering citywide events, mega attractions and numerous shopping opportunities and winning options for visitors and residents from around the world.

Organised by the Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment (DFRE), an agency of the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM), this orchestral concert, which will commence at 4.30pm welcomes families and visitors from around the word to join in the celebration of this milestone edition of one the biggest shopping extravaganzas and the longest running festival of its kind in the world.

The event showcases Dubai’s unique multicultural character through creative programming. It features well-known artists from around the world, who together represent the emirate’s international diversity. The show will witness the highly respected WNO Orchestra perform for the first time in the UAE – delivering each piece with the conviction and passion that has made them one of the most sought after orchestras in the world today since the orchestra’s inception in 1970.

The WNO Orchestra comes on the same day as another DSF 2015 attraction, the popular Ripe Food & Craft Market, opens for a special New Year edition, which runs all weekend at Zabeel Park. A unique community event, Ripe Market offers a platform for talented local artisans and small business owners to showcase their businesses in an informal market environment, to both the local and expat community. And, after the great shopping experience at Ripe Market, families can stay for awhile to enjoy the evening with the WNO Orchestra.

The WNO Orchestra will take the stage under the baton of Chinese conductor Xian Zhang, and will see Filipino pianist Cecile Licad grace the stage with the favourite classic, Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No. 2.

Another attraction of the WNO Orchestra will be the performance of Dubai-based composer Joanna Marsh’s orchestral work ‘Kahayla’ – a musical celebration of the building of the Burj Khalifa and Dubai’s winning spirit, which uses the literary device allegory to depict Dubai’s desire to win.

“This spectacular WNO orchestra concert is a special gift for visitors and residents of Dubai offering them the wonderful opportunity to kick off the first day of the New Year on a euphoric note. The programme embraces Dubai’s multicultural diversity not only by bringing performing artists from multiple nationalities represented in Dubai, but also through the selection of international music, including orchestra works from Argentina, Brazil, France, India and Russia. This performance is set to demonstrate the strength of music as a powerful medium to express human emotions and achievements,” said Joanna Marsh, Programme Curator & Composer In Residence, The Score.

Musical aficionados can expect the orchestra to recreate the charm of timeless classics by Tchaikovsky (The Nutcracker, Polonaise – Eugene Onegin), Rachmaninov (Piano Concerto No. 2), Piazzolla (Libertango), Bizet (Carmen “Habanera”), Saint-Saens (Danse Macabre), Barroso (Brazil) and Johann Strauss (Thunder and Lightning Polka).