France to help Saudi Arabia set up orchestra, opera


Saudi Gazette report

— Saudi Arabia is to use French expertise to set up a national opera and orchestra under an agreement signed here on Monday.

“Today an agreement was signed with the Paris Opera to help Saudi Arabia set up a national orchestra and an opera,” French Culture Minister Françoise Nyssen announced after talks with her Saudi counterpart Awwad Al-Awwad.

The deal will see the Paris opera company help the Kingdom produce its own classical music and shows.

Nyssen said she discussed with Awwad the importance of translating books in both languages, from Arabic into French and French into Arabic.

Speaking on the occasion, Awwad said the Kingdom appreciates the distinguished position enjoyed by France in the cultural and artistic realms.

“We recognize the pivotal role of culture and arts in improving the lives of people as they are an organic product for cultural development. Our responsibility is to highlight the cultural components of Saudi Arabia, which is one of the roles assigned to GAC. It works closely to support the local creative community and to highlight the contemporary cultural and artistic movement of Saudi Arabia and its ancient heritage both inside and outside the Kingdom,” he said.

Awwad also emphasized that the cultural sector can be transformed into an integrated economic sector, which contributes to boosting the gross domestic product.

The event, titled “Total” offers a variety of artistic styles and cultural activities, such as cinemas and dialogues held in the presence of artists and directors.

It also includes art exhibitions dealing with heritage and modern art, accompanied by discussion sessions in the presence of artists. The program also includes musical performances and virtual reality shows so as to give an introduction to the visitors about the Kingdom’s cultural and heritage sites.

There is an exhibition about contemporary Saudi art and the art of the Cat Asiri, which is a large mural dedicated to a type of symbolic drawings that decorated the walls of houses in the Kingdom’s southwest region.

Other attractions of the event are the traditional ornaments made of silver.

The King Abdulaziz Public Library is holding the ‘Arabian Peninsula’ photography exhibition as part of the event.

There is also screening of films, followed by panel discussions in the presence of crews that highlight the emerging Saudi local talent in film industry. These include a documentary film on women’s empowerment, produced by GAC.