Postcards from Vienna at the Dubai Opera House

As you may have guessed by now, my bestie was in town and despite the drama that bought him here, I wanted him to see the good bits too. There was enough seriousness and that needed a break every now again again.

After the giant burger lunch at The Ivy, and an afternoon of insane work, it was the official start to the weekend and that could only mean one thing… the Dubai Opera!

Yes, it could mean lots of things but when your friend happens to be a bit of a classical music connoisseur, there is only one place to start your weekend off!

The Vienna Concert Verein were holding a recital called “Postcards from Vienna”. The only other option for his time here was an illusion show. They freak me out so a night of Strauss it was.

Sadly, I am not so much into this composer. That is an understatement. I am not at all as it turns out. The whole thing was painful. I also really do not like the violin. I was a bit buggered really.

Thankfully I didn’t know any of this going into it. I was just excited to see the newly opened Dubai Opera. The was only the 10th event to be hosted there so I felt all special that we were going!

Again, a bit of a let down. I really thought given where we are and the penchant people have here for all things super luxurious and glitzy, that it would be more exiting. I can appreciate the newness and the fact it’s well designed, but it was a bit “blah” in my mind.

Also, I thought a nice glass of wine in the interval would be the order of the evening. Wrong again. It’s dry!!

Anyway, back to the start. It’s just off the boulevard in Downtown so nice and easy for me to get to. I hadn’t factored in Thursday night traffic though and that little journey which normally takes about 3 minutes by taxi, took nearly 30. Not their fault, but a heads up for anyone else who is thinking of going!

We were cutting it a bit fine really, but when we drove through the car park/building sight, we weren’t in more traffic. It’s quite well thought out and you just appear at the red carpet in no time.

Yep, there was a red carpet. Naturally there was also a red carpet selfie.

Again… Should have put more make up on to be red carpet ready! 

It is a shame that they haven’t got this drive through section finished though. It really takes away from the wow factor somewhat of driving up to this beautiful building.  Because it is stunning from the outside.  I’m a fan and have been whilst watching it go up over the last year or so.

The lobby area however is just an open space. There isn’t anything remarkable about it. You can’t really see the Burj Khalifa because it’s so close, and you can’t see the fountains because of the hoarding all around you reminding you that you’re at the Dubai Opera.

There is a stunning LED chandelier type thing though which totally hypnotizes you the longer you look at it!

It shimmers and shines and is stunning!

The actual inside/seating area (what do you call that part?!) reminded me of a boat.  An old wooden boat. Not because it was crummy and old looking.  It’s not at all. It’s beautifully finished and very new looking.  It just has a look about it.  That said, the lay out reminded me of an old Paris opera house.  I would love for them to have a decent version of Phantom of the Opera in there!  It would be amazing!

It did get much busier than this!

Here is a tip for the ladies: take a pashmina or something.  It’s very cold inside.  Each seat has its own little aircon vent under it.  It’s a fantastic idea, but for people like me who feel the cold the second it kicks in, and extra layer is ideal!

The seats are also lovely and roomy.  You’re not sat on the lap of the person behind you, or uncomfortably squished up against the person next to you.  The best part is that there is actual leg room for someone who has legs as long as mine, which is super rare!  Total gold star for that!

The big question for most people going for the first time is what to wear.  I really wouldn’t worry yourself too much on this.  People are there in shorts and t-shirts through to black tie and ball gown.  It is absolutely fascinating to people watch!

On the subject of the attendees… this is still Dubai.  There is invariably some wanker who is faaaaaaar too important to turn his phone off for an hour.  Naturally his phone will ring and he will of course answer it before getting outside.  Or, you could have the jackass who sat behind me texting all night, well, until he got a filthy look from me at the same time as his wife was looking.  He was then banished and she was mortified.

Other characters included Tappy McTapperson who tapped his foot the whole way through the performance, not in time to the beat either.  Special shout out to Sir Hums-A-Lot, who if by some random coincidence you are reading this, only not being able to reach around your wife’s gargantuan grandma bosom saved you from having those flowers poked in your eye.  Then, there was the Social Media Queens who spent the entire performance on their phones and taking selfies – shame they are too brainless to realise that just because you have your own box, doesn’t mean you can’t be seen.

Maybe I wouldn’t have noticed as much if I hadn’t been bored out of my tiny mind?!

I really have to say, that view on the music is entirely personal.  I do not like Germanic opera songs.  Not helped by the entirely forgettable Tenor and the slightly off key Soprano, who missed a couple of high notes too.  Give me the pretty sounding Italian arias instead, any day of the week.

I also really don’t like the violin.  At one point I tried to count and got to about 30 of the evil little screeching machines.  I couldn’t tell you if they were any different to the guest violinist who weebled his way onto stage.  He got a clap though just for reminding me so much of a penguin.

Taking another bow.  There is lots of bowing involved in orchestras.

I do however want to say that the conductor was awesome.  He looked like he had springs in his shoes as he bounced up and down to either keep time or just because he was excited by the noises his orchestra were producing.  He had completely manic hair that reminded me of Einstein after being plugged into an electric socket, and it just kept getting bigger as the night went on.  Also, at the end of the performance he led the slightly bewildered audience in a clap-a-long version of something.  Tappy McTapperson proved himself even less tempo inclined with his hands, and really didn’t get the instructions for volume.  He did however look remarkably proud of himself when it was done.  His wife looked embarrassed but in good humour.  I wonder if she had a secret supply of wine?

I am really looking so uncultured right about now.  I am not, honestly!  It just wasn’t my thing.  It was entirely Albert’s thing though and he had a wonderful time.  He had lots of big fancy words to use that sounded like he knew what he was talking about.  I don’t remember what they were though as I was busy looking around trying to pinpoint the Social Media Queens so I could insta-stalk them and let them know about the boxes not being entirely private.  I couldn’t see them well enough to be sure who they were up close.  Boo.

I may sound uncultured, but glasses make me look clever at least!

Then the evening got much better (for me) as we were leaving!  Also there were lovely ladies on the doors who gave everyone a small posy of daisies with Alexander McQueen’s new sent attached to them.

(Those little flowers lasted 10 days.  It’s only because I got bored of looking at them that they got binned.  The perfume is heavily floral so that got chucked too.)

Then the real fun started…. or, photo and selfie time!

Pretty water display!

We decided to walk home again because it’s not far and the traffic was hideous.  We followed the signs for the Plaza, and when we got to the top of the stairs, we were greeted by a fabulous mini fountain show!  It was so pretty!

Then there was the light up sign.  I am becoming a bit obsessed with light up signs, I think!  We had a bunch of photos taken there, but with so many people around and doing the same, we couldn’t get it quite perfect.

People were starting to gather again, and I can’t work out the light ratio on my phone!

I would go through the whole night all over again though for my friend.  He really did enjoy it, and it was nice to be able to show him a new bit of Dubai that I’ve never seen before either.

We also found another sign to take a photo with on the way home, so that amused me greatly!

Still disappointed there isn’t an actual town square anywhere!




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