Himself enjoys listening to opera and during our married life, we have always enjoyed going to live concerts in New Zealand. A few years ago we lived in Al Ain in the United Arab Emirates. We were delighted to learn of the Abu Dhabi and Al Ain Classics Concert Season that ran from October through to May. We were in for a real treat.
In our first month in Al Ain, we settled into our apartment which was next to a mosque and a five minute drive from an historic fort. Each evening as we listened to the call to Maghrib prayer, we could see from our window, the shape of the mosque become darker, outlined against the clear sky backlit by the setting sun. As Muslims remembered God, the day began to draw to a close. Later in the cooler evening temperatures, we, like the locals, enjoyed being outdoors under a clear, inky blue sky.
Within this setting, we went to to our first concert at the nearby Al Jahili Fort in October for an open-air performance by the New York Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra. We both remember the evening very well. People from all over the world gathered in this ancient place, drawn by their common love of classical music. Alan Gilbert conducted Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony. Peter Zimmermann performed Brahms’s Violin Concerto. Pure musical magic. And it felt surreal for us to be sitting inside an ancient Arab fort, its high walls and towers etched in sharp relief against the dark night sky by uplights to form a magnificent silhouette