The world’s most beloved tenor, Maestro Andrea Bocelli, returns to AlUla on Thursday April 8th 2021 for a world-first performance at UNESCO World Heritage Site, Hegra.
The master tenor will deliver an intimate set comprising musicians from the Arabian Philharmonic and special guests Loren ALLRED, Matteo BOCELLI, soprano Francesca MAIONCHI with EUGENE KOHN at the piano.
The concert marks the third successive year that Bocelli has performed in AlUla having delighted audiences at the previous two Winter at Tantora festivals. However, this is the first time that the ancient city of Hegra will be the setting for a music event of this calibre.
While the set list remains under wraps, organisers have promised that fans, both old and new, will not be disappointed. A surprise guest has also remained a secret to be divulged to viewers on the night and not before.
Bocelli will be the first artist in known history to stage a concert within the city walls of Hegra. The event will be performed in front of an audience of less than 300 in respect of the environment and COIVD-19 safety measures and promises to be an unmissable celebration of heritage, culture, music and optimism.
Hegra, built in the first century BCE by the Nabataean Kingdom, is an ancient desert city home to thousands of tombs cut into sandstone mountains. At least 100 tombs have elaborate carved facades, a signature of the skilled Nabataean craftsmen.
The specific backdrop for Bocelli will be the 20 carved tombs of Al Khuraymat. Archaeologists say this cluster of tombs presents some of the best preserved in the city of Hegra. A distinctive feature of Khuraymat are the elegant gynosphinxes (spirit guardians with women’s heads, lions’ bodies and wings) adorning the corners of pediments.
Located 1,100 km from Riyadh, in North-West Saudi Arabia, AlUla is a place of extraordinary natural and human heritage. The vast area, covering 22,561km², includes a lush oasis valley, towering sandstone mountains and ancient cultural heritage sites dating back thousands of years to when the Lihyan and Nabataean kingdoms reigned. The most well-known and recognised site in AlUla is Hegra, Saudi Arabia’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site. A 52-hectare ancient city, Hegra was the principal southern city of the Nabataean Kingdom and is comprised of more than 100 well preserved tombs with elaborate facades cut out of the sandstone outcrops surrounding the walled urban settlement. Current research also suggests Hegra was the most southern outpost of the Roman Empire after conquering the Nabataeans in 106 CE.
In addition to Hegra, AlUla is home to a fascinating historical and archaeological sites such as: Ancient Dadan, the capital of the Dadan and Lihyan Kingdoms, which is considered one of the most developed 1st-millennium BCE cities of the Arabian Peninsula; thousands of ancient rock art sites and inscriptions at Jabal Ikmah; Old Town, a labyrinth of more than 900 mudbrick homes developed from at least the 12 th century, and Hijaz Railway and Hegra Fort, key sites in the story and conquests of Lawrence of Arabia.
About The Royal Commission for AlUla
The Royal Commission for AlUla (RCU) was established by royal decree in July 2017 to protect and safeguard AlUla, a region of outstanding natural and cultural significance in North-West Saudi Arabia. RCU is embarking on a long-term plan to develop and deliver a sensitive, sustainable transformation of the region, reaffirming it as one of the country's most important archaeological and cultural destinations and preparing it to welcome visitors from around the world. RCU’s development work in AlUla encompasses a broad range of initiatives across archaeology, tourism, culture, education and the arts, reflecting the ambitious commitment to cultivate tourism and leisure in Saudi Arabia, outlined in Vision 2030.
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