Richard Wagner's music holds Saudis rapt as a fresh breeze at Jeddah Corniche

Amazing grace


Saudi Gazette

THE General Culture Authority (GCA) conducted a distinctive German classical concert, performed by the by the Cologne Academy, with the support of the German mission, at Nawras Beach, in the North Corniche and it was just amazing.

For the first time in Jeddah, a German Orchestra and Opera played in public for the Saudi Audience. Over 1,500 people attended the open-air concert.

The Cologne Academy Orchestra left the Saudi audience in raptures by playing a wide variety of authentic famous classical symphonies of Richard Wagner, Johannes Brahms and Beethoven. The classical rendition combining with the Red Sea atmosphere provided an ambience that the audience would remember. For they had an unforgettable evening.

The Orchestra’s performance was led by Maestro Michael Alexander Willens and opera singer Johanna Winkel.They had performed for the first time in Riyadh and then Dammam before taking the stage in Jeddah.

The German Consul General Holger Ziegeler, who admired the concert, said: “It was a very emotional moment for me and the whole audience about 1,500 people from Jeddah watching the first symphony concert of German romantic and classical music. The Cologne Academy did a wonderful job and it was very emotional to see this romantic music being paired with the backdrop of Red Sea, waves of the Red Sea coming like the waves of the music and flowing into the audience. The audience loved it very much, everybody was very emotional and we want to thank the Saudi General Culture Authority for making all of this possible, by bringing the music to Riyadh, Dammam, and Jeddah.”

After the concert Maestro Willens, expressed his happiness at the positive reaction of the Saudi audience and noted: “The response is fantastic. The Saudi audience was very receptive, very warm and I felt they really enjoyed the concert very much.”

Opera singer Winkel underscored the feeling, stating: “Fantastic experience to be here, it's a pleasure that we can make music here, in Saudi Arabia, very warm and welcoming people, it's fun really it's quite an experience. I am very happy to be a part of these artistic and cultural events.”

About the new change in the Kingdom, Winkel added: “I am very impressed by the new change and the opening of Saudi Arabia, I appreciate it very much.”