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Arabic Princess

An Opera for children

Farbverlauf im Hintergrund

Musical Direction & Adaption Anna Sophie Brüning

Direction Paula Fünfeck & Francois Abou Salem

Libretto Paula Fünfeck

with the children & Youth Orchestra of the Barenboim-Said Foundation, Ramallah

Music by Juan Crisóstomo de Arriaga

Premiere Cultural Palace, Ramallah, 2009

A cooperation between institutions in Ramallah, the Barenboim-Said Foundation and Boosey&Hawkes

Thanks to the photographer Astrid Karger for her pictures of the production at the Staatstheater Saarbrücken 2019/20 directed by Benoît De Leersnyder.

Since this Opera’s premiere in 2009, it has been translated into several languages and performed in houses all over Europe, including the Hamburg and Vienna State Opera, Madrid and Strasbourg Opera Houses, Linz and Innsbruck and many more.

The son of a poor fisherman does not want to learn anything, all teachers despair of him. However, he is so beautiful and his voice sounds so sweet that he conquers the heart of a princess despite his humble origins. The shouts with which he praises his roaches, herrings, and tuna tails sound a thousand and one times more beautiful than the most splendid sobs of the court singer, and those who hear him also want to see. The princess sees the fisherman, and once she has seen him, she can only feel. Looking at him, at the perfect grace of his simple gestures with which he goes about his simple daily work without a hint of vanity, the Sultana's heart tears apart with desire. She decides to make this boy a prince at any cost and to take him as her husband. However, not everything can be taken as lightly as a piece of halva: great adventures and many a painful learning process lies ahead for the two lovers before they can finally unite.

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