A taste of the BBC Proms experience in Dubai

The BBC has announced that the inaugural BBC Proms Dubai four-day festival will take place from March 21-24, 2017 at the Dubai Opera. The artists appearing include Benjamin Grosvenor, Edward Gardner and the BBC Symphony Orchestra. Dubai is the largest city in the United Arab Emirates and the human rights infringements in the UAE include the persecution of homosexuals, the maltreatment of migrant workers - see photo above - and discrimination against women. Islamic Sharia is the main source for the penal code in the UAE. This means, to quote Diana Hamade, an Emirati lawyer based in Dubai: "Crimes such as the desertion of Islam, fornication, murder, theft, adultery and homosexuality - all crimes classified as "Al Hudud" in Islamic law - are punishable by predetermined penalties (flogging and arm amputation among them)."

The BBC Proms Dubai will include an authentic Last Night. It was the BBC Symphony Orchestra conducted by Marin Alsop at the 2013 Last Night of the Proms that accompanied Joyce DiDonato singing 'Somewhere Over the Rainbow', a performance that was dedicated to those silenced over gay rights. David Pickard, director, BBC Proms talks of "giving audiences in the UAE an opportunity to sample a taste of the BBC Proms experience". But the effusive BBC PR surrounding this latest ethically-compromised cash for culture deal omits any mention of a reprise of 'Somewhere Over the Rainbow' in Dubai. Over to you Joyce and Marin.

Photo of migrant workers in Dubai via Backpackme. Any copyrighted material is included as "fair use" for critical analysis only, and will be removed at the request of copyright owner(s). Also on Facebook and Twitter.


Pliable said…
The BBC Proms Dubai include a work by Mohammed Fairouz, who, incidentally, is identified wrongly by some sources as "Dubai-based" - he was actually born and lives in New York.

In August Fairouz published a partial defence of human rights in the UAE generally and Dubai in particular, possibly in anticipation of the BBC Proms Dubai announcement. In the interest of balance here is the link:

Andrew Morris said…
I always raise an eyebrow at the adverts for Dubai's international film festival, which presumably wouldn't have screened something like the acclaimed "Blue is the Warmest Colour". And if the BBC go back for another jolly, will they programme Britten? And would their programme notes stay mysteriously quiet on the issue of his sexuality?

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