Water in the Desert: A Zayed Legacy

Water in the Desert: A Zayed Legacy

This is a contemporary youth opera for celebrating the year of Zayed. But don’t think that “Opera ?? Boring…” This was an amazing show inspired by discussion with Abu Dhabi school children, Goumbook and Lest We Forget. Yes, true! Children..

This exciting new piece of opera is created specifically to celebrate Year of Zayed. It takes inspiration from the vision of the late Sheikh Zayed in Sultan Al Nahyan, the founding Father of the UAE. It harnesses the power of modern opera to ignite community engagement and connect people through a shared experience. The story line and dramatic concepts for Water in the Desert were devices by a group of 80 students under the guidance of a team of opera professionals.

This youth opera is the first one devised in UAE and it reflects the core values of tolerance, coexistence, progression and environmentalism. The scene starts with a scene where the children are listening a bed time story about some letters written by children. And in one of thema child wants to know where the water comes from.. Then the story begins… with an ordinary day in Abu Dhabi, everybody is in a rush with their daily life interacting with water. Everything they need is on tap and at the touch of a button. All of them are careless, they have fun, till suddenly the tap stops working.. drip, drop, drip, drop… drip….. drop……. It was the last drop.. They city collapses and turns into a desert..

I don’t want to tell the whole story, I thing the beginning of it makes it compelling. The children ages were between 3-15 I believe and their performances were breathtaking, there were dances, opera pieces.. It ended with a message that “all of us are the guardians of the well, the water is entrusted to us.” This message is of course not only for UAE but whole world. It is our life, our world and it is us who can save it. Getting this message from 80 children was also remarkable.


As a last statement, I’d like to share one of the statements of Sheikh Zayed – I think he is a visionary person.

“On land and in the sea
Our forefathers lived in this environment
They were able to do so because they could recognise a need to conserve it.
To take form it only what they needed to live
And to preserve it for future generations.”




October 26th, 2018, Abu Dhabi

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