Royal Opera House Muscat

When Music Moves You Beyond Words



Transcending time and place

Our vision for the Oman to the World exhibition, housed in the simply stunning Royal Opera House Muscat, was that it should transcend time and place. It should hold up music as a universal language that has the power to move us beyond words.

We aimed to create a fluid dialogue between Oman and the rest of the world. As much as the exhibition would be celebration of Omani music – its instruments, composers, musicians and traditions – it would also be a celebration of how it has been influenced by and, in turn, influenced the wider world.


From one act to the next

We imagined the exhibition as a series of scenes in a play. Your journey through the space is physical, multisensory and emotional. You start with an anechoic chamber which consumes you in an eerie silence, absorbing all sound. This is the palate cleanser before you step into The Sounds of Oman where natural sounds of the Omani landscape compliment man-made sounds of voices, drums and early instruments. From here, you move into Meet the Musicians, seeing the world through the eyes of a performer. In Become the Composer, you compose and create your own music. The experience crescendos in The Performance where you are immersed in performances from the opera house and around the world, emphasising cultural connections. At the heart of the space, there is a striking void with a statement installation inspired by the Tambūra – a traditional Omani instrument.


Let the music move you

You are encouraged to play your part in the performance. Interactives explore creative concepts from soundwaves to composition writing. You are drawn on to create your own sounds. The collection displays chime harmoniously with highly immersive experiences. Displays of instruments and scores sing alongside interactives.

A universal thread runs through and unites the experience, focusing on your emotional connection to music and the feelings it unearths in us all. This provides inspiration for larger scale or collective experiences – where everyone is immersed in the music together, a collective audience at a performance. Likewise, there are moments for individuals, akin to listening to music alone in a room. These deeper levels of engagement come through individual interactivity and localised audio.