Boost for arts and culture

Yayasan Warisan Johor Band performing a dance at the opening of the opera house.

JOHOR BARU: The Permaisuri Zarith Sofiah Opera House, officially opened to the public, is the city’s newest attraction. It is especially a boon to arts and culture enthusiasts.

Designed with a unique architecture inspired by the diamond shape, the theatre, tagged as the “Jewel Of South”, is 114,430 sqf and can accommodate more than 500 people.

Johor Ruler Sultan Ibrahim ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar opened the theatre.

Permaisuri Johor Raja Zarith Sofiah Almarhum Sultan Idris Shah, Tunku Temenggong Johor Tunku Idris Iskandar Sultan Ibrahim; Tunku Panglima Johor Tunku Abdul Rahman Sultan Ibrahim and Tunku Putera Johor Tunku Abu Bakar Sultan Ibrahim also graced the event.

Other guests present were Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Dr Sahruddin Jamal, state secretary Datuk Azmi Rohani and state executive council members.

The opening was a grand affair with dazzling fireworks, electrifying light shows, mesmerising live performances as well as a royal reception.

There were also traditional Chinese dances with a Malaysian twist, acrobatic ballet, Chinese folk singing and Peking opera.

Several local acts were showcased during the night, such as a concert by Yayasan Warisan Johor Band which performed zapin accompanied by live music.

Muar-born piano virtuoso Claudia Yang performed a piece titled Getaran Jiwa which received thunderous applause from the audience.

Singer Datuk Yusni Hamid belted out songs such as Kisah Cinta and Frank Sinatra’s The way you look tonight.

Notable foreign acts included Cantopop legend Hacken Lee as well as Ding Yi, a world renowned opera singer from China.

The opera house plans to host a wide variety of shows in the near future, such as dances, plays, musicals and concerts.

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