Romeo and Laila, an opera


Featuring Ghalia Ben Ali (inspiration, atmosphere, nourishment, movement and singing , Joe Smith (percussion) and Nick Thys (double bass). Wednesday 10 September at Can Festís


Gypsy, Caravana, Heroine, Sunrise, Patria, Air, Wind, Free as the stars, free as the wind, until the end of our lives.

Once upon a time, long, long ago a daughter was born to the king of Arabia. She had only one eye and as the kings only child she was loved and protected like no other. One day a fortune teller told the king that he would lose his daughter to a man from a distant European culture, The king decided to build a tower to protect her. There was one window which faced the sea. The inside walls were covered only with the knowledge and culture of Arabia.
Locked inside, the princess could only see the blue sky, the moon, the stars and the sea and soon she became sick and unwell. The king summoned physicians from every corner of the country but they were unable to do anything for poor Laila. Then he sent ambassadors to search for physicians all over the world.
From the Town of Genoa came a man called Romeo, he was an artist, a warrior, a philosopher, a teacher and traveller of the world. In every country he had learnt something new and as he travelled he also gave of his knowledge and energy. He came to the land of the one eyed princess who by this time had fallen into a deep sleep. He produced a bottle of special perfume and he opened it. As soon as its aroma reached Laila, she awoke and knew immediately that Romeo was the one she loved.
She asked him to stay in her castle and be her king but Romeo replied, “The day you discover my castle and my world you will never return to yours” Romeo began to realise that there was something missing in his beautiful powerful world.
When the king heard what happened his heart was overjoyed but his head was like stone. He would not have foreigners introducing their ways in his land and banished Romeo from the kingdom.
Laila returned to the tower but now she knew there was more to life than the writing on the wall and the view of the sea and sky. One day a blue bird came to Laila and told her that Romeo had died in a far off land. Her father was quite relieved to hear that Romeo was dead. He granted Laila permission to pay her last respects and so she set off to find her Romeo. She travelled for a long time through many countries, and she learnt about jealousy, anger and envy but in her heart she kept looking for true love. When she found Romeo’s tomb she declared her love for him. Romeo heard her and came back to life. In that moment she realised she could see with a thousand eyes and he knew his search for knowledge had come to an end, for he had discovered what true happiness is.
Vivir feliz, vivir de amor. Vivir en la reina del amor


The European version of Romeo and Juliet and the Arabic Cais and Laila are both tragedies.
Ghalia Ben Ali has created an opera with Arabic dance and song with music preformed by “western” musicians in which love gives life and energy.
Learn to love and live eternal life like a jasmine that blooms every day.
The woman you love is your queen, love is what makes you live.

Racquel