ABU DHABI, 26th October, 2018 (WAM) — Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Tolerance, attended the premiere of ‘Water in the Desert: A Zayed Legacy’, an opera that includes music, drama, movement, design and film, with a cast of two professional opera singers accompanied by over 80 talented school children from the UAE, as well as other nationalities.Commemorating the ‘Year of Zayed’, it will be an unforgettable celebration of the late Sheikh Zayed’s remarkable environmental legacy and vision for the greening of the desert.Based on Sheikh Zayed’s vision for a green desert, his belief that water was the UAE’s most valuable resource as well as the environmental and conservation programmes he led and inspired, nthe opera explores the fact that change and progress comes only from dedication, collaboration and hard work, and emphasises the role and responsibility of the UAE’s blended current and future ngenerations to continue to work together to treasure, protect and give back to our shared home.The work aims to celebrate the ‘Year of Zayed’ and UAE heritage and culture in an innovative and memorable manner that can be shared with the wider community; to inspire and develop children across several curriculum areas through performance and visual arts and support the evolution and development of UAE education. Key values instilled by the opera include:Tolerance and collaboration; Determination and work ethic;Sustainability and collective responsibility and Deep respect for UAE heritage and culture.The performance, which was attended by a number of senior officials, as well as Arab and foreign ambassadors at The Arts Center at NYU Abu Dhabi, marked the beginning of the week-long National Tolerance Festival, which will be officially launched on 9th November.”The opera symbolises the late Sheikh Zayed’s vision, thought and long-insightful journey down the path of development, progress and tolerance. The artistic work produces an exceptional experiment that nncombines the desert environment and the Founding Father’s skillful abilities to turn desert into green, lush gardens. It also paints a magnificent work depicting Sheikh Zayed’s words and deeds in a universal language,” said Sheikh Nahyan.He stated that the National Tolerance Festival will harness performing and visual arts to heighten community awareness about the values of tolerance, peaceful co-existence and the accepting of others, regardless of their faith, race or colour.The theatrical performance – presented in partnership with the Cranleigh Abu Dhabi School and the Ministry of Tolerance – is directed by acclaimed director Karen Gillingham. Other participants include Hannah Conway, Composer, Music Director; Natasha Khamjani, Choreographer; Rhiannon Newman-Brown, Designer; Peter Cant, Librettist; Robert Gildon, Baritone; Natalie Montakhab, Soprano; Magali Charrier, Designer Videographer and Susan Hamilton, Producer.Director Karen Gillingham has said, The extraordinary insight, passion and dynamism of the students has been incredibly inspiring. We feel privileged to work with them and are leaving full of fresh ideas that have come directly from them.