Sultan hopes the newly built facility in Muscat will enrich world heritage.Sultan Qaboos Bin Saeed hoped the Royal Opera House, which he formally opened on Wednesday night, will play a significant role in enriching world heritage and reinforce the principles of peace, co-existence and understanding among all nations and peoples through art events."They [art events] express a common human cultural heritage of strong meaning and deep impact," he said after opening the iconic Opera House.According to Franco Zeffirelli, legendary Italian opera director, the Royal Opera House in Muscat will help Arab culture merge with the great tradition of the European classics. "I have been dreaming about it [merging of Arab and European classics] for years and now I see it becoming a reality with the opening of the Opera House in Muscat," he said during an interaction with the media yesterday.The wheelchair-bound entertainer urged everyone to forget political differences to achieve universal peace. "Everything about opera is beautiful," he said.The octogenarian praised Oman for opening the "magnificent" multipurpose opera house. "This is a masterpiece, great achievement by Oman and I am grateful to you all," the jovial theatre genius said."Oman throughout its long history has played prominent roles in various cultural fields and the time has come now to cap that rich march by means of adopting concepts of international culture and by effective contribution to its promotion," Sultan Qaboos said after opening the Opera House.The Omani monarch cut the ceremonial ribbon marking the official opening of the Royal Opera House. After that the opera Turandot was premiered with the Fondazione Arena di Verona orchestra performing under Placido Domingo's baton.The performance attracted some of the industry's most famous artists. It was directed by Franco Zeffirelli.The opera house promises an impressive first season, with planned performances by Placido Domingo, Andrea Bocelli and soprano Renee Fleming.Also on the agenda are music performances by world-renowned cellist Yo Yo Ma and the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the American Ballet Theatre in a production of Don Quixote, and trumpeter Wynton Marsalis with New York City's Jazz at Lincoln Centre Orchestra.A tribute in honour of legendary Arab singer Oum Kalthoum and a concert by the Arab diva Majda Roumi are also on the schedule.The project was launched in 2001 by orders of the Sultan.The Opera House, a glamorous structure built on a plot of 80,000 square metres, shares the grounds with a small theatre, restaurants, and luxury shops, with at least half the area designated for gardens.The only other opera house in the Arab world is in Cairo.