Young Egyptian soprano’s debut album, El Nour /النور ,will cross cultures, combining art songs by French, Spanish and Egyptian composers with popular and folk songs in Arabic.
The young Egyptian soprano Fatma Said has signed an exclusive agreement with Warner Classics. Autumn 2020 will bring the release of her debut album, El Nour/النور (Light), which combines art songs by French, Spanish and Egyptian composers with Egyptian folk songs and popular songs from the Middle East. Her partners on the album are pianist Malcolm Martineau, guitarist Rafael Aguirre and a jazz ensemble including traditional Middle Eastern instruments **
“The main idea of this album is to convey a cross-cultural message to every audience in the world,” says Fatma Said, “to try to make classical music reachable and more accessible to cultures that are unfamiliar with classical music, and vice versa.”
Fatma Said initially studied singing in her native Cairo, then trained at Berlin’s Hanns Eisler School of Music before winning a scholarship to the Accademia del Teatro alla Scala. She went on to perform Pamina in new production of Mozart’s Die Zauberflöteat the legendary Milanese theatre.The winner of a number of high-profile singing competitions, from 2016 to 2018 she was a member of the BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artists scheme, and has now appeared on major operatic and concert stages around Europe and beyond. Her engagements have included the Salzburg Mozartwoche, BBC Proms, Boston Symphony Orchestra and gala concerts with Juan Diego Flórez at The United Nations in Geneva and in Muscat.
In a five-star review of a recital she gave at London’s Wigmore Hall in December 2018, The Times praised her interpretation of Ravel’s song cycle Shéhérazade– which features onEl Nour– citing her “smoky low range and pungent word-painting.” When she sang Strauss, the writer (Neil Fisher) compared her to “the late, great Lisa della Casa in the combination of brightness of expression and warmth of tone”.
Alain Lanceron, President of Warner Classics and Erato, said: “Fatma Said is an artist with a distinctive personality that will soon make her a fixture in the world’s opera houses and concert halls. I am absolutely delighted to welcome this new star to Warner Classics.”
“I’m very happy and excited about this new partnership with Warner Classics,” commented Fatma Said. “For me, what most motivated my signing was the team’s receptiveness to my repertoire suggestions and album concept. I felt very free throughout the process of putting this album together, and I think that the artistic freedom consistently granted me by Warner Classics was the best tool as I worked to bring out the best of myself on this recording. Needless to say, I feel honoured to belong to such an esteemed group of musicians as the Warner family, and I can only hope to become a significant addition to the label’s roster.”
** Malcom Martineau – pianist, Rafael Aguirre – guitarist, Tim Allhoff - jazz pianist, Henning Siefert - jazz bassist, Itamar Doari - percussion player, Tamer Pinarbasi - Kanoun player, Burcu Karadağ - Ney player , Vision String Quartet
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