Sunday, January 6, 2013

Dan Kempson to Premiere Staged Version of Mohammed Fairouz’s Sumeida’s Song

Dan Kempson
Dan Kempson, who was the shirtless smash hit of our calendar this year and who made our Top 25 list of 2012, will perform in the staged World Premiere of Mohammed Fairouz’s opera Sumeida’s Song. The one-hour opera will run from January 9-15.
The opera will be the first Arab-American opera to be fully produced on an American stage and comes on the heals of the controversy over al-Jazeera buying Current Media.  

Based on the classic Tawfiq El-Hakim play, Song of Death, the opera follows the return of a young man, Alwan, from Cairo to his Upper Egyptian peasant village. He defies his family’s expectations to fulfill an age-old blood feud, instead revealing the true purpose of his return: to end the cycle of violence. For his attempts to bring light and modernity to his village, and for challenging the structure of his society, he pays the ultimate price.

Hear the mezzo aria "The Saddle Bag" and the baritone aria "I Shall Tell Them" from the concert version premiere at the New York Society for Ethical Culture:

Tawfiq El-Hakim's story is well known in the Arab World, and Fairouz’s operatic adaptation captures the underlying aspirations of young people, like Alwan, who stand up for their ideals and for aspirations of a better life. Alwan's resonant proclamation — "I won’t kill" — embodies the noble mission of justice and progress in this timeless, timely, and universal story.

This staged world-premiere production will feature a chamber orchestration with Arabic and western instruments.  The cast also features Rachel Calloway, Edwin Vega and Amelia Watkins. Tickets are available online.

No comments:

Post a Comment