Amman Opera: Zeina Barhoum Rises to the Occasion at Performance of Verdi’s La Traviata

Published July 20th, 2017 - 11:53 GMT
Jordanian-Palestinian soprano Zeina Barhoum. (Zeina Barhoum)
Jordanian-Palestinian soprano Zeina Barhoum. (Zeina Barhoum)

The first ever opera festival in the Arab world debuted yesterday, and it took place in Amman. Featuring Palestinian-Jordanian soprano Zeina Barhoum, the show will feature two performances of Verdi’s La Traviata (The Fallen Woman), the next on Saturday; Barhoum takes on the role of Violetta, the main character and a courtesan who becomes half of an impossible love story.

Barhoum is also the mastermind behind the festival, though it comes to Jordan under the patronage of HRH Princess Muna. In a statement to The Jordan Tiimes, Barhoum said, “Throughout my career, I have been blessed to work with people from around the globe. Through my music and art, I have realised the importance of cross-cultural connections, and I have seen first-hand how music provides an important bridge that unites cultures from all over the world. With music, we speak one language; a language we can all understand without interpreters.”

“This is an exceptional event, unprecedented,” Minister of Tourism Lina Annab noted, adding that “[the festival] will definitely help promote Jordan as a venue for more cultural events, not only in the field of opera.”

Joining Barhoum is an assembly consisting of the Sichuan Philharmonic Orchestra and Georgia’s Batumi Opera House Choir, plus performers from La Scala. Jordanian musicians abound. Over 150 members from 10 different nationalities put on an intricate, difficult show.

Which is why we’re happy to report it’s a hit. If this inaugural round of the Amman Opera Festival is any indication, the festival’s future is a bright one. Barhoum’s voice hits the notes easily and sustains them, sweeping the stage.

Twitter was similarly happy:

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