In a Performance Titled Ethereal
Saudi Opera Singer Mohammed Al-Zahrani Wows Audiences with Performance of “Aala Wa Amjadu” (Sublime &Glorious) in Abu Dhabi Festival’s Ramadan Series
As part of its Ramadan Series under the theme “Human Fraternity: Dignity and Hope”,in partnership with Hiba Al Kawas Academy and with support from Lead Partner Mubadala Investment Company (“Mubadala”), the 18th edition of Abu Dhabi Festival, themed “The Future Starts Now”, presented talented countertenor Mohammed Khayran Al-Zahrani, the first Saudi artist to join an Italian choir in Rome, in a special performance titled “Ethereal,” was streamed online via the Festival’s digital platforms.
The magnificent performance saw wide and positive engagement from audience with Al-Zahrani’s performance of “Aala Wa Amjadu” (Sublime &Glorious) composed by Dr. Hiba Al Kawas, on a poem by Hassan bin Thabit, and to underline his unique vocal abilities.
Accompanied by members of the Lebanese Philharmonic Orchestra and produced and conducted by composer, soprano and academic Dr. Hiba Al Kawas, the performance featured Al-Zahrani’s unique, ethereal voice that goes beyond the usual limits of bass. Through professional vocal coaching and training from Dr. Al Kawas, the young singer was able to achieve new vocal range.
“A countertenor voice is a rare one that can reach very high pitches just like a canary; however, some countertenors, like Mohammed, have a bass vocal ability (baritone) allowing them to reach low pitches as well”, said Dr. Hiba Al Kawas.
Al-Zahrani said: “I am grateful to be a part of the Ramadan Series presented by Abu Dhabi Festival, a main player in supporting the regional culture and arts sector. This collaboration is a significant addition to my career, as it is the first time that I perform opera in Arabic. It was a challenging performance, but thanks to Dr. Hiba’s coaching every step of the way, we overcame all challenges.”
“We aim to spread love, peace, and unity, each in our own way, and to transform our world into a positive place, as we come together and do our part every day to live without fear or sadness,” he added.
Members of the Lebanese Philharmonic Orchestra recorded the music and filmed in the iconic National Museum of Lebanon in Beirut, while Al Zahrani filmed in Al-Tayebat International City of Science and Knowledge, a ‘must see’ Islamic heritage museum in Jeddah.
The “Human Fraternity: Dignity and Hope” Ramadan Series includes digital performances of over 25 songs and chants by bright Arab vocalists and creators, written by 11 poets and writers and performed by 8 chanters and singers accompanied by 60 musicians.
On April 26th, the Ramadan Series continues with the Saudi artist Tamtam, performing enthralling spiritual songs celebrating the values shared by all religions, in a performance titled of A Dreamer’s Serenade.
To see Al-Zahrani’s performance and for more information about the “Human Fraternity: Dignity and Hope” Ramadan Series, follow us on social media or visit Abu Dhabi Festival’s Ramadan Series page:Ramadan Series – Abu Dhabi Festival
The series is part of the 18thAbu Dhabi Festival’s yearlong programme, themed “The Future Starts Now”, combining virtual and in-person performances, exhibitions and events by over 500 artists from more than 50 countries. The Festival will bring audiences 16 exciting world premieres, 12 festival productions, eight global co-productions and four exclusive commissions, with one international music tour.
About Abu Dhabi Festival
Founded in 2004, Abu Dhabi Festival was initially a small arts and culture platform that soon graduated to one of the world’s premiere annual events. Held in the UAE, it celebrates artistic and creative excellence, and promotes the role of music and the arts in bringing nations closer. It also promotes Abu Dhabi as a leading global hub for creativity and as an Emirati beacon for respect and tolerance.
Strengthened by a growing network of 30 international partners, the festival brings audiences together each year to enjoy world premieres and exclusive commissions in the UAE and around the world.
Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation
Founded in 1996, ADMAF is one of the oldest, not-for-profit cultural organisations in the Arabian Gulf. Pioneering new artistic practices, it seeks to deepen global cross-cultural dialogue and inspire a renewed interest in the creativity of the UAE and Arab world. Often in partnership with leading national and international institutions, it delivers multidisciplinary initiatives for people of all ages, backgrounds and nationalities through the Abu Dhabi Festival, year-round youth platforms and community programmes.
About Mubadala Investment Company
Mubadala Investment Company is a sovereign investor managing a global portfolio, aimed at generating sustainable financial returns for the Government of Abu Dhabi.
Mubadala’s $232 billion (AED 853 billion) portfolio spans six continents with interests in multiple sectors and asset classes. We leverage our deep sectoral expertise and long-standing partnerships to actively source deals. In the UAE, we are driving sustainable growth by optimizing scale and efficiency, supporting the continued diversification and global integration of the local economy while growing our shareholder value.
Headquartered in Abu Dhabi, Mubadala has offices in London, Rio de Janeiro, Moscow, New York, San Francisco and Beijing.