Warner Classics releases Fatma Said’s second album, Kaleidoscope, on all platforms on 2 September 2022
Egyptian soprano Fatma Said blazed onto the classical scene with her multi-award-winning debut on Warner Classics, El Nour, honoured with two Awards apiece from Gramophone and BBC Music Magazine in 2021.
The young opera singer now follows her success with an equally imaginative and even more colourful release: Kaleidoscope, named for its cross-cultural and genre-defying programme, showcasing the talents and passions of the star, particularly dance.
Fatma Said began singing lessons in her hometown, Cairo, at the age of 14. Having studied in Berlin, she later achieved a scholarship to study at the Accademia del Teatro alla Scala in Milan – the first-ever Egyptian soprano to perform on la Scala’s famous stage. By 2016, she had been selected as a BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artist, and in 2019, made her BBC Proms debut. Numerous international awards followed, culminating in a performance at the Global Citizen event in 2021 alongside icons such as Elton John and the Black-Eyed Peas, showcasing her talent to a live audience of 25,000 and millions watching online.
Said was signed exclusively to Warner Classics in 2019, releasing her first album, El Nour, in 2020. A year later, she became the first non-European to win Germany’s Best Young Artist prize, in addition to earning both vocal and young artist awards from BBC Music Magazine and Gramophone respectively.
A keen Argentine tango dancer, Kaleidoscope for Said represents the opportunity to combine her long-standing passion for dance with her love of music. She said of the album: “For me, music and dance interlink as one: they are emotion and physicality in unison – a single entity. It’s hard to imagine music without dance, or dance without music […] Since I was very young, dancing has accompanied me everywhere, and I’ve learned several different styles: Ballroom, Latin, Argentinian tango, and more. I’ve always felt inspired by the physical and internal movement in dancing – whether with a partner or alone – and for me it represents another way of expressing myself.”
The album features works from opera, operetta, and film, sung in no less than six languages – French, German, English, Spanish, Italian and Arabic. Several songs derive from films from the 1930s, including numbers such as Berlin’s ‘Cheek to Cheek’, Piazolla’s ‘J’oublie’, Weill’s ‘Youkali’, and the ever-popular ‘I Could Have Danced All Night’ from My Fair Lady. Offenbach’s ‘Barcarolle’ from Les Contes d’Hoffmann and Gounod’s ‘Valse’ from Roméo et Juliette are two examples of the operatic offerings on the disc, in addition to works from operettas by Johan Strauss, Lehár, Messager and D’Estalenx, and Massenet. The rest of the album is made up of other works for soprano by French, Spanish, Argentine, and Italian composers, concluding with the crowd-pleaser ‘I Wanna Dance with Somebody’, made famous by the pop icon Whitney Houston.
Fatma Said’s musical collaborators for the album are Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte-Carlo conducted by Sascha Goetzel, mezzo-soprano Marianne Crebassa (in the Barcarolle from Offenbach’s Les Contes d’Hoffmann), trumpeter Lucienne Renaudin Vary (in Irving Berlin’s ‘Cheek to Cheek’), and tango ensemble Quinteto Ángel.
The first single from the album, Piazolla’s Yo Soy María, has already been released with an accompanying music video, which can be viewed here. The video of ‘Barcarolle’ with Marianne Crebassa can also be viewed HERE.
The full album will be released on Warner Classics on 2 September.