Warner Classics, one of the world’s leading classical music recording companies, is set to release Egyptian soprano Fatma Said’s second album on 2 September, the record company has revealed.
Kaleidoscope is named for its cross-cultural, multi-genre approach. It features works from opera, operetta and film, sung in six languages: French, German, English, Spanish, Italian and Arabic. The new album provides a showcase for the singer’s talents and passions, particularly dance.
Fatma Said began singing lessons in her hometown of Cairo at the age of 14. She studied in Berlin, and later achieved a scholarship to the Accademia del Teatro alla Scala in Milan, becoming the first-ever Egyptian soprano to perform on La Scala’s famous stage.
In 2016 she was 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 such world-famous acts as Elton John and the Black-Eyed Peas, to a live audience of 25,000, as well as millions watching online.
She 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.
Kaleidoscope features an exceptional range of genres, as well as some exciting collaborations. Several songs are from films of the 1930s, including numbers such as Berlin’s ‘Cheek to Cheek’ from the Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers film Top Hat, Piazolla’s ‘J’oublie’ (‘Oblivion’), Weill’s ‘Youkali’ his musical Marie Galante, and the ever-popular ‘I Could Have Danced All Night’ from My Fair Lady.
Operatic offerings include Offenbach’s ‘Barcarolle’ from Les Contes d’Hoffmann (The Tales of Hoffmann, 1881) and Gounod’s ‘Valse’ from Roméo et Juliette (1867), in addition to works from operettas by Strauss, Lehár, Messager and D’Estalenx, and Massenet.
The album also includes 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.
Said’s musical collaborators for the album include Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte-Carlo conducted by Sascha Goetzel, mezzo-soprano Marianne Crebassa in Offenbach’s ‘Barcarolle’, trumpeter Lucienne Renaudin Vary in Irving Berlin’s ‘Cheek to Cheek’, and tango ensemble Quinteto Ángel.
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 commented: “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.”
Kaleidoscope will be released by Warner Classics as a CD, vinyl and digitally on 2 September.
Egyptian soprano Fatma Said’s second studio album, Kaleidoscope, is a cross-cultural multi-genre exploration of musical styles; it will be released on Warner Classics on 2 September.