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Gala el Hadidi, the Egyptian opera star

While the coronavirus pandemic limits or even excludes any cultural outing, KAWA invites you to meet an Egyptian star of classical music: Gala el Hadidi. This opera singer with an atypical profile marks the spirits by her talent, her grace, but also by her nationality.

Let’s say it clearly, Gala el Hadidi is perhaps the most talented opera singer in the Arab world. And for good reason, it is rather an art form appreciated and practiced by Westerners. Yet this mezzo-soprano, nicknamed the “Egyptian Carmen”, has been singing since her early years. In fact, it was her parents, both classical music lovers, who introduced her to classical music at a very early age, listening only to the greatest. Earlier than thateven, since by her own admission, her taste for classical music began in her mother’s womb. Indeed, the latter was in the habit of putting a helmet against her belly, in order to allow the still growing embryo to be rocked by the sounds that would play such an important role in her self-determination. Since then, she has risen rapidly through the ranks, before being named BBC World Singer of the Year in Cardiff with her performance of “When Will I Love You” seven years ago.

Soaring rise

Her career began at a very young age, through her participation in school operas, organized for the end of the year celebrations. Later, after a master’s degree in English literature based on the opera Carmen, a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and another master’s degree in opera interpretation from Yale University, she joined the Cairo Opera and became the youngest soloist in the company’s history. Shortly afterwards, she was chosen by the Saxon Opera, one of the largest in Germany, winning the title of the first Egyptian principal soloist under contract with a European opera house.

Forced stop

Although she is now technically unemployed due to the coronavirus pandemic (as is the entire cultural scene in Germany and elsewhere), she does not despair of being able to meet her fellow countrymen in Cairo for her annual Christmas performance, for which the most optimistic are already trying to find tickets.