Release date: 12/9/2021
Available for Free at sfopera.com, YouTube (English), YouTube (Arabic subtitles), Facebook and Instagram
Live Launch Event: In Conversation with Amina Edris Today at 2 pm PT at facebook.com/SFOpera
In Song Amina Edris.pdf Photos
San Francisco Opera’s intimate video portrait series In Song follows soprano Amina Edris back to her native Cairo in a new episode released today. There she revisits a childhood infused with Arabic music, the great temples of ancient Egypt and a boisterous family—notably her beloved uncle Mamdouh Edris, who introduced his niece not only to the Egyptian singer Oum Kalthoum but also to Rachmaninoff and Maria Callas.
In Song: Amina Edris is free and available now (in English and with Arabic subtitles) at sfopera.com, YouTube (English), YouTube (Arabic subtitles), Facebook and Instagram. Learn more about the episode by joining Amina Edris and In Song director Elena Park for a free, live Zoom conversation at 2pm PT today streamed on facebook.com/SFOpera.
Edris carried this music with her when she was uprooted as a young girl by a move to New Zealand. Far away from family and friends, and caught between Arabic and Western worlds, she would eventually find her sense of belonging and home through song. She shares: “Growing up as an immigrant, I felt a bit stuck between going in the Egyptian direction or the New Zealand direction. I have this question all the time, where is home? Through music, I was able to sort of find some sense of belonging, without having to be a culture or faith or nationality. Anybody could play music and partake. So music kind of became my home.”
Filmed with an Egyptian crew on location in Cairo, including the Dahab Island Palace off the Nile and the Pyramids of Egypt, this episode of In Song features Edris performing:
- Zakaria Ahmed’s “Ghannili Shway Shway” (“Sing for me, a little”), from the film Salamah, originally performed by Oum Kalthoum, with her uncle Mamdouh Edris on oud
- Georges Bizet’s “Adieux de l’hôtesse arabe” (“A Farewell from the Arabian Hostess”), a song that blends three aspects of her life: French, Arabic and Western classical music, with pianist Amir Awad
Hailed as a “revelation” (Forum Opera) and praised for her “lustrous” tone (Opera News), soprano Amina Edris is rapidly establishing herself as one of the most exciting young stars on today’s operatic stage. Following post-graduate studies at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, Edris participated in the Merola Opera Program (2015) and Adler Fellowship Program (2016, 2017). As a San Francisco Opera Adler Fellow, she performed roles in Carmen, Dream of the Red Chamber, Rigoletto, Elektra and La Traviata on the War Memorial Opera House stage. In 2019 she returned to the Company, starring as Juliette in Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette, opposite her husband, tenor Pene Pati, as Roméo. Of her performance, Opera Today said, “Edris possesses a beautifully colored, burnished tone, rare for a lyric soprano, her voice fully capable of sailing through the brilliant coloratura to create a freedom of spirit.”
Her 2021–22 season began with performances as Alice in Robert le Diable at Opéra National de Bordeaux and continues with house debuts as Micaëla in Carmen (Opéra du Rhin) and the title role of La Traviata (Canadian Opera Company, Opéra de Limoges). She recently received critical praise for her interpretation of Massenet’s Manon at the Opéra Bastille and in Bordeaux. In 2019 she bowed as Fatime in Rameau’s Les Indes Galantes in a new production at Gran-Théâtre de Genève. She will return to Europe for engagements with Paris Opéra (La Folie in Rameau’s Platée) and Bordeaux and house debuts at Paris’ Théâtre des Champs-Élysées and Barcelona’s Gran Theatre del Liceu.
San Francisco Opera’s In Song is a series of intimate video portraits featuring remarkable artists who draw us into their distinctive spheres through stories and song—from classical to bluegrass, spirituals, Samoan and Egyptian songs and mariachi music. Launched in March 2021, each episode invites us into the singers’ worlds to see how they express themselves through deep connections to song. In Song: J’Nai Bridges, In Song: Pene Pati, In Song: Jamie Barton(featuring Béla Fleck), In Song: Arturo Chacón-Cruz and In Song: Amina Edris are available on demand at sfopera.com/insong and YouTube.
In Song, along with San Francisco Opera’s other new digital content initiatives including the podcast North Stage Door and Atrium Sessions, is made possible, in part, through the Creative Edge Fund, with major support from Carol and Dixon Doll, Peter Fenton and Kate Greer, and Bob Ellis.
*For the complete press release please view the attached PDF.