May 2 - May 6, 2014
Boston Opera Collaborative is proud to present the Boston premiere of Sumeida's Song, the first opera by up-and-coming composer Mohammed Fairouz. Educated at New England Conservatory and the Curtis Institute, Fairouz is quickly gaining international recognition as one of the most frequently performed, commissioned, and recorded composers of his generation. Since its premiere in 2009, Sumeida's Song has been collecting accolades from the likes of The New York Times, NPR and OperaNews, where it was recently named one of the twelve best opera recordings of 2013. This dramatic opera tells the story of a young Egyptian student who returns home to face his mother's desire to avenge his father's death. The libretto is Fairouz's own translation of the play Song of Death (1956), a modern Arab classic by Egyptian writer Tawfiq al-Hakim. It explores themes of revenge, family conflict, enlightenment, and the struggle between progress and tradition.
Set in a peasant village in Upper Egypt, a mother, Asakir, awaits the return of her only son, Alwan, from Cairo after a seventeen year absence. She has spent years plotting the bloody revenge of her murdered husband, which she expects Alwan to carry out, continuing an ancient blood feud and restoring honor to the family. Upon arrival, the progressively educated young man quickly finds himself at odds with the traditions of his village and his mother's demands. Alwan's aunt Mabrouka and cousin Sumeida play pivotal roles in the tragedy that unfolds following his refusal. Sumeida's Song is sung in English, and performed in three scenes.
Approximately 60 minutes with no intermission.