Royal Opera House a big boon for Arab artists: Magida
Magida El Roumi, the Lebanese diva who has been enchanting the Arab world since the 1970's, will make her Royal Opera House Muscat debut tonight. El Roumi is famous for songs including Take Me My Darling (Khedni Habibi), Beirut the Lady of the Universe (Beirut Setedoniya) and Since the Beginning of My Existence (Min Awel Wojoudi).
El Roumi talked to Times of Oman about why she likes Oman, the Royal Opera House, and her latest projects.
What are your impressions of Oman
I'm impressed by the beautiful nature, by the opera house, by the opera house programme, and for all that His Majesty Sultan Qaboos has done for the country. He lives in the future, and this is very rare in the Middle East.
What is the importance of having the Royal Opera House Muscat for the Middle East
It's very important because all Arab artists need it. They can use it for serious music. Here in the Arab world we don't have that. We have commercial art and we can sing in small restaurants and at weddings. I'm supportive of serious art, but it's hard these days in the Arab world, especially with all the changes that are happening now. But the Sultan is giving us a chance and opening his arms to support our talents.
What was your reaction when you were invited to sing at the Royal Opera House Muscat
I was happy, but I was even happier when I saw it. I didn't know anything about it, but once I saw it I was impressed, very impressed. I had heard about His Majesty's vision, and I was so impressed that I thought "Oh my Lord, protect him."
You wrote the lyrics for the charity song Bokra/Tomorrow which was release November 11 and included over 20 Arab singers. Can you please talk about that
It's about hope and peace. I wrote the text in Arabic, but the part in English also talks about hope and chance and all that is good in life. I wanted to write a beautiful song in Arabic that would be good for other Arabic singers, too.
You are about to release your 12th album. What kind of songs will it include
Love songs. The music was recorded in Budapest. It took two years of work. I'm proud of it because it was made with lots of love.
What will your fans here in Oman hear from you at the Royal Opera House Muscat
The best of what I've sung throughout all the years of my artistic career.
(Follow timesofoman.com on Facebook and on Twitter for updates that you can share with your friends.)Published on Wednesday 23rd of November 2011 08:45:07 AM Oman Time