Egyptian conductor Nader Abbassi to perform at Marseille Opera House

Ahram Online , Sunday 8 Dec 2019

The Egyptian conductor will lead the Marseille orchestra, choir and soloists in Jacques Offenbach's Barbe-bleue (Bluebeard)

Left: from the Barbe-bleue promotional material. Right: Egyptian conductor Nader Abbassi

Egyptian conductor Nader Abbassi will lead the orchestra, choir and soloists of the Marseille Opera during the upcoming performances of Jacques Offenbach's opera bouffe in three acts, Barbe-bleue (Bluebeard).

The performances will take place on the stage of the Marseille Opera House on 28, 29 and 31 December, followed by two performances on 3 and 5 January 2020. The performances will be preceded by a meeting with the artists at the Marseille's Municipal Library on 12 December.

Held within the satirical spirit Offenbach's opera bouffe, Bluebeard is based on a 1697 tale by Charles Perrault and written to a French libretto by Henri Meilhac and Ludovic Halévy.

The opera's protagonist, Bluebeard, loses his fifth wife and is destined to marry Boulotte, but his heart belongs to Princess Hermia. In her turn, Hermia is in love with the shepherd Saphir. Trying to find a solution to his dilemmas, Bluebeard searches for an “anti-wife” potion which once he drinks puts him to sleep. As he dreams, his five deceased wives appear weighing the truth about Bluebeard and the people in his life.

Abbassi will conduct the Marseille orchestra and choir in a performance directed by Laurent Pelly and featuring Héloïse Mas (Boulotte), Fleurette Jennifer Courcier (Princesse Hermia) and Florian Laconi (Bluebeard), among other soloists of the Marseille Opera House.

This is not the first time the Egyptian conductor and composer Abbassi has cooperated with the Marseille Opera.

Since 2006, he has been a returning guest conductor in Marseille. He conducted the Marseille Philharmonic Orchestra in the opera's productions of Carmen, Hamlet, Aida, Maria Golovin, Un Ballo in maschera. He also conducted choral works such as Rossini Stabat Mater, sacred music and symphonic concerts. 

Nader Abbassi is an Egyptian conductor and composer whose previous professional experience also touched on singing and playing bassoon.

He is a frequently returning conductor to the Cairo Opera House, where he conducts both the Cairo Symphony and Cairo Opera orchestras.

In the early 2000s, he was the artistic director and principal conductor of the Cairo Opera Orchestra, and between 2009 and 2011 he was the first musical director and principal conductor of the newly formed Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra (QPO).

As a conductor, Abbassi worked with several international orchestras, including Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz, Philharmonisches Orchester Heidelberg, Orchester des Richard Strauss Konservatoriums München, Orchestre de Chambre de Genève, Sinfonieorchester Basel (Switzerland), among others.

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