Maestro Nader Abbassi conducts Marseille Opera's orchestra. Madama Butterfly 2016 rehearsals (L) and Carmen 2012 rehearsals (R) (Photo: courtesy of Nader Abbassi)
Egyptian maestro Nader Abbassi will conduct the Marseille Opera's (Opéra Municipal de la Ville de Marseille) orchestra and choir in the production of Puccini's Madama Butterfly to be staged between 16 and 24 March.
The opera is directed by Numa Sadoul, and features Bulgarian soprano Svetla Vassileva (Cio Cio San), Romanian mezzo soprano Cornelia Oncioiu (Suzuki), Romanian tenor Teodor Ilincai (Pinkerton), Brazilian baritone Paulo Szot (Sharpless), alongside French singers: soprano Jennifer Michel (Kate Pinkerton), tenor Rodolphe Briand (Goro), baritone Jean-Marie Delpas (Le Bonze), tenor Camille Tresmontant (Prince Yamadori) and bass Mikhael Piccone (The Imperial Commissioner), among others.
This is not the first time the Egyptian conductor has cooperated with the Marseille Opera.
Since 2006, Nader Abbassi has been a returning guest conductor in Marseille. Throughout the past decade, he conducted the Marseille Philharmonic Orchestra in the opera's production 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.
Abbassi explained to Ahram Online that between 2006 and 2014 he was invited to the opera every season.
"I'm really happy to be back [after 2014], and especially to conduct Madama Butterfy. It is a great production and orchestra and an amazing cast," Abbassi said, adding that he feels very happy to get along with the Marseille Philharmonic Orchestra, an ensemble which he praises for outstanding artistic proficiency.
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 & Principal Conductor of the newly formed Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra (QPO).
Abbassi is also the artistic director of the Orchestre pour la Paix in Paris, an orchestra founded by the Argentinean pianist Miguel Estrella.
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.
Abbassi's compositions are often featured in concerts in Cairo and at his international commitments.
Marseille Opera's production of Madama Butterfly will open on 16 March and will be staged during a total of five evenings until 24 March.
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