Popular Egyptian singer Wael El-Fashny has expressed excitement ahead of a performance at his favourite venue, the Cairo Opera House, in a concert on 26 July titled 'Laila Sofiah' (Sufi Night).
"I'm very excited. This concert is very important to me. I am thrilled. I hope it fulfils the taste of fans. We're planning many surprises," El-Fashny told Ahram Online on Monday.
After performing on the different stages of the Cairo Opera House for over a decade as a vocalist and percussionist, accompanying giant musicians like Fathy Salama, Yehya Khalil and Ali El-Haggar, El-Fashny will lead the stage of the Open Theatre to meet his own crowd.
"My heart aches. This is a dream come true," El-Fashny said, thanking the organisers and urging his fans to attend his concert.
El-Fashny, who has held many concerts under his name in other arenas, will be featuring Sheikh Ihab Younis as a special guest in the Opera concert. They will sing their first ever duet, although they have shared the stage previously in many other events.
"Sheikh Ihab is an outstanding talent. He is an extension of iconic voices like Said Hafez and Naqshbandi. He cancelled many of his scheduled commitments to join me in my concert. I will never forget his favour. He always supports me sincerely," El-Fashny said.
After touring the world with Salama and Khalil and participating in many jazz events, El-Fashny gained widespread fame locally in 2017 for his emotional composition and performance of the 'Wahet Al-Ghoroub' (Sunset Oasis) TV series theme 'Safar Habibi' (My Beloved Travelled), quickly becoming a favourite choice for TV and cinema themes including 'Tayea', 'A Day and Night', 'Mamlaket El-Ghagar', 'Rima' and many others.
A frequent guest on TV programmes and adverts, El-Fashny's latest TV hit was the emotional song 'Matdamaeish ya Ammaya' (Don't Shed Tears, Mum), which aired on the smash hit patriotic TV series 'Al-Ekhtiar' (The Choice) last Ramadan.
El-Fashny will sing his well-known older themes and some traditional Upper Egyptian songs, in addition to a number of his latest singles including 'Qasadt Bab al-Bait' (I Headed Towards the House's Door), written by veteran poet Omar Taher, and 'Ana Gaylek' (I'm Coming To You) by first class pop composer Ihab Abdel-Wahed of Basata Band, with whom El-Fashny has collaborated frequently.
Like Younis, El-Fashny, a master of improvising mawal performances, a Middle Eastern form of vocal music, has featured with many bands and singers including Cairokee, with whom he sang 'Amm Gharib' in the 2017 album ‘A Drop of White.’
Sunday 26 July, 8pm
Open Air Theater, Cairo Opera House, Zamalek
For more arts and culture news and updates, follow Ahram Online Arts and Culture on Twitter at @AhramOnlineArts and on Facebook at Ahram Online: Arts & Culture