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Tuesday, 22 June 2021

With a brio: Egyptian singer Christine Magdy talks about her passion for music

Classical Western repertoire is closest to Magdy's heart and personality

Naguib Mahfouz, Sunday 17 Jan 2021
Christine Magdy
Christine Magdy
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In love with singing and acting, the young Alexandrine Christine Magdy is one of the highlights of end-of-year celebrations and Christmas concerts but she still dreams of playing in musicals.
 
When she starts to sing, you can't help but dream, crossing the boundaries of the present and reliving past experiences. 
 
Christine Magdy is an opera singer and senior lecturer at the Faculty of Music Education at the University of Alexandria, where she teaches western vocal techniques. 
 
“At school, it was professor Mohamad Hosni who taught me western singing and kept encouraging me and In 2001, I took opera singing lessons with the Soprano Neveen Allouba, who gave me the chance to perform in Beethoven's Choral Fantasy, at the Library of Alexandria," Magdy recalls.
 
On 22 December last year, Magdy also lead Fabrica - a musical theatre company founded by Allouba - in their performance at Cairo's El-Sawy Culture wheel.
 
Magdy enjoyed singing and dancing early on in her life, ever since she was six years old, but she didn't really start developing her talent until she was 18. This is when she enrolled at the faculty of pedagogy, and the professors had underlined, "You have a soft voice. You must sing!"
 
Christine leans more towards western classical repertoire as she sees it to be close to her personality. 
 
“Currently, I am studying with professor Hanan El-Guindy, who has helped me a lot in developing my skills as an opera singer. I hope that one day I'll be able to find an independent troupe for opera singing. I would also love to perform musicals, such as the Sound of Music," Magdy shares.
 
The singer who worked in theater, especially at church as a child, recently embarked on a new experience. She participated in Ahmad Samir's short film Comme Les Oiseaux (Like Birds), a final project at the film school of the Jesuit Cultural Center in Alexandria. 
 
“During the casting, I performed a monologue from the film and two days later, the director called me to inform me that I had been chosen to play the main role," Magdy explains.
 
Earlier, she had participated in a drama series on the Christian channel SAT-7, directed by Romany Saad, and also attended several theatre workshops. 
 
“I don’t want to be a big star, but I like to play different roles. For me, playing and singing on stage complement each other. We must continue to cultivate both talents,” she added. 
 
As she continues her journey in music, it is obvious that the most important component for Christine Magdy is to have fun, to feed on beautiful images and melodies.
 
*This article was originally published in Al Ahram Hebdo, in French, 13 January 2021 edition. Additional edit: Ahram Online.
 
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