Egypt’s 30th Citadel Festival for Music and Singing organises concerts by four divas

Ahram Online , Thursday 25 Aug 2022

The 30th Citadel Festival for Music and Singing (14-31 August) has scheduled 40 performances in open-air locations at the historical citadel.




The highlights of the festival include four concerts by female singing divas -- Nesma Mahgoub, Nouran Abu-Taleb, Tania Saleh, and Hanan Mady -- which are slated for the final days of the festival (27-30 August). 


The festival is organised by the Cairo Opera House and held in cooperation with the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities. 

Nesma Mahgoub

The multilingual singer will give a concert on 27 August, performing her well-known titles, such as Hobbi Leik (My Love for You), from the TV series Layali Eugenie (The Nights of Eugenie, 2018), Dawam Al-Hal Mohal (Nothing Lasts Forever) from the film Al-Donia Bil Maqloub (The World Upside Down, 2015), Al-Hob Al-Mostahil (Impossible Love, 2018) and Ya Mahroussa (You, the Protected One) from the film Al-Kenz (The Treasure, 2018).

Mahgoub is a well-known Egyptian singer who came into the limelight after winning Star Academy Arab World, the eighth season (2011).

She started singing at the age of 10 when she joined the Children’s choir at the Cairo Opera House. She studied music at school before embarking on studies with soprano Neveen Allouba.

Mahgoub has the very rare skill of singing to Oriental, Western and operatic tunes with equal excellence.

She also works as a professional singer at MusicaPro Production House, teaching assistant of John Baboukis, AUC chair of the Center for the Arts, and voice teacher at MUST Opera House and at Fabrica Musical Theatre company headed by Allouba.

Mahgoub studied at the German school, DEO, where she passed further training in the field of musical theatre, and won the German music competition Jugend Musiziert, in 2008-2009. She then took specialised courses at the American University in Cairo, where she currently works as a singing teacher.

The vocal capacities, pop and rock, of Mahgoub are enormous. On stage, she fascinates both with her look and her voice.

Nouran Abutaleb

A rising star of the alternative Arab music scene, Nouran Abutaleb sings Oriental ethno jazz and Arab pop. The beautiful texture of her voice, soft and melodious, attracts a large audience to many of her live concerts. 

Abutaleb’s concert will take place on 30 August, during which she will present her rich repertoire that moves from the classical to the most modern compositions, including Abaad Makan (The Furthest Place), as well as songs from her album Fawazir (Riddles, 2019) and Ya Negma (Oh Star, 2020).

Born in the Manial district of Cairo, Nouran Abutaleb grew up in a family of music lovers. Her father, Osama Abutaleb, is a professor of theatre and drama at the Institute of Cinema. Her mother, Nesrine Roushdi, is a soloist at the Cairo Opera House and teaches singing at the Cairo Conservatory. It was the mother who introduced Nouran to Arabic music and the many names that contributed to its growth, as well as to singers from other music genres.

In 2014, she joined the GUC Music Ensemble, where she met great Egyptian musicians with whom she subsequently collaborated, including Amr Salah, the founder of Eftikasat and the Cairo Jazz Festival; Bassem Darwish of Cairo Steps; Hany Bedair of Nagham Masri; and Rami Attalah.

In the summer of 2018, Abutaleb decided to form her own band, performing songs by Fayrouz with jazzy arrangements by Samer George. With the latter, she also formed a highly successful duo.

Throughout her career, Abutaleb performed in several concerts on various stages across Egypt, always attracting a large crowd of fans.

Tania Saleh

During her concert on 29 August, Tania Saleh will present an untraditional musical image of Lebanon where she was born in 1969.

This artist from the alternative music scene first left for Paris, towards the end of the Lebanese civil war, in order to obtain a Master's degree in arts. She then began her musical career, alternately as a performer, composer, and lyricist and since the 1990s, she has enjoyed mixing many music genres.

Saleh’s songs revolve around the society from which she hails, about her being a woman, with all topics being creating a unique mixture of romanticism, realism, and derision. She skillfully juggles with Western rhythms and the sensuality of the Arabic language to which she pays homage.

Saleh sings electro pop, folk, bossa nova, alternative rock, and jazz tunes. During her concert at the citadel, she will perform some of her most famous songs: Shababeek Beirut (The Windows of Beirut), Habibi (My Love), Shwayet Sowar (Some Photos), Haletna Hala (We Are in Trouble), Rah Al-Hob (Love is Gone) among numerous others taken from her successive albums: Tania Saleh (2002), Wehde (2011), The Oriental Flower (2016), Intersection (2017) and 10 AD (2021).

Hanan Mady

It is the voice of the soul, velvety without trying too hard to reveal its prowess: Hanan Mady, 56, is back on stage after a brief absence.

Her appearances are not as frequent as those of the previously mentioned singers, hence the concert which will take place on 27 August is a rare occasion to listen to Mady’s unique vocals.

During the evening she will sing Al-Liqa Al-Thani (The Second Meeting), Shedd Al-Dafayer (Pulling her Braids), Emberah Kan (It Was Yesterday), Leilet El Shouk (A Night of Passion), Ahsas (Feelings), Shubbak Kadim (Old Window), Bahlam Wa Afattah Enaya (I Dream and I Open My Eyes), alongside some compositions taken from the television series such as Assia (2013), Alf Leila Wa Leila (One Thousand and One Nights, 2015) and Abou Al-Aroussa (Father of the Bride, 2022).

Mady graduated from the Cairo Conservatory in 1989. She made her way as a violinist before embarking on a singing career in the 1990s.

Her captivating voice led her to collaborate with several renowned composers and lyricists, including Omar Khairat, Abdel-Azim Abdel-Haq, Helmi Bakr, Ahmad Fouad Negm, Ibrahim Abdel-Fattah, Reda Amin, and Yasser Abdel-Rahman. With the latter, also her former husband, she made her most successful songs.




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