Alexandria, Damanhour concerts to commemorate Algerian singer Warda

Ahram Online , Wednesday 18 May 2022

Two concerts featuring performances of the best-known songs by the legendary late Algerian singer Warda will take place at the Alexandria Opera House on 19 May and at Damanhour Opera House on 20 May.



With music performed by the Alexandria Opera Orchestra conducted by Abdel-Hamid Abdel-Ghafar, the selection from the most famous works of the late singer will be performed by Marwa Nagy, Marwa Hamdi, Doaa Ragab, Salma Seif Al-Nasr and violinist Ihab Abdel Hamid.

Warda, who lived most of her life in Cairo, where she died on 17 May 2012 at the age of 72, was known for a classical style of Arabic singing.

She was a regional icon whose powerful patriotic tunes were matched in popularity by her romantic ballads.

Known throughout the region as Warda Al-Jazairia (the Algerian Warda), she reinvented herself over the decades to appeal to old and young alike.

Born Warda Fatouki in France in 1939 to an Algerian father and Lebanese mother, the singer spent most of her adult life in Egypt.

She began singing in her teens, performing at a club her father owned in Paris.

Her introduction to the Arab masses came through her performance of "Al-Watan Al-Akbar" (the greater homeland), a pan-Arabist song composed by Mohammed Abdel-Wahab, himself a regional star.

Warda took music lessons from renowned Egyptian singers, including Oum Kalthoum, Abdel-Wahab and Abdelhalim Hafez, before performing her own songs to music composed by her Tunisian mentor, Sadeq Thuraya.

Shortly after Algeria's independence from French colonial rule in 1962, Warda went to her homeland for the first time, where she married and quit singing at the request of her husband.

But when then president Houari Boumediene asked Warda to sing for the celebrations to mark the 10-year anniversary of independence, she agreed. It was a decision that would cost her her marriage.

She later moved to Cairo and married renowned composer Baligh Hamdi, and together they created some of her most famous work.


Thursday 19 May, 8pm

Alexandria Opera House

Friday 20 May, 8pm

Damanhour Opera House

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