The Opera-Theater of the City of Culture in the Tunisian capital, Tunis, will host, this week, the “Scheherazade Opera” by Lebanese artist Jahida Wahba, who had previously performed part of the musical in Tunisia before. pandemic, but it will be time to play the roles of six other characters in addition to that of Scheherazade.
The show is an opera that alternates between contemporary, oriental, Mediterranean and African Amazigh art. The opera itself is a Tunisian-Lebanese production by Tunisian artists Emna Remili and Samir Ferjani, in addition to Lebanese artist Jahida Wahba.
The show is a modern interpretation of “A Thousand and One Nights”, which features Shahryar asking the big question: how has Scheherazade changed him? The question leads to songs sung through the voices of local women who have changed the face of human history in politics, love and poetry, such as Carthaginian Queen Dido (Elissa), Cleopatra, Rabaa Al-Adawiya, Wallada Bint Al -Mustakfi, Zénobie and Al-Khansa.
Wahba says of these characters: “They are characters who transcend space and time. They are presented by Scheherazade, whom I play in the show, through songs. Sometimes she embodies these characters and sometimes talks about them or sings some of their poems, as in the case of Rabea Al-Adawiya when she speaks to the Creator or of Al-Khansa when she mourns her brother Sakhr. “
Discussing the concept behind the musical, the Lebanese artist says the idea came about while it was in the spotlight at the “Elissa International Forum for Creative Women” during its inaugural session, which took place in April 2018 in Tunisia.
From there, the idea progressed, Ferjani coordinating the project with the Tunisian poet and novelist Emna Remili, who took over the writing of the text, in order to make it an integrated operatic work that combines song, dance and acting. ‘actor. The music is played by the El Jem Youth Orchestra, under the aegis of the International Authority of the Symphonic Music Festival in the ancient city of El Jem (Central Tunisia).
“What sets this show apart from others is that it is a Tunisian lyrical work that adheres to the specifications and basic techniques of opera, including lyrical singing and theater direction. lyrical, in addition to a musical composition of opera and a Tunisian text which is part of a new and contemporary reading of the story of the Thousand and One Nights, “said Wahba.