Sumieda's Song

Pittsburgh Opera

February 24, 27 & March 1
Various times

Gripping family drama, spiraling dance rhythms and mournful melodic writings converge for four winter nights, when Sumeida’s Song makes its local premiere at the Pittsburgh Opera.

Audiences will be drawn into a timeless moving story about a peasant family living in Upper Egypt, as traditional and modern values merge in tragic ways for Alwan, his mother Asakira and his cousin Sumeida. The Pittsburgh premiere of a new production by the talented Arab-American composer Mohammed Fairouz, Sumeida’s Song is based on the play, Song of Death, penned by the prolific and influential Egyptian writer Tawfiq al-Hakim (1898 – 1987).

Scored for a small orchestra that features a specially-tuned keyboard, periodic tuning adjustments for instruments and the traditional Middle Eastern darabukka (a goblet-shaped drum), the opera reflects Fairouz’s Arabic heritage, and was composed when he was just 22 years old. Born in 1985 and based in NYC, Fairouz is a significant new artistic voice and among one of the most frequently performed composers of his generation.

Starring in the production are Resident Artists Laurel Semerdjian (Asakir), Adelaide Boedecker (Mabrouka), Alex DeSocio (Alwan) and Adam Bonanni (Sumeida). Go behind-the-scenes at one of the opera’s public programs, including Brown Bag Concerts, Opera Up Close discussions, Cultural Touchstones displays and Meet the Artist events.

Pittsburgh Opera’s production of Sumeida’s Song, which made its world premiere in 2013, is brand new and was created especially for its distinctive Strip District-based headquarters. The one-hour opera is sung in English with English and Arabic texts projected above the stage.

Purchase tickets.

Sumeida’s Song is one of our top 8 events for February. See all of them here.

Jennifer has worked at the Mattress Factory, Brooklyn Museum of Art and Dahesh Museum of Art and is co-author of Pittsburgh Signs Project: 250 Signs of Western Pennsylvania. She also is co-coordinator of Handmade Arcade. Musically, she is in a band called The Garment District and is a founding member of Brooklyn's The Ladybug Transistor.