Bechara Moufarrej may have been born in Lebanon, but he calls Italy his true home.
The singer, who says he has earned his moniker “the tenor with the Italianated voice”, says in an interview ahead of his concert at Abu Dhabi Festival that “home for me is Italy, because I left Italy when I was 17. I studied there and I was well-known there before moving to Lebanon.”
These days the artist, who was awarded an exceptional talent visa from the UK government, says he’s based in London, but spends a lot of his time in Italy.
Bechara’s oeuvre includes performances alongside the Lebanese Orchestra, the Filarmonica Romana, Welsh National Orchestra and the Orchestra Giovanile Italiana.
And now, in the UAE, he’s ready to woo new audiences — even though the prospect of performing in the capital is a bit daunting. “It’s [the Abu Dhabi Festival gig is] not a commercial concert, so we are a little bit afraid; they wanted us to stick to classical opera and this is what we are going to do,” he says.
What he’s bringing to the stage is Alfredo’s Aria from Verdi’s La Traviata.
“It’s a love aria,” he explains. The other song he’s taking on is a duet alongside soprano Deborah Voigt. Moufarrej’s aim is simple: “It’s [the show is] just trying to show our culture and what we do here.”
What: Opera in Concert: Deborah Voigt and Bechara Moufarrej
Where: Emirates Palace Auditorium
When: March 15
Cost: Dh200. The event begins at 8pm; doors open at 7pm.