Muscat: Lebanese singer and composer honoured the Sultanate during her recent concert at the Royal Opera House Muscat (ROHM) with her new composition "Oman ya Oughniyatan (Oman Oh Song)."
The song, which was premiered at the ROHM, which began with a beautiful flamenco guitar solo, sounded like a love song for Oman.
The lyrics, written by Hassan El Zein, were of Oman's sunshine and landscape and compared the country to a song. Al Kawas's breathy, light voice captured the affection for Oman beautifully. She was accompanied by Spanish guitarist José Maria Gallardo del Rey and the National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine, conducted by Karl Sollak.
Al Kawas also premiered another piece she composed specifically for the ROHM, "Taqaseem on Seville (Guitar Concerto No. 1)," which featured del Rey on guitar.
Slightly dark and mysterious, with moments of romantic guitar, the piece was intriguing and made one want to know what would come next. It was ever changing and dynamic, with ominous sounds contrasting with the softer, emotional guitar, and reflected well Al Kawas's ability to blend Eastern and Western music.
While hearing Al Kawas's new music and hearing her sing was unforgettable, for many in the audience del Rey's performance was a real treat, too. His emotional flamenco riffs and improvisations were captivating, and no doubt many would have loved to listen to him all night.
The concert also featured some of Al Kawas's other compositions and songs which showcase her unique Arabic opera style. Al Kawas is a strong advocate of singing opera in Arabic, and hearing her voice makes one wonder why no one else is doing the same thing. Songs like "I Know Beirut" were like bittersweet arias. Her soprano voice is exquisite and the language lends itself surprisingly well to opera, so it would be most interesting to hear an entire opera in Arabic.
Al Kawas's concert was stunning, and her tribute to Oman certainly touched the hearts