Venice, La Serenissima Inspires Matteo El-Khodr and Mario Rai

Nelida Nassar  02.08.2014

Recognized as a singer of exceptional artistry and versatility, Matteo El-Khodr is a captivating and inspiring young talent who is already generating excitement in the professional musical worldand does not need an introduction to the Lebanese public.
His warm counter alto voice brings polished musicality to oratorio, opera, and music.
An accomplished interpreter of the music of Vivaldi, El-Khodr will sing tomorrow evening at the Assembly Hall of the American University of Beirut where he is regularly a soloist. The conductor is the rising star none other than the violinist Mario Rai, another
Lebanese talent.

The selected repertoire celebrates Venice, her wide geographical span due to trade relations with both the East and the West was continuously influenced by musical styles that originated in many parts of Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East. Althoughit historically bred a great many musicians of rare skill, the Republicfrequently searched for talented performers and composers through diplomaticnetworks. It is no coincidence that Venitian music appealed equally to bothEl-Khodr and Rai. Re-appropriating its musical influence, the pair inversed Venice’s historical role by preparing a concert dedicated to bringing la Serenissima’s music to the Orient thus our shores with a rich program of:

George Frideric Handel: Serse: FrondiTenere / Ombra mai fu
George Frideric Handel: Giulio Cesare / Al lampo dell’armi
Geminiano Giacomelli: Merope / Sposa non mi conosci
Arcangelo Corelli: Concerto Grosso N.8 (fatto per la notte di natale)
George Frideric Handel: Rinaldo / Venti Turbini
Antonio Vivaldi: Farnacce / Gelido in ogni vena
Alessandro Scarlatti: Il Pompeo / O cessate di piagarmi
Riccardo Broschi: Artaserse / Son qual nave agitate

The artists focus also on presenting famous and less known composers’ works that were the first to include dynamics and instrumentation style and technique for both voice and instrument repertoire. What other surprises the tuneful, graceful music may bring? It is certain that Rai and the theatrical and gifted El Khodr will certainly not disappoint with their stylistic interpretation?

El-Khodr will continue with a European tour that include
Saint Moritz: February 17, 2014
Zurich: February 19, 2014
La Salle Pleyel: February 25, 2014
Paris la Cite de la Musique: March 18, 2014 where he will recreate the role of Hyacinthus in Mozart’s first opera Apollon and Hyacinthe

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