Feature: Jordanian soprano launches new album bridging China, Arab world

Source: Xinhua| 2019-04-05 17:28:04|Editor: Xiang Bo
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AMMAN, April 5 (Xinhua) -- Zeina Barhoum, a well-known Jordanian soprano, launched her new album "Alcantara II - Zeina in China" on Thursday night with a Chinese song "The Dream of Silk Road" at the Al Hussein Cultural Center in Amman.

The Jordanian Princess Muna Al-Hussein, mother of King Abdullah II of Jordan, and Chinese Ambassador to Jordan Pan Weifang attended the concert, which is also the opening show of Amman Opera Festival this year.

Alcantara, which refers to a Roman stone arch bridge in Spain, means bridging different cultures, said Zeina.

The audiences gave warm applauses to the musicians when they sang "The Dream of Silk Road" hand-in-hand in Chinese, which was the closing song of Arab Arts Festival held in Chengdu, China last year.

"After I performed the song representing Jordan in Chengdu, I felt it really belonged to me somehow," said Zeina.

The second album aims to highlight the bright history of ancient silk road and to bridge cultures between China and the Arab world, Zeina added.

She started cooperation with Chinese musicians two years ago, said Yang Ronghao, the cultural counsellor of the Chinese embassy in Jordan, who co-worked with Zeina on releasing the new album.

At the Amman Opera Festival in 2017 launched by Zeina, the first opera festival in the Arab world, she invited artists from Sichuan Philharmonic Orchestra as well as from Jordan and Italy to performed La Traviata by Giuseppe Verdi at Amman's Amphitheater.

The Jordanian soprano performed La Bohème by Giacomo Puccini in the summer of 2018 with the consecutive patronage of Sichuan Philharmonic Orchestra while in the same year, she was invited by the Chinese government to attend the fourth Arab Arts Festival in Chengdu.

It was the first time that Zeina and Wang Chuanyue, a Chinese prize-winning tenor, performed the duet song "The Dream of the Silk Road" at the closing ceremony of the festival, after which she fell in love with the song and decided to collect it into her next album.

"I spoke to the composer and the writer of the lyrics that I want to record it and put it in my album. It's pretty like the cherry on top," said the Jordanian artist.

She recorded the song with Wang Chuanyue in China's capital Beijing accompanied by China Philharmonic Orchestra and Asia Philharmonic Orchestra Choir, and organized by China Arts and Entertainment Group.

"The Dream of Silk Road" highlights the importance of the ancient route linking China and the Arab world as well as its role in sparking intercultural communications, even under the Belt and Road Initiative which continued China-Arab friendship nowadays, said Yang Ronghao at the concert.

As a classically trained soprano and a fashion designer with her own jewelry brand, Zeina expressed her dedications to building strong connections of understanding and compassion through her music, including China and the Arab world.

"It's always been a dream for me to make the world better," said the Jordanian artist.