This month our students practised opera singing for the first time in their lives. Thanks to Maximilian Fane, President of Mascarade Opera , they spent a week practising the opera Dalia. Composed by Roxanna Panufnik, Dalia narrates the story of a 12 year old refugee Syrian girl who arrives in Britain after having lost her family in the war. Fostered by a local family, she discovers her passion for cricket but has to deal with racism from her community. She triumphs over all adversities to follow her dream.
The students at Alsama centre were enthused to sing when they got to know the inspiration behind the opera. Mr. Fane worked with our budding singers, dividing them into 3 groups, each singing their parts of the song. Within a few hours of practice, they went from teenagers who could not hold a note together, to a choir who takes huge pride in performing. They give their final performance to guests from the MCC, the British Embassy in Lebanon, and journalists during the Alsama Cricket Championship.
Wissam, a group 9 student, who sung the opera says
My experience was wonderful. I thought I could not sing but the opera supported me and changed my opinion.
We asked Mr. Fane what his impression of working with Alsama students was
This is education, this is empowerment, this is the future! I have never seen in my life a clearer, more inspiring example of what access to education can do. I have never seen such aspiration, discipline or compassion so consistently displayed in each and every student. I came to Alsama to give, to teach, in the end it was Alsama that gave to me, that taught me, that inspired me. These children will change the world, I’m not sure how, but I am certain they will.