“The place where brothers and strangers are one…”
– Jalal al-Din Rumi, 13th-c. Persian poet
In this new program from Jeannette Sorrell, music and poetry evoke a “tour” of the Jewish, Christian, Arab, and Armenian quarters of Jerusalem. Selections from Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610 echo the rapturous singing of Jewish cantors in the temples. Medieval harp, oud, and exotic percussion blend with Arabic love songs and Sephardic ballads. The performers, including musicians of Jewish, Muslim, and Christian backgrounds, join in celebration of brotherhood and sisterhood.
“A magic carpet that swept the audience away.”
–CoolCleveland (review of AF’s “Sephardic Journey”)
These concerts are generously sponsored by LRC Realty, Inc.
FRIDAY (11/16) & SUNDAY (11/18) NIGHTS!
Enjoy fresh dates and Middle Eastern baklava with sparkling cider – and meet the performers. FREE!
has been praised for her “abundant vocal technique and infectious spirit” (ClevelandClassical.com) and enjoys a diverse career in the realms of classical, folk, and jazz. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in vocal performance from Shenandoah Conservatory and a certificate in jazz improvisation from the Jazz in July Institute (University of Massachusetts). Ms. Powell’s solo performances with Apollo’s Fire in recent seasons have included Handel’s Messiah (mezzo soloist), Mozart’s The Magic Flute (Second Lady), Praetorius Christmas Vespers (soprano soloist), and Liza Jane in the 2013 national tour of the acclaimed Come to the River program. Her work as an internationally recognized leader in the field of sacred world music has taken her to concert halls in Italy, Spain, France, Mongolia and China. Her debut solo album, entitled Beyond Boundaries, was released in 2015 and quickly sold out on Amazon. The album explores folk and jazz traditions of cultures around the world.
With his ethnically ambiguous looks and his nearly three-octave range Sorab Wadia has sung music from the 11th century to pop and rock via oratorio and opera and taken on an array of characters from – in alphabetical order – Algeria, Afghanistan, Brunei, France, Germany, Greece, India, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Italy, Norway, Pakistan, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Turkey, and the United States. He relishes resisting the clutches of typecasting.
Most recently he played CL Chawla in the world premier of Mira Nair’s new musical, Monsoon Wedding at Berkeley Repertory Theatre, and reprised his role of Shylock #1/Gratiano in Karin Coonrod’s critically acclaimed production of The Merchant Of Venice at Peak Performances in Montclair, New Jersey.
The 2014-2016 seasons brought two wonderful collaborations with Karin Coonrod, her production of The Merchant of Venice in Venice, Italy, commemorating the 500th anniversary of the Ghetto, and The Tempest at LaMama, an appearance on Madame Secretary, a guest spot on Blacklist: Redemption, and a leading role in the film The Spectacular Jihad of Taz Rahim.
Nothing thrills Sorab more than collaborating with writers and composers to create new roles in fresh-off-the-press plays and musicals. He’s been lucky to have birthed some deliciously colorful characters: The Sultan of Nubai, the world’s richest man, in Niko Tsakalakos and Janet Allard’s Pool Boy, at Barrington Stage; Hussein al-Mansour, the beleaguered middle-management terrorist in Benjamin Scheuer and Zoe Samuels’ Jihad! The Musical on London’s West End; and Raj Dhawan, the grandiose, if sadly over-the-hill, Bollywood hero in Ayub Khan Din and Paul Bogaev’s Bunty Berman Presents… off-Broadway with The New Group.
Some of the new plays he has premiered recently include: The American premiere of the English translation of Évelyne de la Chenelière’s Bashir Lazhar, a haunting story of an Algerian immigrant to Quebec, at Barrington Stage; Stephanie Liss’s Faces of War with BIMA, NY; Fear Up: Stories from Bagdad and Guantanamo at the NY Fringe; Big Shoot by Koffi Kwahulé at The Lark, and Anuvab Pal’s Chaos Theory with Pulse Ensemble Theater off-Broadway.
Sorab performs a one-man play of Khaled Hosseini’s novel, The Kite Runner, which has been touring the U.S. for the past seven seasons, with international hops to Canada and India. The novel was adapted by Wynn Handman, a veritable guru of New York theater, for his company, American Place Theater.
He is relieved to announce that he has popped his Law & Order cherry on SVU and done the requisite guest spots on 30 Rock and Chappelle’s Show. He dreams of being the lead on a sitcom – something he believes he was put on earth to do – so, feel free to make him offers!
Born in Bombay, India, to a pair of highly talented and artistic people, Sorab has never known life without music, drama, and art. His mother, Coomi, a graphic artist and conductor of the globetrotting Paranjoti Chorus, was prepping and conducting Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony up until nine days before he was born. His father, Nariman, was a maverick: jewelry designer, electronics engineer, composer…did pretty much whatever he set his mind to.
Sorab went to the United States to study piano at the Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University, got his Masters there. After the briefest of careers as a classical pianist he began to pursue opera and theater at the University of Tennessee, where he got a second Masters. Two degrees not satisfying him, he went on to study the Meisner technique with master-teacher Maggie Flanigan at her studio in NYC; two years of intense study with Ms. Flanigan have profoundly changed his approach to acting. He is now based back home in Bombay, but will jump on a plane for a gig at the drop of a hat. In show business, home is where the laptop is.
Infected with an unquenchable case of wanderlust, he travels whenever he can – 62 countries and counting – and prefers couchsurfing and hostels to hotels when he’s on holiday. Besides English, he speaks – in order of proficiency – Italian, Gujarati, Hindi, German, French, with smatterings of Marathi, Spanish and Urdu. Other hobbies include: photography, painting, hiking, gardening, knitting, and dreaming about having a dog and a small farm.
ney & recorder
has performed throughout Europe and the United States as both a soloist and ensemble player. Mor’s “astonishing virtuosity” (Chicago Tribune) has been heard in solo recitals in the United States, Croatia, Germany and Switzerland. She has performed as a soloist with the New York Collegium, the New York Early Music Ensemble and Little Orchestra Society, and as a member of the orchestra with the New York Philharmonic, New York City Opera and Orchestra of St. Luke’s. Mor was awarded First Prize in the Settimane Musicali di Lugano Solo Competition and the Boston Conservatory Concerto Competition, and has appeared in a duo with Joyce DiDonato on the singer’s promotional tour for the album In War and Peace. Devoted to new music, Mor has recorded on John Zorn’s Tzadik label, and has performed the world premiere of David Bruce’s Tears, Puffes, Jumps, and Galliard with the Metropolis Ensemble. Also active in the world music community, Mor has performed in festivals and on stages worldwide, including New York’s Summer Stage and Munich’s Gasteig. She can also be heard on Sting’s album If On A Winter’s Night for Deutsche Grammophon. Mor serves as the Music Director of Beineinu, a New York initiative dedicated to the modern cultivation of Jewish culture, and is a performer and teacher of liturgical music of the Jewish diaspora. She leads programs for the Education Department of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Jacob receives praise for his instincts singing in small vocal consorts in addition to his work as a soloist. He is a core tenor of the soloist-ensemble Les Canards Chantants and the chamber choir The Thirteen. Jacob can be heard singing with The Clarion Choir, ACRONYM, Piffaro, and as a featured soloist with Mountainside Baroque and Apollo’s Fire.
Born and raised in Silver Spring, Maryland, Jacob has cultivated a passion for a wide variety of music ranging from medieval folk song to the tight harmonies of vocal jazz. He has experience singing solo and chamber works by contemporary composers through engagements with Third Practice Ensemble, hexaCollective and Great Noise Ensemble.
Jacob’s 2016-2017 season includes numerous choral/solo appearances with Apollo’s Fire, a complete tour of masses and concerts in each of the Papal Basilicas in Rome, Italy with the Choir of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, and an expansive series of engagements with Les Canards Chantants including concerts in Beijing, China for the first festival of early music hosted by Central Conservatory of Beijing. In April 2017, Jacob will give recitals with artists of Tempesta di Mare in Philidelphia to celebrate the 450th anniversary of Claudio Monteverdi’s birth.
Jacob is a cantor and chorister at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. He earned his B.A. in Vocal Performance from University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Jacob teaches private voice lessons in his home in Downtown Sivler Spring, MD. Use the contact form on this website request more information about bookings and teaching.
Persian-American soprano, Raha Mirzadegan is a vocalist and multi-instrumentalist based in New York. Her repertoire spans the medieval chant of Hildegard von Bingen to premiering new works by living composers. She was a member of the Maryland Opera Studio at the University of Maryland, where she received a Bachelor of Music. During her time at the university she studied with Gran Wilson, and was a chorister/soloist with the award-winning Chamber Singers, lead by Dr. Edward Maclary.
Raha is the founder and director of The Undercroft, a DC-based vocal ensemble dedicated to unearthing obscure works and premiering them for modern audiences. The group specializes in one-on-a-part renaissance polyphony.
This season, Raha will be performing with groups such as Clarion music society, Bridge Ensemble, Chamber Singers, and The Undercroft in venues along the East Coast.
oud & accordion
A Chicago native of Palestinian descent, Ronnie Malley is a multi-instrumentalist that has been performing for audiences since his youth. Ronnie began guitar lessons at age nine, later moving on to piano, Middle Eastern percussion, and being self-taught on his principle instrument, the Oud (Mid- Eastern lute). As a member of the family band with his father and brother on percussion, Ronnie’s stage experience began by performing at weddings, concerts, festivals and local Middle Eastern clubs accompanying renowned artists such as Kazem Al Saher, Majdi Husseini, Wael Jassar, and Tony Hanna.
After years of playing Middle Eastern and American rock music, Ronnie expanded his musical palette to explore different traditions from around the world. He has studied and collaborated with musicians from – Senegal, Sudan, North Africa, India, Kashmir, Macedonia, Iran, Greece, Turkey, as well as with Afro-Peruvian folk artists, Rodolfo Munoz and Miguel Ballermos. Through these experiences, he has gained a vast repertoire of folk, classical, and spiritual songs from various cultures.
His more recent credits include principal musician and actor in the Lookingglass, Berkeley, and Arena Stage Theatre productions of “Arabian Nights”, assistant music arranger and performer in the Goodman Theatre production of “Mirror of the Invisible World”, both written and directed by Mary Zimmerman, French FTS Production documentary,“Modou The Hang Player – One World Music”, and MPEF Productions documentary, “At The Gate”.
Ronnie currently teaches at the Old Town School of Folk Music, conducts Arabic music workshops for Chicago Public Schools and the University of Chicago’s Startalk camp, composes and records for various film projects, as well as performing and touring with music groups Lamajamal, Mucca Pazza, Duzan Ensemble and the U of C Middle Eastern Music Ensemble.
plucked instruments & vocals
is a modern-day troubadour. He holds a Master’s degree in music from Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University, where he studied lute and theorbo. He specializes in historical plucked instruments and ancient songs of various world traditions. He is a songwriter and poet, and also paints and plays a variety of percussion and wind instruments. Cleveland Classical.com called him “far-ranging,” “brilliant,” and “exciting,” and Early Music America called his work “phenomenal.” His newest album, Three Ravens, was released in January 2015.