“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 as “the star of the evening” (Seen and Heard International, UK) and “charismatic and theatrically arresting” (San Francisco Chronicle). A highly versatile musician, she is at home in repertoire from Monteverdi to Mozart to Ravel, and has toured internationally as soloist in baroque opera, oratorio, and crossover folk programs. Her tour performances with GRAMMY®-winning baroque orchestra Apollo’s Fire (Jeannette Sorrell) include such venues as the National Concert Hall of Ireland in Dublin, the Irish National Opera House, the Aldeburgh Festival (UK), the Metropolitan Museum in New York, the National Gallery in Washington, and Zellerbach Hall in San Francisco, among others. Her 2019 debut as Messiah soloist with the Calgary Symphony won kudos as “the soloist of the night… singing to perfection.”
As a recording artist, Ms Powell has been featured on several Apollo’s Fire albums including Sugarloaf Mountain, Sephardic Journey, and Christmas on Sugarloaf Mountain, all of which received rave reviews on both sides of the Atlantic and debuted in the top ten on the BILLBOARD Classical Chart. Her 2015 solo debut album, Beyond Boundaries, is an intimate program of folk, jazz, and global music. She is a fluent improvisor and has collaborated with such artists as Bobby McFerrin and Sheila Jordan.
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.
Tenor Jacob Perry Jr., based in the Washington Metro Area, receives praise for his “gorgeous and stylish” interpretations of Renaissance and Baroque repertoire (ClevelandClassical.com). He has been featured as a soloist with Apollo’s Fire, Handel Choir of Baltimore, Mountainside Baroque, Tempesta di Mare, The Thirteen, Washington Bach Consort, and The City Choir of Washington. Jacob has been selected as the tenor participant of the Virginia Best Adams Masterclass of the 2020 Carmel Bach Festival.
Deeply immersed in vocal chamber music, Jacob enjoys active membership in Les Canards Chantants, a soloist-ensemble based in Philadelphia, as well as engagements with ensembles such as The Thirteen, the Art of Early Keyboard (ARTEK), New Consort, and Cathedra. Additionally, he can be heard singing with larger choirs such as Yale Choral Artists, The Clarion Choir, Washington Bach Consort, and the Choir of Washington National Cathedral. He has explored the vocal works by contemporary composers through engagements with Third Practice, hexaCollective, and Great Noise Ensemble. In his newly assumed role as Co-Director of Bridge, a genre-defying vocal ensemble based in Washington, he draws on his instincts for theatricality and story-telling, as the group explores the connections between early masterpieces and ground-breaking new works.
Career highlights include multiple tours performing in Roman Basilicas with the choir of the Basilica of the National Shrine, headlining the inaugural festival of Western Early Music at the Beijing Central Conservatory of Music with Les Canards Chantants, his Kennedy Center debut as a featured soloist in Monteverdi’s Vespro della Beata Vergine with The Thirteen, and a recital celebrating the anniversary of Monteverdi’s 450th birthday with theorbists Richard Stone and William Simms.
Since 2013, Jacob has served as a cantor and professional chorister of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. He earned his B.A. in Vocal Performance from University of Maryland, Baltimore County.
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.