Amani Hajji is the first opera singer in the Gulf. She has taken on a career uncommon in the region, making her a pioneer in this classical—and Western--form of singing.
Ms. Hajji makes it her mission to spread awareness and knowledge about her profession through her voice, and by educating her students at The Kuwait Higher Institute of Musical Arts, where she also earned her degree.
“I consider opera my life’s passion, and I didn’t just study it to teach my students. I studied and learned this art to spread it across the Gulf region,” Ms. Hajji said during an interview with Al Arabiya.
Ms. Hajji is on the road to global success. She has already broadened her horizons and stepped out of the borders of the Gulf; she has performed numerous times at the Egyptian Opera House. She is a regular guest at diplomatic events, with expats in Kuwait eager to be treated to her breathtaking performances.
“We need a larger audience to be aware of global music tastes, especially opera, because not many people listen to it, in truth. I’m not placing blame on the Arabian audience in particular because they are attuned to a different genre.” Ms. Hajji said.
The talented Ms. Hajji sings in various languages: Italian, German, French, Russian, and English. She considers Andrea Bocelli a favorite and dreams of singing with him one day, especially after his recent visit to Dubai. He suggested that he would welcome an opportunity to sing along with an Arab from the Gulf.
“When I heard him say that, it made me cry, because it made me want to join Mr. Bocelli. My lifelong wish is to sing with someone like himself,” Ms. Hajji said.
It may be too early to say whether this form of art will eventually be recognized enough to establish an Opera house in Kuwait. But if Ms. Hajji has her way, a unique genre of Arab opera will gain acceptance locally, develop its own flavor and, from the Gulf, spread internationally.
(Nadia Idriss Mayen of Al Arabiya can be reached at: email@example.com)