Global Connections: Qoutayba Neaimi & Judith Adler de Oliveira

30th June 2020

Opera for Peace is committed to developing and promoting opera in the Arabic language, as part of our Global Connections program, and have confirmed a long-term collaboration with Iraqi composer Qoutayba Neaimi, and French Librettist Judith Adler de Oliveira.

 

Together, they have devised the Confluence project, a musical work for voices and mixed ensemble that explores the common roots of Occidental and Oriental civilizations. It is made of two movements, the first one composed by Judith Adler de Oliveira, while the main piece is a Cantate composed by Qoutayba Neaimi.

 

The libretto, written by Judith Adler de Oliveira, is in 6 languages (French, English, Arabic, Hebrew, Aramaic, Latin). It is both a homage to the victims of war and an apology for peace and mutual understanding.

 

Biographies:

 

Qoutayba Neaimi is a composer and former violinist of the Iraqi National Symphony Orchestra. He studied music at Baghdad Institute for Fine Arts, then in Europe where he completed a Bachelor and a Master’s degree in Composition and Music theory (with Claude Ledoux), and a qualification as Professor for Composition (Conservatoire Royal de Mons, Belgium).

 

Qoutayba is considered one of the promising young composers on the contemporary scene ; he blends together Eastern and Western musical legacies through an elaborate polyphonic style. His works often touch upon the themes of war and exile, and were played in festivals (France, Belgium, Germany).

 

He is currently authoring a book about harmony and Arabic Maqams, that aims to bridge the gap between Western and Middle-Eastern musical heritage. He is regularly invited to give international conferences (Kuwait, Iraq, UAE…). He is also composing a Franco-Arabic Opera. His next concert is due in Boulezsaal (Berlin).

 

Facebook: facebook.com/Qoutayba.Ahmed.Neaimi/
Twitter: @QoutaybaN
Instagram: @qoutayba_neaimi

 

“Music addresses every human soul and overcomes linguistic barriers. It has the ability to extend cultural bridges between civilizations. The operatic genre has the particularity of being both a human and artistic encounter, and I feel this is more important than ever in our times.

 

As a composer, I strive to enrich music by connecting the roots of different civilizations and cultures, because I deeply believe that the arts are more powerful than the machinery of war. Opera for Peace shares this mission and achieves this vision when it is most needed ; their work is invaluable and I am proud to join their effort through my artistic work.” ~ Qoutayba Neaimi

 

Judith Adler de Oliveira is a French and Portuguese composer and writer. She first completed a double qualification in Modern Literatures, and in History of Art and Musicology (ULB), thus achieving two Master’s degree in 2014. Her research field conjugates music and language (rhetorics, poetics, music sign languages, vocal practices).

 

She then pursued studies in Composition, earning a Master and a qualification as Professor for Composition (Conservatoire Royal de Liège, Belgium). Her interdisciplinary approach lay the ground for collaborations with visual and video artists. Her affinity with spoken language has led her to write librettos, the latest being for a Franco-Arabic Opera. She is developing a creativity pedagogic toolbook intended at instrument teachers. Her musical works were performed in festivals (Belgium, Italy, Canada) and her next concerts are due in Boulezsaal (Berlin) and in Brno (Czech Republic).

 

“Our world has undergone exponential change these last decades : new modes of communication, modern technologies, and environmental and social transitions all call for innovation in the area of culture. The operatic genre is particularly suited to build on these evolutions. Opera for Peace stands on the breach between the past and the future. It connects artists and cultural institutions from all over the world, and advocates for a rejuvenating approach of the operatic genre that embraces cultural mixity.

 

The perspective of collaborating with Opera for Peace is a therefore a very exciting one. I feel most passionate about its specific focus on the linguistic and musical encounter between cultures, as this is already a major theme underlining my artistic work.” ~ Judith Adler de Oliveira