'Broken Wings' all set for Qatar show
September 16 2019 09:48 PM
Dana Alfardan, Katara's Marketing and Cultural Affairs director Darwish Ahmad al-Shaibani, and artis
Dana Alfardan, Katara's Marketing and Cultural Affairs director Darwish Ahmad al-Shaibani, and artistes at the event on Monday. PICTURES: Jayan Orma

*Making its Qatar debut from November 7–9 at Katara Cultural Village, The West End Musical, by Dana Alfardan and Nadim Naaman, is a tribute to the celebrated poetic writer Khalil Gibran

Dana Alfardan, critically acclaimed Qatari musician, composer, songwriter and symphonic artiste, and Katara Cultural Village announced on Monday the Qatar debut of the West End musical, 'Broken Wings'. The play is co-written and composed by Dana Alfardan and West End’s very own star actor Nadim Naaman, a British national of Lebanese origin.

Based on Khalil Gibran’s poetic masterpiece, 'Broken Wings' will be played for three days from November 7 to 9 at the Opera House at Katara Cultural Village, with Matinees and Soiree performances. This was announced during a press conference at Building 15 of Katara.

'Broken Wings' was first performed in London in August 2018 at Theatre Royal Haymarket to sold-out shows. The musical was also recently performed in Lebanon in July, in connection with the celebration of the 35th anniversary of the prestigious Beiteddine Arts Festival.

Along the years, Dana Alfardan has gained international recognition for her Arab-influenced contemporary music. Being an iconic Qatari musician and businesswoman, she is now the cultural ambassador of the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra and the official composer of Qatar Airways.

'Broken Wings' sheds light on Kahlil Gibran as a person and his evolution. Recently, one of the songs of the musical – 'Selma' – was filmed in the prolific writer’s hometown as a tribute to his literary achievements. “We have worked tirelessly on refining and improving our material, our work was well received by the people of Lebanon. We are looking forward to introducing our masterpiece to Qatar,” said Nadim Naaman, the co-writer.

Commenting on the show coming to Qatar and the collaboration with Katara Cultural Village, Dana Alfardan said: “I am so excited to be able to bring 'Broken Wings' home and to have it performed here in Qatar at the wonderful Opera House. I look forward to welcoming everyone and I hope they enjoy it as much as we do.”

She added: “Katara is the place where I first performed as a classical musician. I began my career in music six years ago with the ultimate goal of writing a musical. “The Persian poet Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi once said that if you listen to your inner voice – your truth – then you will choose a path that fits you the most and all the forces of the universe will conspire to take you there.”

Dana Alfardan who met Nadim in London said: “The first thing I and Nadim discussed was the need to present our shared cultural heritage on a wider platform, on a wider global platform. We sought to focus specifically on the rich, universally relevant content. Our mission, as long as we work together, is to counter all the common previous positions held about the Arab world by making its beauty accessible to the international audience through its art.

“Art has the power and force to break the barriers. Human principles are the only variables here and that is what Jibran stood for. His subjects remain relevant today. We chose 'Broken Wings' primarily because of the themes such as immigration and gender relations, which deals with cultivating a sense of belonging in an ever changing environment. This is a powerful portrayal in the world that has today seen rise in refugees. For so many, displacement is a reality of life.

“Jibran was a massive advocate of women rights which was minimal among his contemporaries in Lebanon. In 'Broken Wings', he saw grace in women explaining that they are both the soil of the past and seeds of the future. 'Broken Wings' humanises the man behind his greatest and the most notable work 'The Prophet'.”

"Katara is a home of the art in Doha. Our role is to cultivate bright and talented artistes in Doha providing a platform for them to flourish just like Dana Alfardan," said Darwish Ahmad al-Shaibani, director of Marketing and Cultural Affairs at Katara. "We strive to strengthen the quality of the arts and to build bridges through culture showcasing the rich heritage of Qatar to the rest of the world. 'Broken Wings' is a testament to this, and we are very proud to partner with Dana Alfardan in bringing this great masterpiece to Doha, highlighting the message of peace, inclusion and sense of belonging. We wish Dana and the cast of 'Broken Wings' every success and welcome everyone to Katara to witness this great show," he added.

'Broken Wings' cast is led by co-writer Nadim Naaman as Gibran, Hanna Qureshi as Selma, and Soophia Foroughi (Spamalot) as Mother. Further casting will be announced soon. The musical is directed by Bronagh Lagan, with orchestration by Joe Davison, and produced by Ali Matar. The musical is coming to Doha in association with Katara, Broken Wings’ cultural partner. Qatar Airways, Mondrian Doha, Qatar Foundation and Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra are also sponsors of the classical West End musical 'Broken Wings' led by Qatar’s foremost musical composer Dana.

The artistes, accompanied by an orchestra, also performed three songs from the musical at the press event.

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