The Peace and Prosperity Trust Young Artists
The Peace & Prosperity Trust aims to raise funds to promote aspiring young Arab and Western artists and help them work with internationally renowned artists resulting in the fusion of the Western and Middle Eastern music and culture.
The current Young Artists are;
Bassem Alkhouri, Tenor and Qanunist
Qanunist and Tenor Bassem was born in 1976 in Damascus, Syria. He studied qanoun with Almera Achandova at the Conservatoire of Damascus and went on to study singing with Manon Heijnen, Barbara Pearson and Diane Forlano at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague. In June 2007 he graduated from the Dutch Opera Academy in Amsterdam. In 2000, he won second prize for qanoun at an International Music Competition in Algeria.
As a qanounist, Bassem has performed as a soloist with the National Syrian Symphony Orchestra, giving concerts in the Middle East, North Africa and Europe. He has had many pieces written especially for him by many composers and is very active in the contemporary music scene.
As a tenor, his most significant collaborations include the prestigious theatre company ZT Hollandia and Nederlands Vocaal Laboratorium, performing in several European countries. Recently he sang Rinuccio in Gianni Schicchi from Il Trittico by Puccini with Opera Zuid in Holland and performed Don José in Carmen with Het Zuidelijk Toneel.
Margo Arsane, Soprano
French soprano Margo Arsane began her musical education studying the violin for 15 years. She later moved onto classical singing and is now at the beginning of an exciting career. Margo holds a Bachelor’s degree from the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Lyon, where she studied with Françoise Pollet, and Master of Music from the Hochschule für Musik München, where she studied with Sylvia Greenberg.
Since September 2015, she is based in London and part of the prestigious Guildhall Opera Course on a full tuition scholarship, under the tutelage of Susan McCulloch.
In January 2017, Margo will make her debut under the baton of French conductor Hervé Niquet (Le Concert Spirituel) in the role of Climène in a production of Les Amont Magnifiques that will tour several Opera Houses in France – Avignon, Reims, Rennes and more.
Margo is very grateful to The Peace and Prosperity Trust for their current support.
Zeina Barhoum, Soprano
Born 1984, is a classically trained Jordanian Soprano. She started singing in 1997 in the school choir, and later began participating in local singing competitions, winning The Eisteddfod Competition (Jordan) award for best soloist. Zeina has showed great interest in jazz, collaborating with the renowned Jordanian jazz musician and pianist Omar Faqir.
In October 2008, Zeina was accepted into the vocal course at the Accademia Di Santa Cecilia in Rome. During her studies she trained with Signora Alberta Valentini and Signor Walter Alberti.
In April 2009, Zeina participated as the only vocalist in The 5th Dubai International Peace Music Festival (for young virtuosos) singing Zahrat Al Madaen in Arabic.
In March 2010, Zeina received a scholarship supported by The Peace and Prosperity Trust and A.M. Qattan Foundation, to privately train in London with Tina Ruta (Royal Opera House) and the renowned Welsh tenor Dennis O’Neill.
Dima Bawab, Soprano
A Jordanian native, Dima started her musical studies at the age of four with piano and classical ballet, at the National Music Conservatory / King Hussein Foundation, in Amman. She turned her focus on singing and pursued her studies in France, graduated in 2004 from the Conservatoire National de Toulouse (first prize) and cum laude from the Conservatoire National de Danse et de Musique de Paris in 2007. She has been seen on international stages performing the roles of Mme Herz in Mozart‘s Der Schauspieldirektor, Fatime in Weber’s Abu Hassan (2006), Gloria in Franco Palestinian composer Suleiman Al Qudsi’s Jerusalem Follies’ (IMA Paris 2006), Morgana in Handel’s Alcina (Cite de le Musique, Paris 2007), Blondchen in Mozart’s Die Entführung aus dem Serail , (Vannes 2007) Le Feu, La Princesse and Le Rossignol in Ravel’s L’Enfant et les Sortilèges and Lois Lane in Cole Porter’s Kiss me Kate (Aix en Provence 2008), Lucy in Menotti’s The Telephone (Palestine, Jordan 2009), Princesse Hana’a in Jordan’s first pop opera production entitled Petra Rocks (2009), Suzanna in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro (Wilton’s Music Hall, London 2009), Yniold in Debussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande (Opéra Comique 2010).
Dima is currently on a world tour in the roles of Papagena and Pamina in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte which premiered at the Theatre des Bouffes du Nord in Paris, directed by Peter Brook 2010 – 2011 – 2012. Her future roles include Barbarina in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro at the Opéra de Montpellier 2012, Le Feu, La Princesse and Le Rossignol in Ravel’s L’Enfant et les Sortilèges and L’Amour in Rameau’s Pygmalion both at the Opéra Comique in Paris, under the direction of Sir John Eliot Gardiner in 2013.
Dima is a member of the Monteverdi Choir, featured in several recordings, namely Brahm’s Deutsches Requiem, forthcoming performance of Beethoven’s 9th symphony in Europe.
Alongside her singing career, Dima is co founder of “Aat”, a network of young Jordanian artists promoting freedom of expression through the arts.
Timothy Connor, Baritone
Timothy graduated from Trinity College of Music in 2010. He is student of John Llewelyn Evans with whom he continues to study at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.
Described as an actor of “great skill and wit’ (Opera, 2010), his operatic roles have included Title Role Le Nozze di Figaro, Vicar Albert Herring,
Frank Maurrant Street Scene, Gaoler and Sacristan (cover) Tosca, and Title Role in Jonathan Dove’s Pig. He has worked with British Youth Opera,
Co-Opera Company, Northern Ireland Opera and Opera Holland Park.
With a keen interest in contemporary works, he has performed improvisations and premieres at the Tate Modern, Arch468 Brixton,
Tête à Tête Opera Festival and the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford with the Onassis Programme. Timothy was a Choral Scholar at the Chapel of the Old Royal Naval College, Greenwich and has worked with the Philharmonia Voices. In other performances, Timothy has collaborated with such artists as
Malcolm Martineau, Helen Yorke, Yvonne Howard, Linda Hirst, Terry Smith and worked with conductors Steuart Bedford, Robin Newton and Gregory Rose.
Beholden to the support of The Wang Foundation, Kathleen Trust and The Peace and Prosperity Trust, Timothy is also a proud Concordia Artist
and an inaugural recipient of the Philip Langridge Scholarship with Co- Opera Company. He holds a Guildhall School Scholarship for 2011-12.
Bushra El-Turk, Composer
Bushra is a composer whose award-winning music displays the influence of her Lebanese roots, life as a Londoner and love of music from around the world.
Bushra was awarded a Masters in Composition at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama with distinction. She has worked with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Opera House, Manchester Camerata, Opera Holland Park, Ensemble Nox (Argentina), OrchestUtopica (Portugal), Orkest de Ereprijs (Holland)
and the Orchestre National de Lorraine (France). As Artistic Director of the Notting Hill (London) Mayfest in 2009, Bushra was responsible for devising and delivering a multi disciplinary arts festival. Guests included The London Gypsy Orchestra, the Middle Eastern Nihavend ensemble, Notting Hill (the film’s) director-producer Richard Curtis and many others. She has also co-hosted an International Composition Competition.
Alongside Tala Tutunji, Bushra is a co-founder and director of the Chelsea Music Academy, a centre for Middle Eastern and Western music which specialises in education and inter-cultural events.
Miranda Heldt, Soprano
Of German and English origin, Soprano Miranda Heldt graduated from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, obtaining a Masters with Distinction. Miranda studies privately with Susan Waters and lives in London. In 2013 Miranda was invited to participate in Helena Lazarska’s masterclasses at the Salzburg Festival.
Selections of recent and future engagements include Dido (Dido & Aeneas, Purcell) for Ad Parnassum at the Goethetheater near Leipzig; Bastienne (Bastien und Bastienne, Mozart) in Venice and London; Zerlina (Don Giovanni, Mozart)and Aunt (Madama Butterfly, Puccini) in a UK tour for Regent’s Opera; Various Gala’s at the Carnevale di Venezia (2013;2014); Chorus (Aida, Verdi) for South Downs Opera in 2015.
Miranda has also worked extensively as an oratorio soloist. Recent performances include Mozart Requiem (Brittania Choral Society); Mendelssohn’s Lobgesang (Brittania Choral Society); Pergolesi Stabat Mater (Barnes Choral Society) and Brahms’ Ein Deutsches Requiem (Esher Choral Society).
Julian Issa, Tenor
British-Lebanese Tenor Julian Issa is currently studying a Masters in Vocal Studies at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama under the tutelage of Marcus Van Den Akker. He is kindly supported by a scholarship from the Guildhall Trust.
Recent engagements have included Mozart’s Coronation Mass (Tenor Soloist) with Toby Purser & the Lebanese Philharmonic Orchestra for Beirut Chants Festival & Handel’s Messiah with Eboracum Baroque in Munster & Hannover (Germany). Operatic roles include Don Ramiro ‘La Cenerentola’, Tamino ‘The Magic Flute’, Aeneas ‘Dido & Aeneas’, Samuel ‘Pirates of Penzance’, Don Jose ‘Carmen’ (Bristol University Opera Society), Sailor ‘Dido & Aeneas’ (Welsh National Youth Opera) & Schoolmaster ‘The Cunning Little Vixen’ (Co Opera Co & GSMD). Opera Scenes with the Guildhall School have included Jupiter ‘Semele’, Il Podesta ‘La Finta Giardiniera’ & Mayor ‘Albert Herring’. Julian has recently performed in masterclasses with Sir Roger Norrington, Amanda Roocroft, Rosalind Plowright OBE & John Graham-Hall. He is grateful for support from the Kathleen Trust, John Wates Charitable Trust and the Peace & Prosperity Trust, who he is a young artist with.
Stéphanie Lavoie, Soprano
Stéphanie Lavoie studied 8 years at the Conservatoire de musique de Québec were she obtained her Artist Diploma in 2010 (First Class Honours with Distinction), under the teaching of Maestra Jacqueline Cistellini. Through her studies, she particularly excelled in the roles of the Knusperhexe in Hänsel und Gretel from Humperdink, and Rosina in I Matrimonio Segreto from Cimarosa.
She was honored in 2009 by the Hnatyshyn Foundation, with a prestigious Canadian grant (developing artist grant, classical voice winner). She perfected her germen music style and language in summer 2009 with Mister Siro Battaglin, coach and conductor at Cologne’s Opera House. Always in 2009, she sang, as her first professional role, the High Priestess in Aïda, at the Opéra de Québec and sang her first soloist concert, Le poème de l’amour et de la mer, Chausson, with the Orchestre symphonique des jeunes de Québec.
She studied, in 2011, in New York with Maestro John Keenan, conductor at the Metropolitin Opera. She sang in August 2011, Marguerite in Gounod’s Faust (Île d’Yeu, France), and sang Bachianas Brasileiras from Villa-Lobos in Liverpool, for the Rights and Humanity International Congress.
Corinne Metni, Soprano
Corinne is a French-Lebanese Lyric Soprano who studied music along while completing a Political Sciences and Law Degrees in Banking and Financial Law at the Jesuits’ University of Saint Joseph in Lebanon as well as a LLM in International Business Law at La Sorbonne-Assas International Law School in France where she graduated Magna Cum Laude.
Corinne pursued vocal training in music schools and private courses with eminent professors in London, Paris, and Singapore such as Opera singers Soprano Jennifer Mc Gregor, Soprano Jeong Ae-Ree, Soprano Mihaela Mingheras…
Corinne has performed in various classical crossover concerts and operettas in Lebanon, EU, UAE and Singapore. She was selected in 2013 to sing for the President of the Republic of Lebanon and the President of the Republic of Armenia; and as a soloist with « les Petits Chanteurs de Saint-Marc » (the renowned choir from the Movie “Les Choristes”).
She performed as Christine Daee in Phantom of the Opera on “one night on Broadway” show in Lebanon.
Corinne is a member of the group of young artists, whom the Peace and Prosperity Trust is promoting. Recently, she has received further coaching in London, from Ms. Tina Ruta, an advisors of the Trust and a previous coach at the Royal Opera House.
Nadim Naaman, Tenor
Both British and Lebanese, Nadim began his music career as a chorister at Eton College. He completed his musical studies at the Royal Academy of Music where he graduated with distinction, also winning the Ronald William Prize for excellence in acting through song.
Nadim is currently appearing in the ensemble of The Phantom of the Opera (Her Majesty’s Theatre) in which he also understudies the role of Raoul. Most recently he featured in the role of Lance in Knight Crew at Glyndebourne.
Other credits include his West End debut as Rolf in The Sound of Music, and James in James and the Giant Peach (Watermill). On television, he has sung backing vocals on Britain’s Got Talent and in the Concert for Diana with Sir Elton John. Other concerts include Rod Stewart Live.
Nicola Said, Soprano
Maltese Soprano Nicola Said made her professional operatic début singing Zerbinetta (Ariadne auf Naxos) with Opera Project at West Green House Opera in August 2015. Nicola studies with Yvonne Kenny and completed the Guildhall School Opera Course last June, where she performed the title role in Ariane, Lucia (The Rape of Lucretia) and Rosaura (Le Donne Curiose). Other performed roles include Barbarina (Le Nozze di Figaro), La Fée (Cendrillon), Olympia (Les Contes d’Hoffman), and partial roles of Adina (L’Elisir d’amore), Ginevra (Ariodante), Ophelia (Hamlet), Norina (Don Pasquale), Philine (Mignon), Sophie (Der Rosenkavalier), Madame Herz (Der Schauspieldirektor), Musetta (La Bohème), Madame Mao (Nixon in China), Susanna (Le Nozze di Figaro) and Carolina (Il Matrimonio Segreto).
Nicola coaches with Juliette Bisazza in Malta, and has studied at CSULB with Shigemi Matsumoto. A Drake Calleja Trust Scholar, Samling Scholar, and a BOV Joseph Calleja Foundation Scholar, Nicola has received support from the Walter Hyde Memorial Trust, Malta Arts Scholarship, Ian Tomlin and Janatha Stubbs Foundation. She was nominated by Joseph Calleja to attend the Salzburg Mozarteum in summer 2014 where she won Second Prize in the Strauss Competition. Nicola has most recently become a Peace and Prosperity Trust Young Artist.
Nicola has performed a recital in the St. Martin-in-the-Fields Embassy Series “Forsi Ħlomt. Discovering the Art of Maltese Song”, in the Maltese Premier of Patrick Hawes’ Song of Songs at St. John’s Co-Cathedral, in the Valletta International Baroque Festival, and in L’Enfant et les Sortilèges with the LSSO conducted by Dominic Wheeler at the Barbican Hall. She has performed at the Royal Opera House as Echo in Laurence Osborne’s opera ‘Narkissus and the Reflektions’. Nicola has recorded and premiered works by composer Paul Carroll at Abbey Road Studios with the Commonwealth Youth Orchestra and Marlborough House, and has given a recital for HRH Prince Edward of Windsor at Palazzo Parisio in a Duke of Edinburgh event.
Nicola is the Ambassador for the Malta Airport Foundation.
Nicola is grateful to the Trust’s support and opportunities for performance work internationally.
Samar Salame, Soprano
Samar studied music at the Lebanese National Conservatoire. In 2000 she joined the Company Media Aetas (Naples) where she performed with the Opera Buffa del Giovedi Sando, touring throughout Italy.
Samar then enrolled in the National Conservatory in Rome, graduating in 2006. She then worked extensively with Maestro Stephano Cucci, who is famous for his collaborations with Ennio Morricone.
In 2006, Samar settled in Paris, and continues to perform in a wide selection of operas and concerts. Her most recent role was Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro in Byblos, Lebanon, in summer 2010. She also performed concerts at the French and Italian Embassies, and at the Jeita Grotto in Lebanon.
Samar performs in Mahler’s Fourth Symphony at the Al-Bustan Festival in Lebanon in 2011.
Mariam Tamari, Soprano
Born to a Palestinian father and Japanese mother, Mariam graduated with honors from Bryn Mawr College, USA. She made her lead operatic debut as Adina in L’Elisir d’Amore at the Nissay Theater in Tokyo, where she had also appeared in Der Freischutz.
Her outstanding skills as an actress were lauded in her performance as Jeanne in Honneger’s Jeanne d’Arc au Bûcher with conductor Hiroshi Wakasugi, and at the Pacific Music Festival as Ivy Smith in Bernstein’s On the Town under the direction of Yutaka Sado.Leading roles also include Maria in West Side Story, as well as Angelina in Gilbert and Sullivan’s Trial by Jury.
In Japan and the U.S. she has also performed the soprano solos in Orff’s Carmina
Burana, Brahms’ Ein Deutsches Requiem, Mozart’s Requiem and Vesperae Solennes de Confessore, and Handel’s Messiah. Recently, Mariam received critical acclaim as soloist for the historical debut for the first Palestinian National Orchestra, and has performed for the Emperor and Empress of Japan as well as the King and Queen of Jordan, who have since invited her to sing at the Royal Court.
Tala Tutunji, Pianist
Tala Tutunji’s Middle Eastern roots combined with her passion for theatre have fuelled many ground-breaking performances across the globe. Tala’s aspiration is to bring musicians together to transcend distance, borders and culture, to encourage humanity through creative discourse,interactivity, and harmony.
Recent performances include UNESCO in Paris and Leighton House Museum, in collaboration with Opera Holland Park. She represented Jordan in ‘Breaking the
Veils’ Art Exhibition at the Royal Palace of Naples and Milan under the patronage of Her Royal Highness Princess Wijdan.
Tala graduated with a Masters Degree from Trinity college of Music. She was awarded a scholarship from the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester and graduated in 2003 with a BMUS Honours degree.
Tala is Co-founder and Director of Sijal Interactive Arts and the Chelsea Music Academy along with composer Bushra El-Turk. She is also the artistic director for the commissioned score of the classic animated German film ‘The Adventures of Prince Achmed’.
Future solo engagements include the National Concert Hall, Dublin and the Barbican, London.
Julien Van Mellaertts, Baritone
Awarded a 2016 Kiwi Music Scholarship, a 2016 Countess of Munster Award, Winner of the 2016 Brooks-van der Pump English Song Competition, the 2016 Joan Chissell Schumann Prize and Winner of the 2015 Maureen Lehane Vocal Arts Award, British / New Zealand baritone Julien Van Mellaerts studied at the University of Otago, before joining the International Opera School of the Royal College of Music. His studies have been supported by the Josephine Baker Trust, Janet Bolton O’Sullivan Scholarship, the Hunn Trust, an Alex Templeton Award, a Laing Award and the Wates Foundation Trust. He is now a Fishmongers Company Scholar, supported by a Thomas Weinberger Award. Julien is grateful to The Peace and Prosperity Trust for their current support.
At the Royal College of Music, he has sung Mr Gedge Albert Herring, and his engagements elsewhere have included Count Danilo The Merry Widow for Ryedale Festival Opera, Apollo L’Orfeo for Otago Opera and Schaunard La bohème for Haddo House Opera.
He has appeared in recital with Christopher Glynn at the Ryedale Festival and sang the world première of Lewis Murphy’s Land Unknown at New Zealand House.