What a surprise to find a lady of such a demure stature with a powerhouse voice – an opera singer with a voice par excellence. She entertained me with a practice session of her scales and let me tell you, neither a jackhammer nor a revving motorbike can pierce your ears like she can. The lady I speak of, is world accomplished soprano, Nadine Nassar.
The war in Lebanon was a great interruption and of huge detrement to Nadine’s training as an opera singer. In fact she put everything on hold to train in theatre but her heart and passion was opera and this led her to Poland.
Lebanese soprano, Nadine Nassar is actually based between Poland and Lebanon. Awarded the highest score for her concert diploma at the Frederic Chopin University of Music in Warsaw in 2011, Nadine excelled with her professor Ewa Izykowska. She was also trained at a younger age by Nonna Manoyan, as she completed her studies in ‘Theatre’ at the Université Saint Joseph in Beirut. She is now working with the soprano Zofia Witkowska of the Warsaw Chamber Opera.
Nadine has dynamic control of her voice that enables her to shift from weightless pianissimo to sudden swells of dramatic fortissimos. The rapid runs, trills, delicate turns, and elaborate ornamentation of her vocal melody are outstanding. Such skills shine along with her innate talent, intense passion and depth of emotions, allowing her to capture her audience, touch their hearts, and move them deeply. In 2016, Nadine was awarded, the Meritorious for Polish Culture Medal of Honor.
Nadine has sung in numerous venues, including: Alte Rathaus (Vienna), Dom Polonii, Wilanow Palace, St John Cathedral, Palace of Culture and Science (Warsaw), St Mary Basilica (Krakow), Tyn Cathedral (Prague), Grand Sérail, National Museum, Résidence des Pins, Saint Joseph’s Church, Saint Louis Cathedral (Beirut), Silk Museum (Bsous), St John’s Cathedral (Byblos), Al-Ain Festival (UAE), Theater Slobodkina (Moscow), Residence of the Lebanese Ambassador (Paris), the island of Ouessant (Brittany), Cathedral of Quimper (France).
She also excels at opera, including Arabic versions of Mozart’s Don Giovanni (Zerlina), Le Nozze di Figaro (Susanna), and Bastien und Bastienne (Bastienne). She sang the role of Adina in Donizetti’s l’Elisir d’Amore (original language). In addition she has a wide repertoire from the 19th century including operatic Arias and Lieder. The conductors and musicians with whom she has sung include: Jordi Mora, Manfred Müssauer, Zbigniew Graca, Jan Slek (chamber orchestra in Wroclaw), Walid Gholmieh, Wojciech Czepiel, Garo Avessian, Joanna Medawar-Nachef, Harout Fazlian (Lebanese Philharmonic Orchestra).
Nadine has also sung in Warsaw with Cantores Minores Choir, Atlanta Boys Choir, Wiktoria Harp Open (with 20 harpists), Concerto Avenna Quintet, Primo Incontro Kwartet and the flutist Jadwiga Kotnowska. Among her accompanists have been the pianists Seo Kyeong Yeong (Korea), Nico de Villiers (UK), Hanna Holeksa, the harpist Anna Sikorzak Olek (Poland) and from Lebanon, the pianist Henri Goraieb, the Quatuor del Tempo, and many more.
By the way Nadine loves working in the kitchen churning out great food and delicious jams and she has a huge passion for gardening.
On Nadine’s bucket list is two goals she would like to tick off – one being her desire to meet the grand soprano Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, originally from New Zealand and now residing in London. The other being her dream to perform at Sydney Opera House. I ask you Aussie Lebanese to keep your ears tuned to the future because if you happen to hear Nadine Nassar is performing in Australia you will be thrilled by her unique voice and theatrical presentation!
If you are in Lebanon this Summer; she has concerts on the 4th and 22nd June, July she will be in Poland and most of August in Europe.