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Aden - Yasmine El Tohamy - IN A TIME where performers are finding it difficult to return to the spotlight around the globe, the superb Dubai Opera 'From Home To Stage' competition proved a masterstroke. Not only did the July 29 final provide much needed live entertainment over the long weekend, the entire contest, which ran from April 5 to 18, afforded an outlet for #StayHome performers; giving them a dream shot at one of the world's foremost venues.
The From Home to Stage idea was launched across Dubai Opera's social channels as an initiative seeking to nurture artistic excellence. Contestants aged 12 years and above who could sing, play an instrument or perform stand-up comedy were encouraged to submit a 90-second video on their social media platforms showcasing their skills using the hashtag #FromHomeToStage.
Out of the 800 entries received twelve participants made it through to the final round at the Dubai Opera auditorium on Wednesday where they faced a panel of celebrity judges including singer, composer and producer Fayez Al Saeed; actress, producer and director Mayssa Maghrebi; TV presenter and media personality NourAldin AlYousuf; pianist and composer Guy Manoukian and classical pianist and curator of Music in the Studio series at Dubai Opera, Amira Fouad.
"It is incredibly important to engage with the community on an artistic level," Fouad told us. "Because of my work with the Music in the Studio series over the past three years, I have not been surprised by the level of talent displayed for this competition. Dubai has got talent!"
From the crop of hopefuls 12-year-old singer and pianist Emily Linge performing a rendition of ABBA's Thank You For The Music and opera singer Fatima Al Hashimi, wowing the audience with Habanera from Bizet's Carmen, took home the top prizes. Linge will be an opening act for one of Dubai Opera's significant performers in the upcoming season, and Al Hashimi will have the chance to hold her own one-hour event at the Dubai Opera Studio.
"I look for the most polished and professional performance displaying solid musical ability and technique, talent, natural stage presence and compelling musical choices," Fouad told us of the criteria winners had to fulfill. " I look for the performer that can engage and sustain our audiences."
Fouad said nerves when giving a solo performance of this magnitude were inevitable, but one element sets true professionals apart from the hobbyists.
"Practice, practice, practice. Music needs to be your passion to survive in the industry and it needs massive dedication and commitment. In our industry we often say it takes one per cent talent and 99 per cent hard work."
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