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Ashraf Sewailam

Bass-Baritone

The New York Times hailed Ashraf Sewailam’s début at Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall as a “stand out performance” and Opera News described his voice as “purring and velvety with an easily produced Ramfis-like top range with a majestic tone,” and his stage presence as “strong, mysterious and with mesmerizing intensity.” This season, Mr. Sewailam will play the role of King in Aïda at Opera Colorado, Mustafa in L’Italiana in Algeri at Portland Opera, and Capulet in Roméo et Juliette in an exciting new co-production at Opera Carolina, Virginia Opera, Toledo Opera, Opera Grand Rapids, Lyric Opera Baltimore. He will also be performing Brahms Requiem with Dubuque Symphony and Messiah with Cheyenne Symphony.

May
2015

May-09
to
Jun-07
La cenerentola
Alidoro
New Zealand Opera
Wellington, New Zealand
Nov
2015

Nov-07
to
Nov-15
Aïda
King
Opera Colorado
Denver, CO
Jan
2016

Jan-24
to
Jan-30
Roméo et Juliette
Capulet
Opera Carolina
Charlotte, NC
Feb
2016

Feb-05
to
Feb-09
Roméo et Juliette
Capulet
Virginia Opera
Norfolk, VA
Feb-13
to
Feb-14
Roméo et Juliette
Capulet
Virginia Opera
Fairfax, VA
Feb-19
to
Feb-20
Roméo et Juliette
Capulet
Virginia Opera
Richmond, VA
Mar
2016

Mar-05
to
Mar-06
Brahms Requiem
Bass-Baritone Soloist
Dubuque Symphony Orchestra
Dubuque, IA
Mar-19
Messiah
Bass Soloist
Cheyenne Symphony
Cheyenne, WY
Apr
2016

Apr-08
to
Apr-10
Roméo et Juliette
Capulet
Toledo Opera
Toledo, OH
Apr-29
to
Apr-30
Roméo et Juliette
Capulet
Opera Grand Rapids
Grand Rapids, MI
May
2016

May-13
to
May-15
Roméo et Juliette
Capulet
Lyric Opera Baltimore
Baltimore, MD
Jul
2016

Jul-22
to
Aug-06
L’Italiana in Algeri
Mustafa
Portland Opera
Portland, OR
Please click below to see full quote

…the standout was Ashraf Sewailam…
 L’incantesimo“The standout was the Egyptian bass-baritone Ashraf Sewailam as the wizard. Mr. Sewailam was equally persuasive as Uin-Sci, the wise doctor of “L’Oracolo.” -The New York Times 
…brings a rich bass-baritone…
 La Cenerentola – “Ashraf Sewailam brings a rich bass-baritone as the fixer Alidoro.” -The Australian 
…stood out as Alidoro…
 La Cenerentola – “…while the rich bass-baritone of Ashraf Sewailam stood out as Alidoro.” -Stage Whispers 
…striking in his consistency…
 Aida “Egyptian bass-baritone Ashraf Sewailam, appropriately cast here as the Egyptian King, has matured impressively since his SDO debut in Salome last season. Vocally imposing as the Third Tempter in last month’s Murder In The Cathedral, he was equally striking in his consistency throughout the challenging range of low to high notes in his current role. One hopes to see more of him in future productions.” -Opera Pulse
The New York Times hailed Ashraf Sewailam’s début at Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall as a “stand out performance” and Opera News described his voice as “purring and velvety with an easily produced Ramfis-like top range with a majestic tone,” and his stage presence as “strong, mysterious and with mesmerizing intensity.” This season, Mr. Sewailam will play the role of King in Aïda at Opera Colorado, Mustafa in L’Italiana in Algeri at Portland Opera, and Capulet in Roméo et Juliette in an exciting new co-production at Opera Carolina, Virginia Opera, Toledo Opera, Opera Grand Rapids, Lyric Opera Baltimore. He will also be performing Brahms Requiem with Dubuque Symphony and Messiah with Cheyenne Symphony.

Recently, in his début with New Zealand Opera as the assassin Sparafucile in Rigoletto, he was described as “hard to better, both vocally and dramatically.” Last summer, he also performed Alidoro in La Cenerentola with Queensland Opera in Australia. Ashraf made his United States début in 2004 with Opera Colorado performing the role of Leporello in Don Giovanni.  Quickly becoming a house favorite, he has subsequently performed there as Count Ceprano in Rigoletto, Bartolo in Le nozze di Figaro, Basilio in Il barbiere di Siviglia, and is slated to return in 2016. Other recent engagements include an appearance as Leporello in Don Giovanni at Seattle Opera and San Diego Opera; Alidoro in La Cenerentola at New Zealand Opera, Sarastro in Die Zauberflöte, The Narrator in Peter and the Wolf at The Boston Symphony, and a rousing performance as Beethoven/Commendatore in Pulitzer Prize–winning composer Steven Stucky’s opera The Classical Style at Carnegie Hall, a role he recently created at Ojai Music Festival.

Recent US performances have included a return to San Diego Opera for Ramfis in Aïda, Pizzetti’s Assassinio nella cattedrale, and Tom in Un ballo in maschera; Angelotti in Tosca with Lyric Opera Baltimore; Pooh-Bah in The Mikado with Opera Memphis; Escamillo in Carmen and Queeqweg in scenes from Moby Dick with Fargo-Moorhead Opera; Colline in La bohème, Pistola in Falstaff, and Mandarin in Turandot with Seattle Opera; Secret Police Agent in The Consul with Chautauqua Opera; Sparafucile in Rigoletto with Fresno Grand Opera; Ferrando in Il trovatore with Chautauqua Opera and Virginia Opera; Ramfis in Aïda and the Bonze in Madama Butterfly with Virginia Opera; Pirate King in The Pirates of Penzance with Lyric Opera San Diego; Colline in La bohème with The Chattanooga Symphony and Opera; and Dulcamara in Lelisir d’amore with Baton Rouge Opera.

Mr. Sewailam’s recent concert appearances include Orso Faledro in La nave, Uin-Sci in Leoni’s L’oracolo, and Salomone in Montemezzi’s L’incantesimo at Avery Fisher Hall; his Carnegie Hall début as the Bass soloist in Rutter’s Mass of the Children; Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 with The Colorado Mahlerfest; and the bass soloist in Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the Phoenix Symphony. He also appeared numerous times with The Colorado Symphony, Boulder Bach Festival, and the Colorado Music Festival. His concert repertoire includes Bach’s Saint John’s PassionMagnificat, Christmas Oratorio, and Lutheran Masses in F and A; Händel’s Messiah, Haydn’s The Creation and Lord Nelson’s Mass; Mozart’s Requiem and Vespers, and the Verdi Requiem. Mr. Sewailam also has a commercial recording on the Bridge label in which he performs Songs from the Hebrew by Stefan Wolpe.

Mr. Sewailam began his career as a Cairo Opera Company house soloist, where he performed many roles including Dulcamara in L’elisir d’amore, Gaudenzio in Il signor Bruschino, Ramfis in Aïda, Palémon in Thaïs, and Sparafucile in Rigoletto. Mr. Sewailam was named a prize winner at the New Voices (Neue Stimmen) international competition in Gütersloh, Germany and was featured in the opening concert of the New Alexandria Library in 2002 singing Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony in Arabic. In addition to his singing engagements, Mr. Sewailam taught at the American University in Cairo, and served as music director for Disney Character Voice International (DCVI) dubbing Disney productions into Arabic, and performed several of the characters. He earned a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Vocal Performance and Pedagogy from the University of Colorado at Boulder.

 

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