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Article Published: 28 Mar 2023

Musical Frontiers

The Iraqi American composer Amir ElSaffar is accustomed to crossing genres, working in idioms ranging from Western classical music and jazz to the music of the Middle East. But until recently, he hadn’t broached one particular musical frontier: opera. “For years, I have been dreaming of composing an opera in Arabic based on the Maqam music of Iraq, and of presenting the poetry, themes, and musical language of a culture that has received little representation in the opera world,” says ElSaffar.

This article was published in the Spring 2023 issue of Opera America Magazine.

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