July 25, 2021

four singers with shared Sahara

Back home, in the Cévennes, in the midst of silence and birdsong, Friday May 28, singer and guitarist Piers Faccini relishes the satisfaction of having fulfilled his mission. He returned from five days spent in Lyon for a work residency in order to prepare and adjust Saharan, a musical creation that will be presented on June 3 at the Opéra de Lyon, then in Lille, Paris and Orléans. As part of the Africa 2020 season (initially scheduled from June to December 2020), co-produced by the Opéra de Lyon and the concert and management agency Dérapage Prod, this original and promising project brings together four highly talented singers, each leading its own own career: Noura Mint Seymali, one of the most famous voices of Mauritania, came especially from Nouakchott with her husband, the guitarist and lute player Tidinît Jeiche Ould Chighaly, Souad Asla, from the region of Bechar, in the South Algerian, based in France, Sahrawi singer Dighya Moh Salem, born in Dakhla, Western Sahara, also based in France, and Moroccan artist Malika Zarra, who leads her career between Europe, Morocco and the United States .

Read the portrait: It looks like the South in the song of Piers Faccini

At the beginning of Saharan, an idea with the appearance of challenge: to build a meeting between artists coming from countries of the Sahara. An almost utopian project when we know the conflicting relations of some of these countries and territories of this region with each other … « The repertoire of this creation comes from the compositions of each of the singers and traditional songs evoking the feast, the wedding, the stories of grandmothers, but also trials or sorrows, explains Greg Connan, of Dérapage Prod. It is a journey and a sharing whose meaning is first of all to tell the common cultural heritages or cousins ​​of women artists from the Sahara. “ The question of Western Sahara – whose statute has opposed Morocco for decades to the separatists of the Polisario and to Algeria – is not addressed: « It is a hymn to savoir-vivre-ensemble. »

“A real challenge”

An idea that makes sense for Piers Faccini, recently called upon to ensure the artistic direction of this musical creation. The man whose job is first of all to write songs approached this new mission with real enthusiasm: « Considering the current situation so tense, politically, to put together on stage a Mauritanian, an Algerian, a Moroccan and a Sahrawi, what a beautiful step! These singers show that peace is possible beyond border conflicts, simply by uniting the strength of their voices. I took great pleasure in humbly guiding these four talented artists and the musicians who accompany them, in the narration of this show, the choice and the color of the arrangements. It was a challenge for me to find the right balance, to invent bridges between their respective repertoires. ”

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