B i o g r a p h y
Hailed by the Boston Musical Intelligencer as "shining through with a strength and power that matched her character’s presence onstage", Palestinian- American soprano Amal El-Shrafi is quickly gaining traction as a versatile performer in both concert work and opera.
This fall, Ms. El-Shrafi will return to the high seas for a second season on the Regal Princess, starring as the opera diva in the acclaimed show "Bravo" on Princess Cruise Lines.
Recent work includes a return to Mobile Opera as Fiordiligi in Così fan tutte, several concerts as a soprano soloist with the Refugee Orchestra Project under the baton of Lidiya Yankovskaya, her Carnegie Hall debut with the American Symphony Orcherstra in Luigi Nono's Intolerance, an engagement with Beth Morrison Projects at National Sawdust NYC showcasing the work of up and coming operatic composers and the role of Antonia in Les Contes D'Hoffmann with Opera North. She also made her New York Philharmonic debut at Lincoln Center performing the work of refugee and immigrant composers.
In the 2016-17 season, Amal returned to the Opera Company of Middlebury as the First Lady in The Magic Flute. She made her NYC mainstage debut as Rosalinda in Die Fledermaus with Amore Opera and was the Soprano Soloist in Beethoven's 9th Symphony with the Portsmouth Symphony Orchestra. She was also a national finalist in the New York Lyric Opera Competition at Carnegie Hall and sang the role of the Greek Chorus in Phillip Haggeman's telling of the Biblical story of Ruth with the Brooklyn Metro Chamber Orchestra.
In the 2015-16 season, Ms. El-Shrafi made her principal artist debut as Nedda in I Pagliacci with Mobile Opera, sang as an Apprentice Artist with Sarasota Opera in their completion of the Verdi Cycle and returned to the Opera Company of Middlebury as an Apparition in Verdi's Macbeth. She also placed as an international semi-finalist in the prestigious Deborah Voigt/ Vero Beach Opera Vocal Competition.
A graduate of the New England Conservatory of Music, she received her Masters of Music degree under the tutelage of baritone Michael Meraw. While there, she performed the roles of Miss Jessel (The Turn of the Screw), Moppet the Cat (Paul Bunyan), Susannah (Susannah), and Outreach Opera performances of Lauretta (Dr. Miracle) and Amy (Diver City) with the Community Partnerships Program.
In 2015, Amal placed in the top 5 and was awarded The Emergent Artist grant through Connecticut Concert Opera's American Opera Idol Competition. She was also named a Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions New England Regional Finalist, as well as in 2013, and a 2014 finalist for the Bay View Music Festival Aria Competition. She placed as a finalist for the “Looking for Lauretta” contest with Connecticut Concert Opera and in 2013, received Third Place in the Peter Elvins Voice Competition, as well as placing as a national semi-finalist in the Classical Singer Competition. Additionally, Amal received First Place in the International Performing Arts Institute Opera Superstar Competition in Germany in July 2013. While in Germany, Amal studied the roles of Mimi and Arabella.
A native of Randolph, Massachusetts, she received a B.M. in Music Education and a B.A. in Vocal Performance from the University of New Hampshire, studying voice under Dr. Jenni Cook. There, she sang The Queen of the Night (Die Zauberflöte), Dido (Dido and Aeneas), and Cunégonde (Candide). Amal was an integral part of the arts community in the seacoast area of New Hampshire, revisiting the title role in Dido and Aeneas with Portsmouth Pro Musica’s first operatic endeavor. Shortly after, she made her Symphony Hall debut with the Boston Symphony Orchestra singing the part of Ancilla in the St. John Passion in April 2011 under Maestro Masaaki Suzuki.
Other operatic roles include the Female Chorus in Opera Brittenica’s production of Britten’s Rape of Lucretia and Fiordiligi in Mozart’s Cosi fan Tutte with the Bay View Music Festival in Michigan. Amal was also a Young Artist at the Opera Company of Middlebury, performing as a Handmaiden in Puccini’s Turandot. In Boston, Amal sang with Boston Opera Collaborative, Longwood Opera, Opera on Tap, and has been a soloist with the Choral Arts Society of the South Shore, The Hanover Chorus, East Congregational Church in Milton and First Church Congregational in Malden.
Aside from performing, Amal works as an accompanist and runs an active voice and piano studio. If interested in taking lessons, please email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
"Three very different sopranos took on the three illusive lovers...Amal El-Shrafi was truly operatic, as well was warmly romantic as the doomed Antonia."
-Jim Lowe, Rutland Herald (Tales of Hoffmann)
"This is her first time singing this role," said Wright. "I'm just bowled over by how she takes the character and feeds it back out to the audience. I think she's going to be a genuine star."
Lawrence Specker, Alabama.com (Pagliacci)
"In the chorus roles, tenor Jonathan Price and soprano Amal El-Shrafi each sang with clear diction and a resonance that filled the intimate theater."
Anthony Keebaugh, Boston Classical Review
(Rape of Lucretia)
"Anna Bridgman, Amal El-Shrafi and Blake Jennings are gorgeously eerie as the heart and soul of the coven of witches that sets the drama in action."
Nancy Maxwell, Addison Independent (Macbeth)
"The Greek Chorus consisted of Jessica Doolan, Amal-El-Shrafi and Victoria Rodriguez. They made for a tantalizing trio of future Rhine maidens."
Nino Pantano, Brooklyn Discovery (Ruth)