Jordanian Soprano Zeina Barhoum and Somerset Artist Peter Lawrence Launch Alcantara...Beyond the Wells

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Bridging Cultures with Music and Art

Jordanian Soprano Zeina Barhoum and Somerset Artist Peter Lawrence Launch Alcantara...Beyond the Wells

Under the patronage of HRH Princess Muna Al Hussein, Jordanian soprano Zeina Barhoum and Somerset artist Peter Lawrence launch their new project Alcantara....Beyond the Wells. The project includes an art exhibition of paintings by Barhoum and Lawrence that will be running from October 28, 2017 to January 31, 2018 at the Bishop's Palace in Wells, UK. Alcantara is Arabic for "bridge" and this is the theme of artist Barhoum.

A book of paintings with prose and poetry by writers from Somerset and the Levant region will be launched with the exhibition on October 28. All royalties and all proceeds from the book will be donated to refugee charities in UK and Jordan. HRH Princess Muna and the Dean of Wells Cathedral Dr. John Davies have contributed Forewords to the book. The art and writings in the book celebrate the long standing bridge between the UK and Jordan and encourage a greater understanding of this history of involvement in considering the responsibilities for conflicts of today, along with celebrating nature and many of the splendid landscapes and buildings from Wells, Bath and Glastonbury in Somerset, via Italy and Greece to the Levant including Jerusalem, Amman and Petra.

A vernissage will be held at the Bishop's Palace on October 28, from 11.00 AM to 15.00 PM, to give people the opportunity to view the exhibition, meet the artists and some of the writers, discuss aspects of the project and the charities supported. Signed copies of the book will be available along with musical CDs by Zeina. On the evening of October 24, from 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM, a private view and book launch will take place during which Zeina will sing and Tim will play on piano.

The exhibition will lead to a concert in Wells Cathedral on March 16, 2018 by Zeina with an assembled choirs from Somerset schools and adult choirs, orchestra and soloists all assembled by Somerset musician, Tim Angel. The music will be a blend of Western and Arabic music and styles with Gabriel Faure's Requiem as the largest piece but including some first performances of new compositions and arrangements. The exhibition will feature landscapes and impressions of Wells, Somerset, Europe and the Arab world. Zeina is going to visit some of the schools participating in the Wells concert in March.
On November 3, Zeina will give a performance at a venue in Somerset organized by a group known as "Ebenezer Presents" to an audience of more than 150 people.

Zeina gave a concert in Pilton Parish Church last April to a capacity audience and thrilled them with her singing. £1500 was raised for a UK charity that uses music and drama as therapy and vocational training for refugees in Jordan. The money has been used on a project working towards a concert in November with refugee children and Zeina singing together in "If music be the food of Love".

Most recently, Barhoum joined the World Food Programme in organizing a Healthy Not Hungry Dinner, in cooperation with the United Nations, on Saturday, October 14 at the Opera House in Jordan. This event coincided with the World Food Day, in an effort to increase public awareness of the suffering caused by hunger and to combat starvation around the world. Any proceeds resulting from the event will be donated to Syrian refugee children.

Last July, Zeina launched the Amman Opera Festival, the first opera festival in the Arab world, to plant the seeds towards growing the opera culture in Jordan and the Arab world, and perhaps inspire the building of a purpose-built Opera House in Jordan's Capital, Amman, joining the company of other Arab states such as Oman and the UAE.

Zeina Barhoum is a classically trained Soprano and founder of The Alcántara music and art series. Zeina
has performed at benefits countless times for the benefit of women, children, peace and prosperity. Among her many invitations to perform, Barhoum was invited to perform at the Kensington Palace in celebration of Women achievers, and for bridging cultures through the Arab International Women's Forum.

Her album Alcántara refers to the Roman stone arch bridge built in Extremadura, Spain. The title of the song reflects Zeina's dedication to building strong connections of understanding and compassion through her music. Her second Song, Alcantara II was recently recorded live and launched in a concert accompanied by the Philharmonic Orchestra of Lviv and Choir lead by Conductor Lorenzo Tazzieri. Zeina obtained a BSC in Visual Communication at the American University of Sharjah.