Friday, November 18, 2011

Omar Ebrahim Nude and Nude Again

Omar Ebrahim in Der Vampyr

We recently received an email asking us if we'd ever heard of the English baritone Omar Ebrahim, who were told was one of the first male opera singers to appear nude on stage.  Amazingly, he was completely unfamiliar to us, despite an impressive discography and successful career in opera. You can see the uncensored version of the picture HERE. Of course now he's very familiar to us.

 WARNING: NSFW below this point

Ebrahim was a regular with a small, innovative company in London called the Opera Factory in the late 80's and early 90's. According to our source, they often featured nudity in their productions.    Many of their performances were recorded and broadcast in the UK on Channel 4, but they have not yet been released on DVD.  Ebrahim also starred in a TV adaptation of Marschner's "The Vampyr" in 1992, in which he pioneered the nude baritone shower scene.  

With Opera Factory he also performed a version of Ligeti's Aventures, in which Ebrahim and two sopranos all appeared nude. Ligeti said of the piece, "Something happens, but I do not know what it is, and you do not know what it is."

Omar Ebrahim in Ligeti's Aventures
These screenshots are from Ligeti's "Nouvelles Aventures," which you can watch below.

Ebrahim studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and at the Royal Shakespeare Company, before joining the Glyndebourne Touring Opera in 1980. Although he developed a reputation for performing contemporary operas, he was a noted Don Giovanni, and performed in Gilbert & Sullivan's Iolante, Bizet's Carmen and Puccini's La boheme. Ebrahim currently teaches, but has sung opera premiere’s by Kris Defoort for La Monnaie Brussels, Liza Lim for Elision Ensemble and Eotvos at the Chatelet Theatre Paris. He has also sung with New Israeli Opera, Scottish Opera and Opera Theatre Company Dublin.

Ebrahim is on recordings of Philip Glass' "The Penal Colony," the vocal work of György Ligeti, Michael Tippett's "Omar and the Angel," Michael Nyman's "Facing Goya," "Morton Feldman and Samuel Beckett - Words and Music," Enno Poppe's "Interzone," Chris Dench's "An Hypallage" Simon Holt's "Raju Raghuvanshi is a Ghost" and Harrison Birtwistle's "Gawain," in which fellow barihunk François Le Roux appeared nude. He also appears in the video of Michael Tippett's "King Priam," which is available on VHS, but not DVD.

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