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OMAR EBRAHIM (Joseph Pitt / Ghost 2 / Angel Europe) became a chorister at the newly built Coventry Cathedral in 1964, and his subsequent exposure to a vibrant cultural life led him to study singing at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. He served his performing apprenticeship at the Royal Shakespeare Company and in the Glyndebourne chorus, performing the role of Schaunard in La bohème for Glyndebourne Touring Opera.
He has been involved with many contemporary opera and concert performances, including Nigel Osborne’s The Electrification of the Soviet Union, Tippett’s New Year, and Birtwistle’s The Second Mrs. Kong for Glyndebourne Festival Opera; Berio’s Un re in ascolto and Birtwistle’s Gawain for the Royal Opera House; Hans Jürgen von Bose’s 63 Dream Palace and Peter Lieberson’s King Gesar for the Munich Biennale and Tanglewood; Stephen Oliver’s Beauty and the Beast for City of Birmingham Touring Opera; Nigel Osborne’s Terrible Mouth and Jonathan Dove’s Siren Song for Almeida Opera; and Punch and Judy for Basel Opera. For Opera Factory he has appeared in roles ranging from Punch to Don Giovanni.
He sang in the highly acclaimed performance of Birtwistle’s The Mask of Orpheus at the South Bank Centre’s Birtwistle Festival. He has also sung concert performances of Philip Glass’ Satyagraha at SBC London and the title role in Laman’s Agamemnon at the Holland Festival. He sang in John Casken’s God’s Liar for Almeida Opera and La Monnaie, the premiere of Peter Eötvös’ Angels in America at the Châtelet Théâtre, and Jonathan Lunn’s Tangier Tattoo for Glyndebourne Touring Opera.
Other roles have included Schaunard in La bohème and Tobias in Sweeney Todd for New Israeli Opera and the lead role in Marschner’s The Vampyr for BBC Television. He has performed The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny, Iolanthe, and Die Fledermaus for Scottish Opera, and the title role in Richard Jones’ acclaimed production of Verdi’s Macbeth for Opera Go Round. For Opera Theatre Company Dublin he sang in Carmen and Der Kaiser von Atlantis.
Closely associated with Gyorgy Ligeti’s Aventures, nouvelles aventures, he has performed the piece to critical acclaim with ensembles worldwide, including Pierre Boulez and the Ensemble Intercontemporain and Esa-Pekka Salonen and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, also recording the work with Salonen and the Philharmonia for Sony. More recently he has performed Aventures at the BBC Proms and at Lincoln Center, New York.
Other ensembles that Omar Ebrahim has worked with include Ensemble Modern, London Sinfonietta, Northern Sinfonia, musikFabrik, Bochum Symphoniker, Stavanger Symphony, Netherlands Vara Radio Orchestra, and Ensemble Umze at the Huddersfield Festival. As an actor he has performed Schoenberg’s Ode to Napoleon at the Salzburg Festival, and Strauss’ melodrama on Tennyson’s Enoch Arden for IRCAM in Paris, as well as A Survivor from Warsaw (Schoenberg) and The Raft of the Medusa (Henze) with the BBC Symphony Orchestra. He also played Archie Cannibal in Chips with Everything at Leeds Playhouse.
Recent successes include performances of Enno Poppe’s new commission IQ – Eine Testbatterie at the Schwetzingen Festival, as well as the premieres of The Navigator by Liza Lim with Elision Ensemble in Brisbane, Melbourne, Amsterdam, and Moscow; Kris Defoort’s The House of the Sleeping Beauties in Brussels, Paris and Amsterdam; Skellig by Todd Machover at The Sage Gateshead; and Enno Poppe’s Arbeit Nahrung Wohnung at the Munich Biennale, Vienna, Stuttgart, Venice, Madrid, and Berlin. Recent concerts include Tongue of the Invisible by Liza Lim with musikFabrik and Angels in America at the Barbican Centre. He also sang Philip Glass’ In the Penal Colony at the Linbury Theatre Covent Garden, subsequently recorded for CD release.
Current plans include Edward Rushton’s Babur In London followed by Péter Eötvös’ Angels in America with the Los Angeles Philharmonic.