"...she is all crystalline tone and spine-tingling high notes."
Tim Ashley, The Guardian
Tim Ashley, The Guardian
Winner of the Susan Chilcott Award 2016, Lancashire-born soprano Soraya Mafi studied at the Royal Northern College of Music with Sandra Dugdale (supported by Selfridges) and Royal College of Music with Janis Kelly, (supported by the Help Musicians UK Sybil Tutton Award and The Countess of Munster). Soraya continues her studies with renowned soprano Janis Kelly and coach David Harper. Soraya’s many awards and prizes include the Royal Overseas League 2015, the Maggie Teyte Prize 2014, an Independent Opera Award and 2nd Prize in the 2015 Kathleen Ferrier Awards. Soraya is a Harewood Young Artist of the English National Opera supported by The Bruce Tollis Fellowship.
This season sees Soraya début at Garsington Opera, singing her first Nanetta in Falstaff under Richard Fairns, her début as Cleopatra for English Touring Opera and a return to a English National Opera for her role début as Tytania in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. She also appears on recordings with Classical Opera as Fortuna in Mozart’s Il Sogno Di Scipione, with The BBC Concert Orchestra as Teresa in Gilbert’s The Mountebanks and with Malcolm Martineau as part of the recital disc series ‘Decades’.
Future seasons see her return to English National Opera and Grange Park Opera and make débuts with Seattle Opera and Opéra National du Rhin.
During her time at RCM, Soraya performed the roles of Virtu in James Conway's production of L'incoronazione di Poppea, Le Feu and Le Rossignol in James Bonas' production of L'Enfant et les Sortileges and the title role in Arianna in Creta for The London Handel Festival conducted by Laurence Cummings. Soraya created the role of Cheryl in Iain Burnside's new music theatre piece Journeying Boys and made her début appearances for the Grange Park Opera, as Constance in Dialogues des Carmélites, and Théâtre du Châtelet, Paris, as Aminta in Il Re Pastore.
Concert highlights include Les Illuminations and Messiah at The Royal Festival Hall, Karl Jenkins’ The Armed Man with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales and Mozart’s Goose of Cairo with the London Mozart Players conducted by David Parry; and in recital for the Buxton Festival, the Royal Opera House Crush Room and with Graham Johnson at the Middle Temple Hall.
In 2015/16 season, Soraya made her debut for the Welsh National Opera as Johanna in Sweeney Todd and returned to the English National Opera for The Magic Flute and Jenufa. She will also make her role début as Despina for West Green House Opera.
In 2016/17 Soraya performed with The Scottish Chamber Orchestra under Peter Dijsktra, a tour of Viennese Concerts with The Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and performances throughout France with Jean-Christophe Spinosi and his orchestra Ensemble Mattheus. She will made her role débuts as Mabel in Mike Leigh's production of The Pirates of Penzance for ENO, as Suor Genoveva in Michael Barker-Caven's production of 'Suor Angelica' for Opera North and her American début in L'enfant et les Sortilèges with The Seattle Symphony Orchestra.