Hands of a conductor
Choir Stories

In dialogue with Omid Noori

The pioneer of opera singing in Afghanistan

Omid Noori is the conductor of the choir Noor-e omid, one of the participating choirs of the World Choir Games 2016 in Sochi, Russia. When he was 17 years old he started to take classical singing classes with Alireza Farifte, one of Iran’s greatest tutors. Withal he also took classes under the supervision of Mrs. Lada Georgieva - one of the well-known figures of the closeby country of Kyrgyzstan - for the past two years. Along with opera singing, he gained experience with conducting and playing piano as well. Today Omid Noori is well known through his success as first opera singer in Afghanistan and as pioneer of opera singing in his country.

Music and art in Afghanistan

The choral scene in Afghanistan is still in the beginning of the development. Omid Noori explains: "Not only choral music, but music in general has no favorable condition in Afghanistan. It's a taboo for most Afghan families to learn music, especially for women and girls. What status can you imagine for music in a society in which some religious extremists believe it to be a sin to listen to music?"

2005 Omid Noori founded the choir Noor-e omid, which presents choral pieces polyphonic for the first time in the history of Afghanistan, as is common in established choral scenes. Previous active choirs were actually singing all in unison. Omid Noori wants to change this and to establish the classical or 'academic' music in Afghanistan. With the founding of the choir he successfully laid the foundations of choral music in his country. "This is the first appearance of such choir and I'm looking forward to the future of Afghanistan music despite all the difficulties" says Omid Noori.

"We meant to show the value and power of art by making that stop motion animation, not to mention that it was the first Afghan stop-motion animation of the kind. The art is needed so that we wouldn't perish by the current reality. We’re hopeful to see the earth all in peace.”

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