Where do I begin to tell the story of this young and enlightened Lebanese Soprano Tania Kassis, who started her singing career at the age of sixteen? This was her first classical concert. Two years later, she represented Lebanon at the Fourth Francophone Games held in Ottawa-Hull, Canada. This eighteen years old “siren from the land of the Cedars who captured her public”, as quoted in a major Canadian newspaper, was granted the Medal of the Town of Ottawa Hull and the Lebanese Achievement Medal. At the age of twenty-one she travels to Paris and enters the Conservatory to pursue a degree in opera singing. She swiftly joins the Choir of the Paris Orchestra as a member and soloist. At the age of twenty-five, Tania begins an impressive international career where her performances took her to New York, Paris and several countries of Latin America. In France, she performed with the famous singer Francis Lalanne at the UNESCO Palace in Paris on the occasion of the 125th anniversary of Gibran Khalil Gibran.
Briefly, this was her first quarter of century. From sweet-sixteen to maturity. The rest of the story is Tania’s decision to move back to the land that nurtured her. While away, she always carried Lebanon in her heart and conceived it in her own way. Tania’s Lebanon is a land of dialogue, a land where East and West meet. She is now returning with the launching of this new album, a reflection of her believes in traditions, culture and togetherness.
Symbol of love and beauty, she silently worked her way into the hearts of thousands of fans, with just one single song: the Islamo-Christian AVE, her own conception and arrangement. It was in September 2009 on the occasion of the opening of the VIth Francophone Games in Beirut. There, she appeared on a spectacular scene, dressed in blue, between two muezzins. Her sublime voice singing the Ave Maria accompanied by the Allah Akbar resonated in the infinite firmament of the Lebanese sky. A moment of truth for all present. I was uplifted by her prophetic message of peace and love. An unforgettable moving moment, the kind that fills your heart and soul with a divine grace.
She prepared this album with the Lebanese diaspora in mind and nothing stopped her from diving into a wide repertoire of Lebanese and international songs. The disproportionate balance between her young age and incredible talent stunned me. During one of her recording sessions her sound engineer Eddy Jazra best described her as “a truly devoted artist with a remarkable voice and a depth that can only be identified with her style signature. Unlike others, she was very involved in the whole process." Tania’s versatility and style have traveled beyond the earthy boundaries of mankind. It transcended the language of wars and division.
Welcome to the new world of solidarity, unity, harmony, reconciliation and going back to roots. But most of all, welcome to the universal language of the heart.
Lina S. Moukheiber