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Fanfare was a glorious celebration of the talents of both the multitalented and multilingual French School students and their director and teacher Sadaf Karim.
The principal actors slid effortlessly between French and English, modifying their accents along with the pace of their speech, during The Lycee Francais de Bahrain’s latest annual musical presentation at the Cultural Hall in Manama last Thursday evening.
All credit to them, especially George Haddad who played the slightly unworldly villain of the piece, Henri Colline and his muse Caroline Paroo, the librarian played by Karrele Honein.
Colline intends to con his victims from the small town of Coudes into starting a town band with all the trappings, costumes as well as instruments, of course, all bought from him. Things soon start to go wrong …not the least when he falls in love with Caroline Paroo.
On one level the storyline was (although beautifully acted) quite irrelevant. As a means of show casing the talents of the students and the love they have for music and their teacher Sadaf, the musical could have not have been beaten.
I was so impressed by the professionalism of everyone involved. When the music for the opening number was a verse ahead of the singers and the piano decided to go flat on one very important note, the choir shrugged it off with élan and Zyna Fawaz, the pianist, carried on as if nothing had happened. Such professionalism is rarely seen in school concerts.
The entire show was fun to watch and listen to, something that was lost on certain members of the audience, who shockingly talked their way through every minute when their ‘darlings’ were not performing.
They missed so much.
Standing out was the stunning solo by Grade 11 student Houssam Akhnouche and the two dance performances by Maria ElKhoury and Manuela Javitte. The girls not only performed magnificently but choreographed their pieces themselves.
The choir, emboldened perhaps by overcoming an opening number glitch, sang their hearts out with glee and there were several other memorable performances by singers and musicians alike.
Another high note was the fact that the event raised BD500 for Al Sanabel Orphanage in Busaiteen.
Much credit has to go to Sadaf who gives birth to a new show each year, nurturing it from conception to its explosion onto the stage and along the way almost single-handedly transforms the students in her care into entertainers. Well done. Sadaf and very well done Lycee Francais de Bahrain’s students.
– Christine Hasan