British-Pakistani singer Saira Peter releases world’s first Sufi opera album on Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai

MAMOSA Report – Renowned London-based Pakistan-origin Opera Singer Saira Peter has become the first Pakistani who has released the World’s First Sufi Opera Album in Islamabad Saturday.

A day earlier, Pakistan National Council of the Arts (PNCA) organized Sham-e-Mausiqui (Musical evening) with Saira Peter at its auditorium in the capital. A a large number of people from different walks of life attended the show.

Saira is the first Pakistani singer who recorded her album of Sufi poetry in Opera — the music and style invented in Italy.

“My vision is to translate Sufi poetry for Western music so they can understand Pakistani people and their desire for peace,” she told The Express Tribune.

In an exclusive talk with APP, Saira said the Album featuring the poetry of Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai was translated by Shah Latif Foundation Bhit Shah, Pakistan. The music of the Album was composed by Paul Knight.

Saira has done her Masters in chemistry and history. “It’s a mystery, right?” she quipped quoted ET, adding that she went for history to understand when and where what went wrong. “I wanted to see how different communities and nationalities worked together in harmony. So it’s interesting when you go back to your history and see what went wrong and why there’s so much hatred.”

She said the poetry was provided by the Custodian of Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai, Syed Waqar Hussain Shah Sahib.

The album includes nine songs: Sometimes, People ask for riches, To the Banks, Listen to what Latif Says, Resplendent, Gracious One, Those who love the Lord, You are my friend and listen to what Latif says.

Saira expressed the hope that the people of Pakistan would like her Album, adding her new album was in progress named ‘Saira’.

She said she was also planning her next show in Karachi. Peter said she was inspired by Madam Noor Jahan also.

She got training of opera music from Paul Knight, who was the pupil of famous music teacher Bungimen British.

She said she had planned to promote the message of peace, love and brotherhood through the poetry of Sufis among people.

Saira said those who listened to the Sufi poetry in opera highly appreciated it. She said after Bhitai’s poetry, she would make albums of the poetry of other Sufi poets of Pakistan specially Baba Bulleh Shah.

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