Broadway Records have announced the release of the world premiere concept recording of Rumi: The Musical by Dana Al Fardan and Nadim Naaman, about the 13th century philosopher and poet Rumi. The recording stars Tony Nominee Ramin Karimloo (Anastasia, Les Miserables, Love Never Dies) and Nadim Naaman (Phantom of the Opera, Broken Wings), heading a West End cast comprising entirely of performers of Middle Eastern, North African and South Asian heritage. The album is available on Friday, June 18th wherever digital music is sold and on BroadwayRecords.com.
Rumi: The Musical is the next musical from the writing team of Dana Al Fardan (one of the Middle East’s leading contemporary composers) and Nadim Naaman, and follows their 2018 West End debut Broken Wings, which premiered at the Theatre Royal Haymarket before touring the Middle East. A story about Rumi by Evren Sharma serves as the source material.
Rumi: The Musical stars Ramin Karimloo as “Shams Tabrizi” and Nadim Naaman as “Rumi”. The recording also features Casey Al-Shaqsy (Prince of Egypt) as “Kimya”, Soophia Foroughi (Prince of Egypt) as “Kara”, Sharif Afifi (Hadestown) as “Sultan Valed”, Ahmed Hamad (Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat) as “Aladdin”, Irvine Iqbal (Aladdin) as “Husam” and Alim Jayda (Aladdin) as “Sayyed”. Completing the company are Roshani Abbey, Amira Al Shanti, Eva-Theresa Chokarian, Maëva Feitelson, Sasha Ghoshal, James Hameed, Blythe Jandoo and Aliza Vakil. The recording also features The Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra.
Rumi: The Musical is orchestrated and arranged by Joe Davison (Broken Wings), with vocal arrangements by Nikki Davison (Broken Wings) and Middle Eastern musical supervision by Maias Alyamani (founder and leader of Arabic world music group MAqam Ensemble). RUMI: THE MUSICAL is produced, edited and mixed by Joe and Nikki Davison for Auburn Jam Music.
The legacy of Rumi has touched millions around the world and continues to make an impact in its universality and utilitarian nature; a legacy which has lasted eight centuries and has inspired all nationalities, ages, faiths and backgrounds. RUMI: THE MUSICAL tells the story of the transformative and powerful relationship between Rumi and his mentor Shams Tabrizi. From their first encounter, it is clear that Rumi and Shams were destined to converge for greatness; two highly contrasting but brilliant minds, both seeking a higher purpose. However, the impact of this extraordinary friendship on Rumi’s loyal wife, Kara, her daughter Kimya and his sons, Sultan Valed and Aladdin is clear, inviting resistance from Rumi’s faithful following with increasingly intense and dramatic consequences. What was the price, that the world might receive the gift of Rumi’s genius and spiritual legacy?
“Writing RUMI: THE MUSICAL has been the ultimate journey in unraveling components that are socially constructed from those that form our own personal truth and consciousness,” said composer Dana Al Fardan. “In light of our shared experience this year, with the world falling into disarray, it has been an incredibly powerful and uplifting experience to retreat to that place and discover the abundant creative force that it offers. I am confident that we have created a framework that will offer the audience the chance to tap into that place on some level.”
“Nearly three years after writing the first song, we are excited to share RUMI with the world.” said co-composer Nadim Naaman. “The journey has not been what we anticipated, but I am most proud that we have created and recorded this piece in spite of the adversity of Covid 19, working remotely across continents. The show’s integral themes of personal discovery, reflection and the pursuit of fulfilment have been lived and breathed worldwide due to the pandemic, and the messaging of this piece is perhaps even enhanced as a result. We thank our entire team and magnificent cast for their support, patience and enthusiasm along the way.”
Rumi: The Musical was recorded in London and Doha throughout the Covid-19 pandemic and highlights a score combining Middle Eastern authenticity with classical influences and contemporary musical theatre, with lyrics derived from Rumi’s poetry.