In October 2017, the audience at Ramallah’s celebration of the 17th World Day of the Italian Language was treated to a special performance by opera singer Dima Bawab accompanied by pianist Mourad Layouss. They performed six songs from film music that included songs from Italian film music and operatic arias by Leoncavallo, Puccini, and Handel. Her impersonation of both Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers in “Dancing Cheek to Cheek” enchanted, as she dashed and danced across stage and ended her song on the piano bench next to Layouss, literally cheek to cheek. Giving distinct character to the various personalities of her songs and arias, she showed her splendid talent for acting, convincingly portraying the sorrow of Canio in Pagliacci or Lauretta’s pleading in “O mio babbino caro.”
Dima was born to Palestinian parents and grew up in Amman, Jordan, where she began her involvement with music at age four, studying piano and dance. She discovered her life’s passion when, at age 15, she was assigned the role of Anita in her high school’s performance of West Side Story. From that time on, she knew that she wanted to embark on a career of singing. And so her musical journey took a new turn. In 2007, Dima graduated from the Conservatoire national supérieur de musique et de danse in Paris, obtaining her degree “with distinction.” Since then, she has performed all over the world in a variety of repertoires.
In 2010 she made her début at the Opéra-Comique in Paris in the role of Yniold in Pelléas et Mélisande, conducted by Sir John Eliot Gardiner and directed by Stéphane Braunschweig. Dima sang both Pamina and Papagena in Peter Brook’s Molière-Award-winning production of Die Zauberflöte that toured venues around the world, such as the Lincoln Center Festival in New York and Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord in Paris, and she has performed in Sao Paolo (Brazil) Buenos Aires (Argentina), Perth (Australia), Tokyo (Japan), Seoul (South Korea), Taipei (Taiwan), Moscow and Saint Petersburg (Russia), and many European cities.
In June 2017, Dima won the ARMEL Opera Competition in Budapest. Last September, she performed as guest Jordanian soprano with the world’s most beloved tenor, Andrea Bocelli, in the beautiful Roman Theater at Jerash.
A coloratura soprano, Dima has performed numerous operatic roles, frequently in Mozart operas. She has given recitals on prestigious occasions at renowned locations and as a concert soloist was joined by many acclaimed orchestras, among them the Australian Chamber Orchestra, the English National Orchestra, and the award-winning Aurora Orchestra. She has toured Italy with the Palestine Youth Orchestra (2012). A former member of the Monteverdi Choir, she sang on its 50th Anniversary Celebratory Tour, performing at King’s College in Cambridge, Palau de la Música in Barcelona, and in Versailles.
Her upcoming roles include L’Amour in Gluck’s Orphée et Eurydice at the Grand Théâtre d’Avignon, Amore in Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice in Umeå (Sweden), and her début in the role of Sophie in Massenet’s Werther at the Opéra national de Lorraine.