Soraya Mafi

Introduction

Soraya Mafi graduated from the Royal College of Music. A Harewood Artist at English National Opera, she is the winner of the 2014 Maggie Teyte Prize and 2016 Susan Chilcott Award, and won 2nd Prize at the 2015 Kathleen Ferrier Awards.

Recent opera performances include Aminta 'Il re pastore' at the Chatelet Theatre Paris, Johanna 'Sweeney Todd' for Welsh National Opera, Constance 'Dialogues des Carmélites' and First Niece 'Peter Grimes' for Grange Park Opera, and Despina 'Così fan tutte' for West Green House Opera. In concert she has appeared with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, the London Mozart Players and at the Buxton Festival.

Soraya’s forthcoming engagements include Mabel in Mike Leigh’s 'Pirates of Penzance' at ENO, her debut with Opera North as Suor Genoveva 'Suor Angelica', concerts with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra (Peter Dijsktra) and Ensemble Matheus (Jean-Chrisophe Spinosi), and a recital with Graham Johnson at Middle Temple Hall.

This is for information only. Please contact Jonathan Turnbull for the most recent biography.

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News & Features

Repertoire

Opera

BRITTEN
Peter Grimes (First Niece)

BERNSTEIN
West Side Story (Maria)

HANDEL
Arianna in Creta (Arianna)

JANACEK
The Cunning Little Vixen (Franzl)

MOZART
Il re pastore (Aminta)

HAMMERSTEIN
Carousel (Julie Jordan)

MONTEVERDI
L'incoronazione di Poppea (Virtu)

POULENC
Dialogues des Carmélites  (Constance)

PURCELL
Dido and Aeneas (Belinda)

RAVEL
L'Enfant et les Sortileges (Le Feu & Le Rossignol)

J. STRAUSS
Die Fledermaus (Adele)

SONDHEIM
Sweeney Todd (Johanna)

SULLIVAN
The Mikado (Yum-yum and Peep-Bo)
The Pirates of Penzanze (Mabel)

Opera Scenes

BRITTEN
Paul Bunyan (Tiny)

DONIZETTI
L'Elisir d'amore (Adina)
Linda di Chammounix (Linda)

HANDEL
Alcina (Morgana)
Orlando (Dorinda)

MASSENET
Werther (Sophie)

MOZART
Le nozze di Figaro (Susanna)
Cosi fan tutte (Despina)
Die Zauberflöte (Pamina)

OFFENBACH
Orpheus in the Underworld (Eurydice)

STRAUSS
Arabella (Zdenka)

Concert Repertoire

BACH
St Matthew Passion
St John Passion
Cantata No.51: Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen
B Minor Mass

CPE BACH
Magnificat

FAURÉ
Requiem

HANDEL
Messiah
Israel in Egypt
Dixit Dominus
Judas Maccabeus 

HAYDN
Creation

M HAYDN
Requiem

JENKINS 
The Peacemakers
The Armed Man

MENDELSSOHN
Hear My Prayer

MOZART
Missa Brevis in G minor
Exsultate Jubilate
Requiem

ORFF
Carmina Burana

VIVALDI
Gloria

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Media Player

Video

  • MOZART
    Il re pastore

Audio

Schedule

London Coliseum, LONDON

SULLIVAN 'The Pirates of Penzance'

Conductor: Gareth Jones
Production: Mike Leigh
Revival Director: Sarah Tipple

Major-General Stanley: Andrew Shore
The Pirate King: Ashley Riches
FREDERIC: DAVID WEBB
Samuel: Johnny Herford
Sergeant of Police: John Tomlinson
MABEL: SORAYA MAFI
Edith: Katie Coventry
Kate: Angharad Lyddon
Ruth: Lucy Schaufer

English National Opera Chorus and Orchestra

London Coliseum, LONDON

SULLIVAN 'The Pirates of Penzance'

Conductor: Gareth Jones
Production: Mike Leigh
Revival Director: Sarah Tipple

Major-General Stanley: Andrew Shore
The Pirate King: Ashley Riches
FREDERIC: DAVID WEBB
Samuel: Johnny Herford
Sergeant of Police: John Tomlinson
MABEL: SORAYA MAFI
Edith: Katie Coventry
Kate: Angharad Lyddon
Ruth: Lucy Schaufer

English National Opera Chorus and Orchestra

London Coliseum, LONDON

SULLIVAN 'The Pirates of Penzance'

Conductor: Gareth Jones
Production: Mike Leigh
Revival Director: Sarah Tipple

Major-General Stanley: Andrew Shore
The Pirate King: Ashley Riches
FREDERIC: DAVID WEBB
Samuel: Johnny Herford
Sergeant of Police: John Tomlinson
MABEL: SORAYA MAFI
Edith: Katie Coventry
Kate: Angharad Lyddon
Ruth: Lucy Schaufer

English National Opera Chorus and Orchestra

London Coliseum, LONDON

SULLIVAN 'The Pirates of Penzance'

Conductor: Gareth Jones
Production: Mike Leigh
Revival Director: Sarah Tipple

Major-General Stanley: Andrew Shore
The Pirate King: Ashley Riches
FREDERIC: DAVID WEBB
Samuel: Johnny Herford
Sergeant of Police: John Tomlinson
MABEL: SORAYA MAFI
Edith: Katie Coventry
Kate: Angharad Lyddon
Ruth: Lucy Schaufer

English National Opera Chorus and Orchestra

London Coliseum, LONDON

SULLIVAN 'The Pirates of Penzance'

Conductor: Gareth Jones
Production: Mike Leigh
Revival Director: Sarah Tipple

Major-General Stanley: Andrew Shore
The Pirate King: Ashley Riches
FREDERIC: DAVID WEBB
Samuel: Johnny Herford
Sergeant of Police: Mark Richardson
MABEL: SORAYA MAFI
Edith: Katie Coventry
Kate: Angharad Lyddon
Ruth: Lucy Schaufer

English National Opera Chorus and Orchestra

London Coliseum, LONDON

SULLIVAN 'The Pirates of Penzance'

Conductor: Gareth Jones
Production: Mike Leigh
Revival Director: Sarah Tipple

Major-General Stanley: Andrew Shore
The Pirate King: Ashley Riches
FREDERIC: DAVID WEBB
Samuel: Johnny Herford
Sergeant of Police: Mark Richardson
MABEL: SORAYA MAFI
Edith: Katie Coventry
Kate: Angharad Lyddon
Ruth: Lucy Schaufer

English National Opera Chorus and Orchestra

London Coliseum, LONDON

SULLIVAN 'The Pirates of Penzance'

Conductor: Gareth Jones
Production: Mike Leigh
Revival Director: Sarah Tipple

Major-General Stanley: Andrew Shore
The Pirate King: Ashley Riches
FREDERIC: DAVID WEBB
Samuel: Johnny Herford
Sergeant of Police: Mark Richardson
MABEL: SORAYA MAFI
Edith: Katie Coventry
Kate: Angharad Lyddon
Ruth: Lucy Schaufer

English National Opera Chorus and Orchestra

London Coliseum, LONDON

SULLIVAN 'The Pirates of Penzance'

Conductor: Gareth Jones
Production: Mike Leigh
Revival Director: Sarah Tipple

Major-General Stanley: Andrew Shore
The Pirate King: Ashley Riches
FREDERIC: DAVID WEBB
Samuel: Johnny Herford
Sergeant of Police: Mark Richardson
MABEL: SORAYA MAFI
Edith: Katie Coventry
Kate: Angharad Lyddon
Ruth: Lucy Schaufer

English National Opera Chorus and Orchestra

London Coliseum, LONDON

SULLIVAN 'The Pirates of Penzance'

Production: Mike Leigh
Revival Director: Sarah Tipple

Major-General Stanley: Andrew Shore
The Pirate King: Ashley Riches
FREDERIC: DAVID WEBB
Samuel: Johnny Herford
Sergeant of Police: Mark Richardson
MABEL: SORAYA MAFI
Edith: Katie Coventry
Kate: Angharad Lyddon
Ruth: Lucy Schaufer

English National Opera Chorus and Orchestra

Wigmore Hall, LONDON

MOZART Piano Concerto No.1 in F major, K.37
MOZART Piano Concerto No.2 in B flat major, K.39
Interval
MOZART Piano Concerto No.3 in D major, K.40
MOZART Piano Concerto No.4 in G major, K.41*


Classical Opera Company
Anna Devin, soprano

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Press

Gilbert & Sullivan

The Pirates of Penzance

English National Opera

"Soraya Mafi outstanding, in both voice and comic acting, as Mabel" William Hartston, Express, 16 February 2017
"Soraya Mafi is an adorable little minx of a Mabel, singing with diamantine accuracy and clarity – old-timers will be impressed if I say that her scintillating “Poor wand’ring one” was in the Valerie Masterson class." Rupert Christiansen, The Telegraph, 10 February 2017
"David Webb's puppy-dog Frederic and Soraya Mafi's irresistible Mabel hold the show together with their starry-eyed romance. They sing like love's young dream." Mark Valencia, What's on Stage, 10 February 2017
"Soraya Mafi was a brilliant, feisty Mabel, combining pertness and winning charm with a brightly accurate coloratura. The way she stepped out of the chorus for her first entry was both visually and vocally dazzling, leading into a lovely confident account of 'Poor wandering one' complete with sparkling vocal decorations." Robert Hugill, Opera Today, 10 February 2017
"Soraya Mafi’s almost nymphomaniac Mabel is a brilliant foil – and she dazzled in Sullivan’s dig at the coloratura arias of Italian opera in ‘Poor wandering one’, as well as evoking a perfect juxtaposition of pathos and stiff-upper-lip resolve in ‘Ah leave me not to pine’." Alexander Campbell, Classical Source, 09 Febraury 2017
"Mabel’s flights of coloratura fancy are elegantly delivered by Soraya Mafi" George Hall, The Guardian, 12 February 2017
"...the rest of the cast in fact, was outshone by Soraya Mafi’s simply awe-inspiring Mabel. Her “Poor wand’ring one,” with its vocal pyrotechnics, was simply a show-stopper; she had lyricism, too, and power. One waits with anticipation as to her return in further roles at this house." Colin Clarke, Seen and Heard, 13 February 2017
"Soroya Mafi brings a shimmering coloratura soprano to Mabel, and is ideally partnered by the dashing David Webb who has an effortless vocal lyricism as Frederic, the man she falls in love with." Mark Shenton, The Stage, 10 February 2017
"Soraya Mafi’s Mabel, the female love interest, lifts the spirits. Dispensing the parodic coloratura with elegance and wit, she allows us to believe that G&S embody the best of Rossini and Donizetti." Nick Kimberley, Evening Standard, 10 February 2017
"Soraya Mafi is outstanding as coquettish love interest Mabel. She has a sweet but powerful soprano, which surprises with its sudden appearance, and displays impeccable timing and beautiful diction." Aliya Al-Hassan, Broadway World, 12 February 2017
"...stellar performances gave the evening little peaks of triumph. Soraya Mafi, returning to the production but stepping up a sister, is ravishing as Mabel. Her scintillating parodic coloratura “Poor Wand’ring one” was just the right amount of sexy..." Olivia Bell, Bachtrack, 11 February 2017
"...the standout performance in Act I comes from Soraya Mafi as Mabel (she played Edith in 2015). Her soprano is positively radiant as she tosses out coloratura with ease, and her gestures and movements are just as precise as her vocal output." Sam Smith, MusicOMH, 13 February 2017
"...the delightful Mabel of Soraya Mafi...her lyric soprano is gorgeous: she tugs at the heartstrings with Poor Wandering One and lease the lovely duet Ah, Leave Me Not To Pine with genuine pathos." Tully Potter, Daily Mail, 17 February 2017

Puccini

Suor Angelica

Grand Theatre Leeds

"...the many cameo roles in the large cast were all strong and characterful: among them Soraya Mafi" The Guardian, Fiona Maddocks, 9 October 2016

Mozart

Cosi fan tutte

West Green House Opera

The highlight for me was Soraya Mafi’s Despina, who acted her socks off and delivered some excellent singing with a voice and stage presence that constantly charmed. A silver clarity at the top of her voice and perky sense of line made the voice easy to listen to... The regular glint of fun in her eyes and her boisterous bustling about stage brought Despina to life.
Dominic Lowe, Bachtrack
Dominic Lowe, Bachtrack
Soraya Mafi brought maturity to the part of Despina, but the requisite, infectious sense of fun and freedom, as she spurred on her mistresses in their amorous adventures.  Curtis Rogers, Classical Source

Janacek

Jenufa

English National Opera

"...Soraya Mafi’s spirited Karolka." Mark Berry, Seen and Heard, 27 June 2016
Soraya Mafi, in her first go at the part, flounced and minced effectively. Russ McDonald, Opera, September 2016

Mozart

Die Zauberflöte

English National Opera

Soraya Mafi looked and sounded winning as Papagena. Russ McDonald, Opera, April 2016

Sondheim

Sweeney Todd

Welsh National Opera

...Soraya Mafi a sweet, deliquescent Johanna... Stephen Walsh, The Arts Desk, 09 October 2015
Soraya Mafi [sang] delightfully as Johanna. Lucy Jeffrey, Scene and Heard, 12 October 2015
Soraya Mafi is an affecting Johanna. Mark Valencia, What's on Stage, 18 October 2015
The lilting duets of the young lovers Anthony and Johanna - sung beautifully by Jamie Muscato and Soraya Mafi - is another highlight. Eryl Crump, Welsh Daily Post, 30 October 2015

Gilbert & Sullivan

The Pirates of Penzance

English National Opera

Soraya Mafi is enchanting as [Mabel's] kid sister Edith. Rupert Christiansen, The Telegraph, 10 May 2015
Soraya Mafi [makes a] promising house debut as Edith. Sam Smith, Music OHM, 11 May 2015
Making her ENO debut, soprano Soraya Mafi (second prize winner in the recent 2015 Kathleen Ferrier competition) was a lively Edith. Claire Seymour, Opera Today, 11 May 2015

Final of the 2015 Kathleen Ferrier Competition

Wigmore Hall

Soraya Mafi, a 26-year-old Mancunian from the RCM, has already made her mark - she has small roles in ENO’s forthcoming 'The Pirates of Penzance' and 'The Magic Flute'. Her charm and exuberance shone through Johann Strauss’s 'Frühlingstimmen', giving notice of an Adele and Zerbinetta to come. I loved her beautifully modulated reading of Liszt’s ecstatic 'Oh! quand je dors' and appreciated her pure enunciation in Julius Harrison’s 'Philomel'.  Rupert Christiansen, The Telegraph, 25 April 2015

Mozart

Il re pastore

Théâtre du Châtelet

En Aminta, créé à l’époque par un castrat, Soraya Mafi...délivre au second acte un « L’amero, saro costante » (avec violon solo) de toute beauté et très longuement applaudi. Il Tenero Momento, 22 January 2015
Le plateau vocal est dominé sans conteste par son trio féminin, très à l’aise. C’est surtout l’Aminta de Soraya Mafi qui ravit à chaque apparition autour de la souplesse des transitions, la subtilité de la diction, l’intelligence du phrasé. Petite voix, elle est vivement applaudie à l’issue de la présentation. Florent Coudeyrat, Concerto Net, January 2015
...la musicalité de Soraya Mafi... Christian Merlin, Le Figaro, 23 January 2015
Le talent de Soraya Mafi n’est cependant pas en cause. Elle est tout à fait crédible en jeune berger amoureux. Au second acte le fameux air 'L’amerò sarò costante' chanté avec délicatesse et d’infinies nuances dans un silence quasi religieux, lui vaut un succès personnel bien mérité. Christian Peter, Forum Opéra, 22 January 2015
Soraya Mafi au timbre gracieux...charme et une sorte d’innocence. Caroline Alexander, Web Théâtre, January 2015
Les jeunes voix de Rainer Trost, Soraya Mafi et Raquel Camarinha, dominent leur sujet et son traitement, coloratures comprises, avec une projection aisée. Pierre-René Serna, Concert Classic, January 2015
'L'amerò, sarò costante'...brought the best singing of the evening from Soraya Mafi, whose perfectly schooled soprano provided a smooth, delicate line. Stephen J. Mudge, Opera News, April 2015

Britten

Peter Grimes

Grange Park Opera

Soraya Mafi and Rosie Bell simpered nicely as the nieces... Mark Pullinger, Bachtrack, 31 May 2014
The abuse theme continued into the spectral, tubercular-looking Nieces, dressed to die as much as to kill, and finely sung by Soraya Mafi and Rosie Bell. Peter Reed, Classical Source, 30 May 2014
Soraya Mafi and Rosie Bell are particularly good as the nieces. Martin Kettle, The Guardian, 02 June 2014
Soraya Mafi and Rosie Bell make a lively duo of Nieces. John Allison, The Telegraph, 06 June 2014
...the pretty vocals of [Auntie's] nieces of dubious repute - played Soraya Mafi and Rosie Bell... Emma Sleight, Huffington Post, 06 June 2014

Handel

Arianna in Creta

London Handel Festival, Laurence Cummings

..she is all crystalline tone and spine-tingling high notes.
Tim Ashley, The Guardian, 05 March 2014
Soraya Mafi was a beguiling Arianna, mistaking Teseo’s intentions in risking his life to save Carilda from the Minotaur before Minos decrees that Arianna herself must be sacrificed in her place. As such, Mafi brought the passion of a lover as well as the desperation and fury of one who thinks herself betrayed, skilfully juxtaposing these in her aria ‘Sdegno, amore fanno’ at the end of Act One.
Curtis Rogers, Classical Source, 05 March 2014
...with a clear, bright soprano was Soraya Mafi, a highly versatile young soprano who was recently awarded the Maggie Teyte Award and Miriam Licette Scholarship...Miss Mafi proved to be the most technically proficient of all the singers on display. My instincts suggest that you could put any sort of score in front of this young singer and she would tackle it with the same level of commitment and poise she brought to the role of Arianna. It was really exciting that for a few seconds she stepped off the stage and sang with full voice virtually next to my seat. By contrast it was her ability to float a line sotto voce that was probably the most impressive aspect of her performance. I have no doubt we shall see a lot more of her on the operatic stage in future.
Miranda Jackson, Opera Britannia, 16 March 2014
...I'd certainly want to hear Soraya Mafi again...her emotional conviction and sturdy soprano still forged a convincing character, trapped in one of those moral tizzies and misunderstands so typical of opera seria. Geoff Brown, The Times, 06 March 2014

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