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Laura Mekhail performs on a stage with the Pyramids of Giza visible in the background.

RCM Bocelli-Jameel Scholar performs in front of the Pyramids of Giza

Monday 28 November 2022

Royal College of Music student Laura Mekhail recently performed in front of the iconic Pyramids of Giza in Cairo, Egypt.

Egyptian soprano Laura Mekhail is in her second year of Master of Performance (Vocal) at the College. She performed a recital of pieces by classical European and twentieth-century Arab composers at the event on 4 October 2022.

Hosted by RCM Leadership Supporter Community Jameel and the Sawiris Foundation for Social Development (SFSD), the evening celebrated the organisations' joint commitment to increasing access to arts education.

Laura is the second recipient of the Andrea Bocelli Foundation-Community Jameel Scholarship at the RCM, and the first student from the Middle East to benefit from this prestigious award, established in 2019 at the RCM by world-renowouned tenor Andrea Bocelli and Community Jameel.

Laura found her passion for singing in her childhood while part of a church choir in her hometown Minya, Egypt. Prior to the recital, she shared with the audience how she overcame barriers to study at the RCM, and her gratitude for the support of the scholarship.

SFSD founders and board members Naguib Sawiris and Samih Sawiris attended the event, as well as Fady Jameel, vice chairman of Community Jameel, with speeches from Lily Harriss, RCM Director of Development, and Nicholas Sears, Head of Vocal and Opera at the College.

International RCM Leadership Supporter HSH Heidi Princess von Hohenzollern HonRCM also joined the RCM team to support this initiative to widen access to higher music education.

George Richards, Director of Community Jameel, said: ‘Egypt is a country rich in musical talent, with a glittering history of singers and songwriters. Tonight, in the shadow of the Pyramids, we look ahead to Egypt’s bright future in the field of opera, with rising star Laura Mekhail, an Andrea Bocelli Foundation-Community Jameel Scholar at the Royal College of Music.

‘Alongside SFSD, Community Jameel is committed to expanding opportunities for Egyptians — and young people across the region — who seek to advance their study of music.’

Noura Selim, Executive Director of SFSD, said: ‘This night constitutes a uniquely important step toward achieving our shared values. We are indeed proud of the successive achievements we have made through our fruitful relationship with Community Jameel.

‘Together, we decided to celebrate the students of the prestigious Royal College of Music, as well as all the rising young artists who are truly incredible change agents.’