Interview with Lebanese tenor Amine J. Hachem as he makes his Carnegie Hall debut in “A Middle Eastern Christmas: From the Mediterranean to the Americas”

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Interview by: Don of

Coordinated by: Brett Oberman of Keith Sherman & Associates

November 28, 2017

Your December 13, 2017 performance at Carnegie Hall “Middle Eastern Christmas: From the Mediterranean to the Americas,” how much planning and rehearsals was involved to get the program just right to your liking?

(Amine J. Hachem) I started planning for the concert about 9 months ago, and rehearsals are still underway.

What do you hope the audience take away is after the performance of “Middle Eastern Christmas: From the Mediterranean to the Americas”?

(Amine J. Hachem) My hope is that audiences would walk away with a total experience: provoked and entertained, reminded of hope and despair, moved to laughter and tears.

While growing up, from child to adulthood, what challenges were encountered during your musical career and how was it overcome?

(Amine J. Hachem) My challenges were mostly with myself; as how to become a better artist. The feeling never goes away.

What current projects you are working on?

(Amine J. Hachem) I’m working on my 1st Album, and preparing for two operatic roles that I haven’t performed yet (Macduff from G. Verdi’s Macbeth, and BF Pinkerton from G. Puccini’s Madama Butterfly).

What advice would you have given your younger self that you know now?

(Amine J. Hachem) Patience and hard work go hand in hand.

What 5 questions would you want asked of you that you haven’t been in the past, and what would be the responses?

If you were a song, what song would you be?  I choose the aria “Un di, all ‘azzurro spazio” from the opera Andrea Chénier by Umberto Giordano. It is one of the most beautifully written and composed songs about love.

If you were an opera, which opera would you be?  Andrea Chénier or Tosca.

Any interesting quotes you like? “If the singer becomes quiet, life becomes quiet, because life itself is a song”.

Latest book you have read? Sapiens, by Yuval Noah Harari.

Favorite place in New York?  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

What are some fun things others should know about you?

(Amine J. Hachem) I played professional soccer, goalkeeper position, for a year and a half.

Do you have any charitable organizations you care about?

(Amine J. Hachem) One of my favorite charitable organization is St Jude, and I am thankful that I get to perform for them a couple of times a year all over the US.

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In the Middle East, Amine J. Hachem has sung for Kings, Queens and Presidents
with a critically acclaimed tenor voice praised as “a gift from God.”
Six years ago Amine J. Hachem arrived in the United States.
He has sung at The United Nations, The Henry Ford Museum,
the Basilica of St. Patrick’s Cathedral, and sold out the MGM Grand Casino.
Metropolitan Opera star Rosalind Elias says “Amine J. Hachem is blessed with a magnificent instrument.”
On Wednesday, December 13, celebrated Lebanese tenor Amine J. Hachem makes his Carnegie Hall debut in “A Middle Eastern Christmas: From the Mediterranean to the Americas” at 8PM in Weill Recital Hall. Tickets, priced from $55 to $100, are available at the Carnegie Hall Box Office, 154 West 57th Street, or can be charged to major credit cards by calling CarnegieCharge at 212-247-7800 or by visiting the Carnegie Hall website, “A Middle Eastern Christmas: From the Mediterranean to the Christmas” is presented by Clairemine Productions.
Not your typical holiday concert, “A Middle Eastern Christmas” is a musical voyage inspired by Amine’s life journey, growing up in Lebanon and the United States, and coming of age in Europe and the Middle East. In addition to Christmas favorites, Hachem will survey early musical influences ranging from great operatic tenors to rock icons. The eclectic program features operatic arias and popular hits interpreted through Amine’s unique Franco-Arabic perspective, blending elements from Latin, Jazz, American Pop, European classical, Russian folk and traditional Arabic music. 
Amine says “these days it seems as if cultural diversity is often used as a wedge to divide us. As a young Middle Eastern artist, I wanted to create a holiday show that will transcend beyond cultural stereotypes and convey a message of hope and common humanity through music. Growing up in Lebanon, Christmas was the holiday that brought people together from all cultures. There was a Christmas tree in every house. Expats flew in from all over the world to celebrate. We sang holiday songs from all different cultures and traditions …American, Lebanese, Latin, French, Italian and British. My Lebanese ‘White Christmas’ vision was a view of the snowy mountains overlooking the beautiful Mediterranean coast. With ‘A Middle Eastern Christmas,” I invite my audiences to join me in this musical reflection of my favorite time of the year.”
Dubbed as “a soulful and handsome young man who delivers an electrifying and thrilling performance, bringing the crowd to their feet”, (An-Nahar), Amine J. Hachemis a Lebanese-American, operatic and crossover tenor who has captivated audiences across the United States, Europe, and the Middle East. He has been a leading tenor in several operas and musicals, including La Traviata, Tosca, La Boheme, Madama Butterfly, Carmen, Phantom of the Opera, Evita, I Lombardi Alla Prima Crociata, Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 8, and has also performed in numerous cabarets, and concert venues all over the world. Last season, Amine “pushed the boundaries of operatic music by integrating it with unconventional sounds from around the world”(BroadwayWorld)appearing at the MGM Grand Casino, the Bellagio Las Vegas, The United Nations, The Henry Ford Museum, Broadway’s 54 Below, Basilica of St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral, Andrew W. Mellon Hall Auditorium, Elebash Recital Hall, The Metropolitan Club, and on the runways of New York Fashion Week as a guest performer. Hachem will appear a guest model in the upcoming film Ocean’s 8 Amine recently starred in a TV pilot called “Love and Opera” on WE TV, and is also known for his voice-work including the Arabic version of Dr. T’s character from the popular game Boom Beach. 
is a Lebanese-American tenor
“…pushing the boundaries of
operatic music by integrating
it with unconventional sounds
from around the world.”– BroadwayWorld 
He has captivated audiences across the United States, Europe, and the Middle East. He has been a leading tenor in several operas and musicals, including La Traviata, Tosca, La Bohème, Carmen, I Lombardi alla Prima Crociata, Madama Butterfly, Macbeth, Phantom of the Opera, Evita, and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. Amine has also shared his talent supporting various charitable causes and service organizations worldwide, including SOS Children’s Villages, Caritas Internationalis, Red Cross, Rotary International, Lion’s Club, and St. George’s Hospital. He was the featured performer at the St. Jude Hope and Heritage Gala, as well as the 2014 premier New York fundraising event for the renowned St. Jude’s Hospital. He sang in the summer series festival (June, 2014) at the Basilica of Old St. Patrick’s Cathedral, NYC. Honors were bestowed upon him the summer of 2011 with a trophy of recognition from the Lebanese Navy in gratitude for his musical performances and love of cultural heritage. Additionally, he had the privilege to sing before the President of Lebanon and the King and Queen of Jordan. 
 Before his crossover to opera, Amine enjoyed a career in pop music for nine years. His 2004 television appearance on the LBCI prime time program, “This is the Song” (with a viewership of more than 15 million people throughout the Arab world), solidified his presence as a well-known artist in the Middle East and parts of Europe.
Today, he is especially recognized for his portrayals of the leading tenor roles in the Italian and French romantic repertoire. His opera and crossover concert selection include: operatic arias (from Donizetti to Verdi, Puccini, & Bizet, to name a few), Neapolitan songs, as well as Spanish, French, Brazilian and Russian folksongs, American Songbook, Jazz Standards, and Old Hollywood film & Broadway masterpieces, all in new and fresh arrangements. 
In May 2015, Amine debuted at 54 Below, New York’s premiere Broadway Club. The special one-night performance played to a sell-out crowd, and gained positive and stimulating reviews from the New York Broadway and opera critics.
Amine had a solo concert debut at the Elebash Recital Hall, NYC, in December 2015. Highlights of this past season include performing at MGM Grand Casino in Detroit, the historical Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium in Washington, DC, and at the United Nations, honoring Dr. Charles Malik, the main drafter of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. 
During September 2016, Amine was a guest performer on another stage-the fabulous runways of New York Fashion Week. Next, Amine sang in New York at an event honoring the great Metropolitan Opera star of the 1950s & 1960s, mezzo-soprano, Rosalind Elias. After hearing his voice, she proclaimed, “Hachem has been blessed with a magnificent instrument.” 
The 2017-2018 season features Amine J. Hachem performing the role of Doctor Marianus, from Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 8, with the Hellenic Music Foundation Symphony Orchestra, in Queens, New York. Back by popular demand, he will return to Broadway’s 54 Below for an encore performance, and will appear as a featured guest at the Winter Film Festival in Manhattan. The end of the season includes a concert at The Bellagio in Las Vegas, a special performance at the Henry Ford Museum in Detroit, and Amine’s concert debut at the prestigious Carnegie Hall in New York. 
Amine is an international performer, who fluently speaks four languages: Italian, French, English, and Arabic. Much credit goes to his loving family who seized the spark of his passion-music-and had him begin his musical studies at the age of 5, enrolled him at the Lebanese National Higher Conservatory of Music at age 8 where he trained as a classical pianist until the age of 19. In 2009, he earned a vocal performance diploma from the Academy of Music and Theater in Munich, Germany Musikakademie München. He also holds a Bachelor of Arts in International Business Management from Notre Dame University. Since the completion of his studies, he has received private tutoring from numerous operatic singers throughout the United States and Europe. 
In addition to his music career, Amine is also known for doing voice-over work that includes the Arabic version of Dr. T’s character from the popular game Boom Beach and has recently starred in a TV pilot called “Love and Opera” on WE TV. 
Amine J. Hachem currently resides in New York City.
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