Julia Ana Katarina
Julia Ana Katarina is an English German mezzo-soprano, oud player and cellist, who studied the oud and Arabic song with Abdul Salam Kheir, having started by teaching herself and learning from colleagues Khaled Saddouq and Habib Al Deek, while teaching at Al Kamandjati music school in Palestine. There she taught singing, both Western classical repertoire and Arabic song, cello and music theory for 3 years. She then also taught at The Freedom Theatre, Edward Said National Conservatory of Music Summer Camp and the Yamaha Music School.
Previously she co-founded and toured with a chamber opera company in Britain, singing the title role in a fully staged production of Gluck’s Orfeo ed Eurydice, directed by Richard Jackson. Julia has completed three opera courses, including a Diploma at Birkbeck College, University of London. She trained with William Hancox, has sung in masterclasses with Emma Kirkby, Petra Lang and Della Jones and had lessons with John Evans and Theresa Goeble. More recently she has been studying with Susie Self and having coaching with Tina Ruta, and is now studying with soprano, Patricia Rosario.
Julia studied violoncello with Susan Sheppard of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment from 2001. More recently, she has been learning to play Persian and Arabic music on the cello, as well as to accompany her Arabic singing with the cello and the oud. She plays cello with a dance project at Colet House, directed by Lennie Charles and regularly plays oud and sings at arts events, Sufi festivals and welcome concerts for refugees, sometimes alternating between instruments, cultures and repertoires within a single engagement.
Since Returning from Palestine in 2012 Julia has completed an MSc in Applied Music Psychology at the University of Roehampton, where she gave many recitals and performed the role of Hansel in the university’s first ever fully staged opera production. She then worked with the Peace and Prosperity Trust and Open Bethlehem as associated artist and administrator, as well as teaching at Taqasim Music School. Julia has recently started the project, Music with Refugees, giving concerts of Arabic songs and German Lieder involving local and refugee communities in Germany and a two month tour of refugee camps in Greece this summer.
Most recently Julia has been learning a completely new musical language and Sufi devotional poetry in Urdu with Mahmoud Sabri, the youngest of the famous Sabri Brothers, uncle of the late Amjad Sabri from Karachi, Pakistan. Sabri is the newest, most distinguished member of Music with Refugees and will be joining Julia on the Dodecanese Islands of Kos and Leros where she will be working for Save the Children. They will perform qawwali, Islamic songs from the Pakistani Sufi tradition, for the unaccompanied minors from the borderlands between Afghanistan and Pakistan and for the local and refugee community.