Hailed as ‘a young singer of real promise’ by Opera magazine and featured as a New Face of opera in The Telegraph (2014), Soraya Mafi was born in Bury, Greater Manchester and graduated with distinction from the Royal College of Music International Opera School last summer. In the last year she has won the Royal Overseas League Competition, The Peter Hulsen Orchestral Song Award, Second Prize at The Kathleen Ferrier Awards and Second Prize and Audience Prize at the International Mozart Singing Competition. This season, Soraya will make her WNO début as Johanna in Sweeney Todd and returns to English National Opera as Papagena in Simon McBurney’s The Magic Flute and as Karolka in David Alden’s Jenufa.
Soraya made her highly acclaimed professional début in 2013 as Soeur Constance in Grange Park Opera’s production of Dialogues des Carmélites,“stealing the show’ with numerous outstanding reviews. Since then Soraya has performed First Niece in Jeremy Sam’s production of Peter Grimes (Grange Park Opera), Aminta Il Re Pastore (Théâtre du Châtelet) and Edith in Mike Leigh’s production of The Pirates of Penzance (English National Opera). During her time at RCM, Soraya performed the roles of Virtú in James Conway’s production of L’incoronazione di Poppea, Le Feu and Le Rossignol in James Bonas’ production of L’Enfant et les Sortilèges and the title role inArianna in Creta for The London Handel Festival with Laurence Cummings. She also created the role of Cheryl in Iain Burnside’s piece Journeying Boys.
Soraya’s notable concert performances include appearing as the soprano soloist in Fauré’s requiem at The Royal Albert Hall, Britten’s Les Illuminations at The Royal Festival Hall and Karl Jenkins’ The Armed Man at St David’s Hall (Karl Jenkins’ 70th Birthday gala with BBC Radio 3) and The Royal Albert Hall. She has given solo recitals at St Martin-in-the-fields with The Southbank Sinfonia, The Royal Opera House Crush room, The National Gallery, Absolute Classics in Dumfriesshire and Buxton Opera Festival.
Soraya has been awarded The Maggie Teyte Prize, The RCM Lieder Prize, The Elise Thurston Prize, an Independent Opera Postgraduate fellowship, The Sybil Tutton Opera Award administered by Help Musicians UK and A Countess of Munster Musical Trust Award. Soraya is very grateful for the support from Douglas and Hilda Simmons, the Van der Beughal’s and Selfridges & Co.