Egyptian mezzo-soprano Farrah El-Dibany was invited to perform the French national anthem ‘La Marseillaise’ at the celebration of the re-election of French president, Emmanuel Macron. The performance took place at the Champ de Mars near the Eiffel Tower on April 24 in Paris. “I was contacted by the production team behind Macron’s campaign on Saturday afternoon, asking if I could sing in the event that he won,” El-Dibany shared with Vogue Arabia. “I was in Geneva then, so I took the train Sunday morning, and as soon as I arrived, I went to the Champ de Mars to do the repetitions and to decide whether to perform with an orchestra or acapella. Monsieur and madame Macron took the decision that they preferred I sing La Marseillaise acapella.”
For the occasion, El-Dibany was dressed in a strapless metallic red gown from Gemy Maalouf’s Fall/Winter 2022-23 collection. Explaining how she came upon the selection of the dress, the singer said that she had previously seen the red number, and after the invitation, enquired whether it was available. “I immediately contacted Giorgia Viola for my look, who dressed me in Gemy Maalouf. She is a Lebanese designer whose clothes I wear whenever I can. Red was the perfect color, as the Macrons wore blue, and I was in red, and of course, it is one of the three colors of France’s flag. The dress was also validated by the Elysée.”
El-Dibany added that she was immensely moved by the invitation to perform. “What touched me the most is that I’m originally Egyptian, and not French, and for me to have the honor to be invited to sing the La Marseillaise to all of France was very moving,” she said. “President Macron thanked me warmly, but I thanked him in return, as it was such an honor for me.”
In 2005, El-Dibany entered the Arts Center of the Library of Alexandria and five years later moved to Berlin to venture into the realm of music. There, she attended the Hanns-Eislet Academy of Music and moved forward to obtain a master’s degree at the Berlin University of the Arts and a bachelor’s degree in architecture at Berlin’s Technische Universität. Hailing from Alexandria, Egypt, she became the first Arab and Egyptian opera singer to join the Academy of the National Opera in Paris in September of 2016. She has also received the prestigious Prix Lyrique de l’Arop award in 2019, marking her as the best opera singer at the hands of the Paris Opera.