Lancashire-born soprano Soraya Mafi studied at the Royal Northern College of Music and Royal College of Music, supported by the Help Musicians UK Sybil Tutton Award. Soraya continues her studies with renowned soprano Janis Kelly and repertoire coach John Fraser. Soraya’s many awards and prizes include the Maggie Teyte Prize in 2014 and the Susan Chilcott Award in 2016. She was also the 2nd Prize winner of the 2015 Kathleen Ferrier Awards. Soraya is a Harewood Young Artist of the English National Opera and Associate Artist of the Classical Opera Company.
During her time at RCM Soraya performed the roles of Virtu in James Conway’s production of L’incoronazione di Poppea, and Le Feu and Le Rossignol in James Bonas’ production of L’Enfant et les Sortileges. She sang the title role in Arianna in Creta for the London Handel Festival under Laurence Cummings and created the role of Cheryl in Iain Burnside’s new music theatre piece Journeying Boys. Elsewhere she has sung Aminta Il re pastore at the Chatelet Theatre Paris, Johanna Sweeney Todd for the Welsh National Opera, Constance Dialogues des Carmélites and First Niece Peter Grimes for Grange Park Opera, and Despina Così fan tutte for West Green House Opera. She has appeared in recital at Wigmore Hall, for the Buxton Festival and at the Crush Room of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.
Recent highlights have included Mabel in Mike Leigh’s production of The Pirates of Penzance and Tytania A Midsummer Night’s Dream for the English National Opera, Suor Genoveva Suor Angelica for her debut at Opera North, Cleopatra Giulio Cesare for English Touring Opera, Nanetta Falstaff for the Garsington Opera, Gretel Hansel und Gretel for Grange Park Opera and Legrenzi’s La divisione del mondo for the Opera du rhin Strasbourg (Christophe Rousset); in concert recent appearances have been with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Scottish Chamber Orchestra (Peter Dijsktra and Jonathan Cohen), Ensemble Matheus (Jean-Chrisophe Spinosi), Seattle Symphony Orchestra (Ludovic Morlot) and at the 2018 Rheingau Festival with Robert King. Soraya made her solo recital debut at Wigmore Hall with Graham Johnson.
Opera engagements for 2019/20 and beyond include a return to the Seattle Opera as Gilda Rigoletto, Yum-Yum Mikado and Amor Orfeo ed Euridice for the English National Opera, Susanna Le nozze di Figaro for the Welsh National Opera and her debut with the Opernhaus Zurich. In concert she performs with the BBC National Symphony Orchestra of Wales, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra.