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Collaboration with Zafiro Torna and the vocal consort of Berlin. Inspired by The Song of Songs, a series of lyrical poems organized as a dialogue between a young woman and her lover in the last section of the Tanakh or Hebrew Bible, the Allegory of Desire came to life.

The music involved single voiced madrigals accompanied by instruments, vocal duets and trios, a women’s choir and polyphonic settings by composers such as Hildegard of Bingen, De Machaut, Dunstable, Agricola, Lassus, Grandi, Sances, Monteverdi, Schütz, Buxtehude and J. Ch.

The project created an inspiring dialogue between cultures while narrating texts by Sufi poets such as Rabaa Al-Adawia and a young aspiring generation of poets such as Egyptian Abdallah Ghoneem and Mohamed Zakaria. Lyrics were written and composed by Benali herself. The international cast took their project to Mechelen, Berlin, Hamburg, Nürnberg, Winterthur, Sevilla and Vilnius, and an album was released in 2016 by Warner classics

This production with an international cast has been staged on prestigious podiums and festivals in Mechelen, Berlin, Hamburg, Nürnberg, Winterthur, Sevilla and Vilnius. In the upcoming years the program will further be promoted internationally. A CD recording by Warner Classics will be released on 21 October 2016.



Zefiro Torna

  • Cécile Kempenaers soprano
  • Griet De Geyter soprano
  • Jowan Merckx recorder, percussion
  • Romina Lischka viola da gamba, Indian chant
  • Jurgen De bruyn lute, theorbo


Vocalconsort Berlin

  • Claudia Böhme soprano
  • Anne Bierwirth alto
  • Stephan Gähler tenor
  • Johannes Klügling tenor
  • Christoph Dresche


Ghalia Benali Arabic chant, compositions


Jurgen De bruyn artistic direction
Folkert Ude dramaturgy
Jörg Bittner scenography, light design





“Between similarity and difference, suddenly a lot appeared to be vibrating. When, at the end, Lischka demonstrated her Indian singing style and together with Benali easily improvised a raga, the heart was completely sold.” De Standaard – 07/10/2013

“Was zunächst befremdlich wirkt, wird schnell zu einer großen Bereicherung; bald schon treten Orient und Okzident in einen Dialog.” Gmünder Tagespost – 02.08.2016

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