Slightly smaller than last year, the Baalbek Festival is once again characterized by a quality mix of oriental, classical and pop music. As has become tradition, the five-week festival staging six acts will be opened on July 5 by a Lebanese night, according to thisiscyberia.com.
This year the honor goes to Mansour Rahbani’s latest mega musical on the life and times of the great Abu Tayeb Al Mutanabbi, the medieval nobleman and poet who dreamt of love and restoring Arab glory as the world had seen it in the first years after the rise of Mohammad. The play will be staged for three consecutive nights.
In the style of The Last Days of Socrates, Rahbani’s Abu Tayeb al Mutanabbi is a massive production rich in set decor and costumes, with dozens of actors on stage to play crowds and armies. It received a standing ovation after its premiere in Dubai on March 10.
Al Mutanabbi’s poems are converted into songs, recitals and dialogues. Ghassan Saliba plays the main role, Jamal Suleiman is the ruler, Carole Samaha is Khoula, the ruler’s sister and Sabah Obeid is Kafur. Mansour wrote the lyrics and music, with contributions from Elias, Ghady and Oussama Rahbani. Directorial credit goes to Marwan Rahbani.
On July 13 and 14, Sting will no doubt have a full house in the Temple of Jupiter. The two concerts are part of his world Brand New Day tour. He will bring a mix of some of the many classic hits he has in his repertoire.
On July 20 and 21, the over 300-year-old Paris Ballet Opera will take center stage with Clavigo. Based on a drama by Johan Wolfgang von Goethe, Clavigo is the young, ambitious rebel and lover, who in every sense meets the Sturm und Drang (storm and turmoil) ideals of the great 19th century romantics. In a way he’s the predecessor of Goethe’s Young Werther.
“Clavigo likes to party, loves women, loves love, till he looses his head at the end of his life,” the ballet’s choreographer Roland Petit wrote. The music was written by Lebanese composer Gabriel Yared, who worked with many great French artists and film directors before winning an Oscar for his music for The English Patient.
It will be guitar night on July 28 with the first Tunisian oud player Anouar Brahem and his trio. Brahem just released his fourth CD on the famous ECM label and played before with Jan Garbarek, Maurice Bejart and Gabriel Yared among other renowned composers. He will be followed by guitar legend Paco de Lucia for a hot night of Spanish Flamenco.
On August 3 and 4, no less than 200 people will be on stage for Carl Orff’s monumental opera Carmina Burana. Organized by German promoters Art-Concerts, this massive opera made its debut in 1995, exactly 100 years after Orff’s birth, and at least 500,000 people around the world have seen since.
The Baalbek festival will close with an intimate night under the stars in the Temple of Bacchus, when pianist Danielle Laval, accompanied by the Salzburg Chamber Soloists, will perform Haydn and Mozart, according to the report – Albawaba.com