Russian soprano Netrebko to perform at Lebanese festival

Ahram Online , Monday 13 Jul 2015

The 30th international Beiteddine Art Festival in Lebanon will also feature world renowned stars including Marcel Khalife, David Gray, and Rebecca Ferguson


For the first time in the Arab World, the prodigiously gifted soprano Anna Netrebko will perform at Beiteddine Art Festival in Lebanon, an event scheduled to take place between 27 July and 5 September.

Considered one of the biggest international stars, Netrebko has appeared in all the world’s great opera houses, including the Metropolitan Opera, London’s Royal Opera House, La Scala, Vienna State Opera, Paris Opera, Berlin State Opera, and the Mariinsky Theatre.

Netrebko will be one of the few notable international and regional artists to take a stage the Beiteddine palace, on the outskirts of Beirut, in what is considered an anniversary (30th) edition of the annual festival. Other musicians include tenor Juan Diego Florez, Lebanese composer, singer and songwriter Marcel Khalife, singers Kadim Al-Sahir and Reham Abdelhakim among others.

The festival will open on 27 July with the Bel Canto tenor Juan Diego Florez and guest soprano Joyce El-Khoury, accompanied by the Filarmonica Gioachino Rossini Orchestra, under the baton of Christopher Franklin.

Internationally acclaimed Lebanese musician Marcel Khalifé and Al-Mayadine Ensemble will take to the stage on 5 August, reviving his most famous songs, such as Rita wal Boundoukiyya, Oummi. Khalife's works have been critically acclaimed both in the Arab region and the world over.

On 8 August, the Armenian National Philharmonic Orchestra, the National Chamber Choir of Armenia and the Hover Chamber will be conducted by Eduard Topchjan and the programme will feature well known classical music works.

Soprano Anna Netrebko with guest tenor Yusif Eyvazov will perform towards the festival's end, on 27 August.

A number of other well known musicians will be featured in the anniversary year of the festival, including Rebecca Ferguson who will perform the greatest hits of legendary jazz singer Billie Holiday, and David Gray who has established himself as one of the UK’s leading rock artists.

Launched in 1985, the Beiteddine Art Festival "came as an act of faith in Lebanon’s cultural role and power of creativity, a call for normality amidst the chaos and madness of war. It was born and has grown in very difficult times and made it against all odds," we read on the festival's website.

"As of 1987, when Nora Joumblat and an Executive Committee took over the organisation of the Festival, it gradually gained regional and international recognition" and throughout the years it hosted hundreds of important international artists and spanning across music, performing and visual arts.

All events take place within the 200-year old Palace in the Chouf mountains, considered to be a jewel of Lebanese architecture.

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