By Arab News
Launched in 1956, this year’s edition of Lebanon’s Baalbeck International Festival is set to be as exciting and varied as ever. Here, we take a look at six of the artists taking part and what the popular event is offering up in 2018.
The festival is set to host a fundraising event featuring Lebanese composer and songwriter Khaled Mouzanar on July 8. He has created music for scores of films and, along with his orchestra, Mouzanar will play extracts of Lebanese director Nadine Labaki’s feature film “Capharnaüm,” which won the Jury Prize at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival.
Maï Farouk and Marwa Nagy
The region’s oldest arts festival pays tribute to late Arab diva Umm Kulthum, who sang in Baalbeck in 1966, 1968 and 1970. On July 20, songs by the legendary Egyptian singer will be rehashed in front of an eager crowd. Egyptian composer Hisham Gabr, two renowned Egyptian singers, Maï Farouk and Marwa Nagy, as well as the Lebanese National Orchestra for Oriental-Arabic Music will perform at the event.
The talented French showman, who has 13 Victoires de la Musique awards to his name, is set to captivate audiences at Baalbek with what promises to be an energetic performance on Aug. 4. Chedid and his band are preparing a special show for the festival, including his biggest hits and the participation of members of the Chedid family.
A musical play titled “ILLA IZA,” “unless” in English, is set to be performed at the festival on Aug. 10 and 11. Written and directed by Lebanon’s Georges Khabbaz, the production features 70 actors, dancers and musicians.
Elie Maalouf and Jahida Wehbé
“From Tarab to Jazz” will fuse traditional Arabic music with Western jazz in a live performance on Aug. 17. The innovative show will see pianist and composer Elie Maalouf and singer Jahida Wehbe take to the stage.
US singer-songwriter Ben Harper — best known for his hits “Burn One Down,” “Another Lonely Day” and “Waiting on an Angel” — will perform on Aug. 18.