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Baalbeck International Festival replaced by one magical concert

Despite the health crisis from which the world is still struggling to emerge, and the economic crisis in which Lebanon is mired, the Baalbek International Festival is not giving up. Even if it had to be cancelled this year, a concert still took place, and not the least...

They were some 150 musicians and choristers from the National Philharmonic Orchestra and the Antonine and Notre Dame Universities, accompanied by the Lebanese group Qolo Atiqo, gathered in the Temple of Bacchus, in Baalbeck, Lebanon, for an exceptional concert conducted by the Lebanese maestro Harout Fazlian.

Although the Baalbeck International Festival usually takes place during the summer months in the city, unfortunately, it had to be canceled this year… Canceled? No… Let’s say rather “reduced”, therefore, to this one and only concert, which carried a message of hope and resilience. “We have an extremely productive and creative arts and culture sector,” festival president Nayla de Freige told AFP. The concert was called “The Sound of Resilience”, with the hashtag “Let’s raise the sound of music” because music is seen as a motor of creativity, solidarity, resilience, and life,” she commented.


Social distancing and live streaming

Thus, last Sunday, all regional televisions broadcast this concert which opened with the Lebanese national anthem before continuing with various classical works. The concert lasted about an hour.

For security reasons, the show was held without an audience but was broadcast live on regional television and social networks. The artists themselves respected the barrier gestures and the wearing of masks. In a Lebanon in the midst of a period of doubt, this concert is a strong symbol of unity, according to Nayla de Freige: “All Lebanese channels agreed to broadcast the concert at the same time. It is a unifying and global cultural event and, for the first time in Lebanon, we see the solidarity of the media. The idea was also supported by the Minister of Culture, who offered the services of the orchestra free of charge”.