For the second August in as many years, Beirut Holidays promises to pump Beirut Souks with a wide range of local and international performers.
Pop music lovers will have the opportunity to attend concerts featuring such acts by Lebanese pop folk band Adonis, Nancy Ajram, Elissa and the “Rock the Ballet” dance troupe. The event seeks to project an image of Beirut as an entertainment center, rather than the media representation of a city tipping on the brink of political unrest. That said, this year’s edition of Beirut Holidays will draw on local talent more than international stars.
Nancy Ajram will open the festivities on Aug. 9. The multiple-award-winning Lebanese singer – who is also a UNICEF ambassador – will perform some of her greatest hits.
On Aug. 10, Beirut Holidays pays tribute to Egyptian composer and singer Mohammed Abdel-Wahab. Vocalist Samar Kammouj and Syrian oud virtuoso Safwan Bahlawan will perform a repertoire of Abdel-Wahab’s compositions, accompanied by an orchestra of unknown composition under the baton of Maestro Adnan Nmeir.
Another well-known Lebanese singer-songwriter Wael Kfoury will continue the festivities on Aug. 11. Termed the “Prince of Romance” by his female fans, Kfoury is not only loved for his looks (apparently ...) but also for compositions that address such themes as love and seduction. Kfoury promises to perform tunes from his latest album “Ya Dalli Ya Rouhi.”
On the following night, a newcomer to the music scene promises to amaze the audience with his outstanding voice. Discovered on the French TV show “The Voice,” Anthony Touma’s first Beirut concert will feature him and his piano, accompanied by an ensemble. He is expected to perform the covers that made him famous – Rihanna’s “Stay,” or Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean.”
On Aug. 13, the legendary Sabah Fakhri will demonstrate how he popularized traditional Arabic music. Known for his powerful voice, Fakhri will perform a program of muwashahat – a form of classical Arabic lyric poetry performed with improvised vocals – along with music and dance.
For those into fusion dance, “Rock the Ballet” will try to surprise the audience with its combination of ballet, rock and hip-hop, which has been is a huge hit in Europe.
Elissa will take a break from her job as a judge on “ The X Factor” on Aug. 17 to sing some of her classic hits.