NNA - This evening, Rossini’s Stabat Mater, a masterpiece of sacred music, will take place in the framework of the prestigious Baalbeck International Festival in a fascinating setting – the Bacchus Temple, in the heart of Baalbeck, one of the most important and best-preserved archeological sites in the Middle East. The concert – co-organized and sponsored by the Italian Embassy in Lebanon and the Italian Cultural Institute within the framework of “The Year of Rossini” – represents the return of the great Italian music to Baalbeck, as a tribute from Lebanon to the notorious composer on the 150th anniversary of his death. One of the most popular opera composers and the creator of “bel canto” (a florid style of singing), Rossini wrote 39 operas as well as some sacred music, songs and chamber music. His best-known work is “Il Barbiere di Siviglia”. The concert, directed by F. Toufic Maatouk, featured internationally-renowned performers – Joyce El-Khoury (Soprano), Daniela Barcellona (Mezzo), Paolo Fanale (Tenore), Krzysztof Baczyk (Basso) – as well as the Antonine University and NDU choirs.
Italy and Lebanon are both producers of culture, with an outstanding cultural heritage. Italy assists Lebanon with a program of interventions worth 15 million euros, through soft loans and donations, destined to protect the rich cultural heritage, in partnership with the Lebanese Ministry of Culture and of the Directorate General of Antiquities. The Italian Cooperation is participating in the Programme “Cultural Heritage and Urban Development” (CHUD), promoted by the Government of Lebanon and the World Bank, aimed at enhancing the promotion of the Lebanese cultural heritage and urban development. In Baalbeck, the Italian Cooperation is committed to the restoration and the safeguard of the most important monuments of the complex, such as the Temple of Jupiter.
Cultural ties between Italy and Lebanon are excellent. The Rossini concert in Baalbeck is one of the main events of the programme “Italia, Culture, Mediterraneo”, undertaken by the Italian Ministries of Foreign Affairs and of Culture and Tourism. In 2018 the Italian Embassy in Lebanon and the Italian Cultural Institute further boosted the integrated promotion of Italian culture in Lebanon, by promoting events ranging from contemporary art (the MAXXI exhibition at Villa Audi), dance (participation in the BIPOD Festival), music (both classical and modern) design, cinema, literature, all of which have been organized in collaboration with distinguished Lebanese Festivals and partners. -- PRESS RELEASE