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Baalbeck International Festival has announced its 2018 program, with seven shows set to grace the ruins of the Bacchus Temple.After the 2017 edition was cut short after the last minute cancellation of shows by Toto and Trio Wander, this year organizers hope to boost festival attendance and tourism in the region generally.The official opening will take place on July 20 with "Baalbeck Remembers Oum Kalthoum," which will see Egyptian vocalists Mai Farouk and Marwa Nagy perform many tunes from the diva's repertoire.Egyptian maestro Hisham Gaber will select the program, orchestrate the music for – and also direct – the Lebanese National Orchestra for Oriental-Arab Music.To mark the 150th anniversary of Gioachino Rossini's death, on July 27 the temple will host over 120 musicians, choristers and soloists in a performance of the Italian composer's "Stabat Mater". The Baalbeck Festival will close with rocker Ben Harper and his band The Innocent Criminals, performing hits from his eight-album career.Outside of the festival's main lineup, a special fundraising evening will be held July 8 .
Beiteddine blasts out the blues
Citerne shuttered over permit issues
Modern ruin ponders lost heritage
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