Zouk Mikael International Festival 2016 Press conference
Zalfa Bouez, Festival President
His Excellency the Minister of Tourism, Mr. Michel Pharaon,
His Excellency the Minister of Culture Mr. Rony Areiji,
Ladies and gentlemen,
I am pleased to welcome you all on behalf of the Zouk Mikael International Festival Committee. I would like to wish all the success to the newly elected mayor of Zouk Mikael Mr. Elie Baino and the newly elected municipal council. They follow in the footsteps of the successful municipal council chaired over the last 52 years by Mr. Nouhad Nawfal, who over that period became an example to follow for other mayors in Lebanon.
The festival program for this year is brought to you thanks to our fruitful artistic collaboration with the Lebanese National Higher Conservatory of Music.
In order to maintain the high standards set by the Zouk Mikael International Festival, and due to our limited resources, the Committee decided to reduce the number of concerts to two making sure we’ve safe guarded the level of performance people have been used to us presenting.
Our program for this year is:
Tuesday July 12:
An evening with tenor Joseph Calleja who was compared by the Associated Press to the legend Enrico Caruso in addition to being the winner of numerous international awards, including Gramophone magazine’s “Artist of the Year” in 2012 and the Opera News Award in 2016,
Joining him will be the renowned baritone Bryn Terfel who’s won some of the most prestigious international awards, such as: the Gramophone Award, Grammy, and Classical Brit.
and internationally acclaimed soprano Monica Yunus who needs no introduction, as she is considered as Zouk Mikael International Festival’s ambassador to the world
They will be accompanied by the Lebanese National Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Maestro Gareth Jones.
Thursday July 21:
The magician of the violin Jihad Akl, accompanied by the Lebanese National Orchestra for Oriental and Arabic Music conducted by Maestro Andre Hajj.
Jihad Akl started as a musician with the most important orchestras in Lebanon, his distinguished and unique talent made him an international success. During his concert at the Zouk Festival he will be performing some of the best melodies and songs that have seduced millions of spectators.
Before concluding, I would like to thank the Ministry of Tourism for hosting our press conference at its headquarters and His Excellency Minister Michel Pharaon for his continued eagerness to support festivals and initiatives that give additional incentive to artistic activities.
I would also like to thank the Ministry of Culture, his Excellency Mr. Rony Areiji for his support of cultural activities in these difficult economic conditions that Lebanon is facing.
I would like to address a special thanks to all the supporters of the festival and its founder and constant supporter Mr. Nouhad Nawfal.
Last but not least, my thanks and appreciation from the heart to the media for their continued support.
See you all in Zouk Mikael