Bahrain's 'Spring of Culture Festival' opens
Manama, March 2, 2012
Bahrain's Spring of Culture Festival which offers spectacular entertainment with star-studded acts from across the globe kicked off last night.
The two-month festival got underway at the Bahrain National Museum with a tribute performance to Arab world's legendary singer Umm Kulthum by Riham Abdul Hakim. The singer was also accompanied by Selim Sahab Arab Music Ensemble.
Organisers have promised a rich and diverse programme with more than 35 events, one-third of which are aimed at families. The festival is being held under the slogan 'Embrace the Experience' and coincides with Manama being named Capital of Arab Culture for 2012.
The line-up of events includes shows by top Latin singer Julio Iglesias, who will perform in Bahrain for the first time tomorrow night, and a debut performance by legendary opera singer Andrea Bocelli to a sold-out crowd on March 8.
The festival also features cultural seminars and poetry evenings, as well as regional, international and local art shows, including song, music, theatre, dance, and visual arts.
Tomorrow's concert by Iglesias, who he has sold more than 300 million albums in 14 languages, will be held at Arad Fort in Muharraq at 8.30pm and tickets are required.
An art exhibition highlighting the different artistic talents from around the Arab world will open the next day at Albareh Art Gallery in Adliya at 7pm.
The display, called Diversity from the Arab World, showcases a collection of contemporary paintings, photography and sculptures created by a mixed group of Arab artists.
It is open to the public from Sunday until April 4 and Albareh Art Gallery is open daily from 10am to 1pm and 4pm to 8pm.
The festival continues with a night of music to be held on Monday at Shaikh Ibrahim bin Mohammed Al Khalifa Centre for Culture and Research in Muharraq at 8pm. Lebanese singer Ghada Ghanem will perform at the event called 'A Tarab Musical Evening from the Golden Age of Music'.
The performance is free for all but with limited seating.
The atmosphere will dramatically change the following night as a fusion of traditional Korean art forms, costumes, theatre and dance will take to the stage.
The tale of Princess Bari tells of a young princess who is thrown into the sea by her father after being outraged that his wife has given birth to yet another daughter.
The performance will take place on Tuesday night at Arad Fort at 8.30pm and tickets are required.
A major highlight of the festival will take place on Thursday night as one of the world's greatest tenors will light up the country at Bahrain National Museum.
A sold-out crowd are eagerly anticipating the debut performance of legendary opera singer Andrea Bocelli.
The Italian will sing alongside soprano Paola Sanguinetti and Ilaria Della Bidia and State Hermitage Orchestra conductor Eugene Kohn. The event will take place at 8pm.
Celebrations will continue into the following week with New York-based Dan Zanes and Friends performing at Arad Fort on March 9 and 10 at 5pm.
Its wild sounds of electric guitar, fiddle, trumpet, upright bass, harmonica, the spoons, mandolin and vocals will stir up the audience.
The group is back in Bahrain by popular demand and will bring its 21st century style of music to entertain the crowd. Tickets are required for the show and it is open to all ages.
Japanese drumming troupe Taiko Legend will also be showing off their skills on the same weekend, with performances at the Cultural Hall, next to Bahrain National Museum.
The troupe is led by world-renowned Japanese drummer Eitetsu Hayashi and includes bamboo flautist Makoto Takei and four drummers from Eitetsu's group called Fu-Un no Kai. The performances will take place on March 9 and 10 at 8pm and entry is free but with limited seating.
The ambience will then shift as Bahrain will host one of the most famous poets to come out of Palestine. Samih Al Qasim will conduct a poetry evening at the House of Poetry in Muharraq on March 12 at 8pm.
Bahraini artists will then showcase their talents at an exhibition on March 13 at Bohemia, an abandoned restaurant in Adliya. They have collaborated with Al Riwaq Art Space visiting artist Mo Reda to present a mixed exhibition called 'I Am The Other'.
The free exhibition will open at 7pm and will continue until April 13.
The first phase of the festival will end with a puppet performance from March 14 to 17 at the Arts Centre, next to Bahrain National Museum.
The show 'Walls and Bridges' features folk tales from Russia, the Marshall Islands, the US and China and artists will perform with hand, shadow and tabletop puppets.
They will be led by puppeteer Karen Konnerth, who has toured Pakistan, Costa Rica and the US. Performances on all three days will start at 10am and 4pm.
For more information on tickets and events, call the festival's hotline 39900630, or visit www.springofculture.org. - TradeArabia News Service