A tribute to the late Nasri Shams El-Din at the National Theater


A tribute to the late Nasri Shams El-Din at the National Theater

Organized by the Tero Arts Society as part of the “Tire International Music Festival”

Thursday – 26 Rabi Al-Awal 1442 AH – 12 November 2020 AD

Beirut: Viviane Haddad

The “Tire International Music Festival”, in its fourth session, chose the late artist Nasri Shams El Din to honor him as part of an artistic program that performs for one day on November 13th. The festival will be presented directly to the public on the stage of the National Theater in Tire, as well as virtually (online) for the largest possible number of spectators to follow it.
The festival, which since its launch in 2015, has focused on highlighting Lebanese music, its symbols and giants, and includes musical and lyrical performances with the participation of a number of artists. Over the past three years, the festival has honored the late Melhem Barakat, Sabah and Wadih Al Safi, in addition to Fairouz among its activities in its second edition in 2016.
Qassem Istanbuli, founder of the Lebanese National Theater in Tire, the host of the event, said in an interview with Asharq Al-Awsat: “This honor comes within a series of celebrations that we launch annually at the Tire International Music Festival. We did not want this year to miss our permanent appointment with our fans, so we adhered to the festival for only one day. “Everyone will have the opportunity to virtually follow this event, while a shy number of people will attend it directly on stage, applying social distancing measures in the time of the pandemic.”
Istanbouli continues in the context of his speech: “We chose the late Nasri Shams El-Din because he was one of the founders and publishers of authentic Lebanese music. His presence at the Rahabneh theater was a milestone, as he had a warm and strong voice at the same time. It is true that the late artist did not receive enough attention to be honored by the Lebanese state, but we insist on presenting this artistic greeting to him because he represents the true identity of Lebanese music to other official bodies that will remember him later. ”
Among the activities of the festival is the opening of an exhibition of photographs and drawings telling about the life of Nasri Shams al-Din, which includes a musical segment presented by the Elissar Artistic Band.
A representative of the artist’s family will attend his son Mustafa, who will be handed over to the festival management by a stamp bearing his father’s picture, designed specifically for the occasion by artist Mohamed Al-Ameri. The stamp bears a picture of Nasiri Shams al-Din, wearing the fez that accompanied him on his artistic career. Istanbouli comments: “We wanted, through this gesture, to document the career of an artist who played an important role in spreading the Lebanese song, and he was one of its well-known pillars.”
The festival includes speeches by the Syndicate of Music and Singing Professionals and another by the artist’s son, Mustafa Shams El Din.
Among the illustrated artistic activities that this festive day includes, a documentary film about the life of the late artist, which lasted about 5 minutes, was produced by the Tero Art Association and directed by Moamen Mahmoud. This greeting is also shared by André Hajj, conductor of the National Oriental Orchestra, Harout Vasilian, conductor of the Lebanese Philharmonic Orchestra, as well as Omaima al-Khalil, through a video song (Tellouli Hajer Shaw Nater) and poet Henri Zogheib, in addition to a musical salute from the Higher National Institute of Music with the National Orchestra. The Arabic sings are performed by Joseph Issa and Michel Khoury Istanbouli comments, “Each of them chose to present a photographic artwork of the late artist from their signature to be a greeting to him in their own way.”
Over the course of 90 minutes, which is the time that the concert takes, the audience will follow directly in the National Theater Hall in Tire, and the virtual via the “online”, a group of songs for which the late artist was famous. Among them, “They raised the fisherman,” “Gina Aaldar,” “They killed me with black eyes,” and “We loved you a lot,” and others. The ceremony will also include a Dabke performance by the Tero Art Troupe, led by choreographer Amer Fayyad.
Nasri Shams al-Din was born in the town of Joun al-Choufia on June 27, 1927, and died on March 18, 1983. He was famous for his Lebanese theatrical songs, and left nearly five hundred songs between mawal and dabkat, emotional, patriotic songs and duos. He also appeared in all Rahabneh theatrical, film and television works, in addition to radio sketches.


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