Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli revived an unprecedented party at the Al Hajar archaeological site (Madain Saleh), a historic city in the desert in the Al-Ula governorate in western Saudi Arabia, against the backdrop of graves carved into the rocks and sandy ruins.
The organizers of the concert, which was shown on television, said that the singer, who has so far sang at least twice in the Kingdom, was “the first artist in history to perform a concert on the grounds of the Al-Hegra site.”
Bocelli performed the concert, accompanied by his family, at the site on the UNESCO World Heritage List, an area that has been isolated for a long time and is an open-air museum.
Bocelli performed Leonard Cohen’s song “Hallelujah” in a duet with his young daughter Virginia in front of an audience that organizers said was limited to less than 300 people, due to the “Covid-19” pandemic.
The site of Al-Ula dates back to centuries, and includes Nabataean tombs and art carved into caramel-colored rocks, and is considered the most prominent Saudi tourist attraction. Saudi Arabia began issuing tourist visas for the first time in 2019, and has committed billions to develop sites like Al-Ula. She invited a number of international musicians – from Janet Jackson to rapper “50 Cent” to South Korean pop group “BTS” – to perform on-site concerts, but the epidemic halted the ambitious campaign for entertainment and tourism.
The first artist to perform a concert on the Al-Hegra site.
The site is on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
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