Holland Festival 2010 has an Arab flavour

May 2010 -

The Netherlands' most prestigious arts event, the Holland Festival, includes a number of Arab program components in 2010. The opening on 1 June in Theatre Carré in Amsterdam will be devoted to the legendary singer Oum Khaltoum, who is regarded as the Maria Callas of the Arab world. The young singer Amal Maher, a rapidly rising star in Egypt, will sing Khaltoum's classic Arab songs from pre-Islamic times. She will be accompanied by the Selim Sahab orchestra, which is affiliated with the Cairo Opera Theatre. The concert can also be viewed free on a video screen in Amsterdam’s Oosterpark.

The show Radio Muezzin by the much touted German theatre company Rimini Protokoll, portrays the loss of the muezzin (a person who calls people to prayer and leads the daily prayers) in the Egyptian capital. Radio Muezzin focuses on four muezzins: a farmer's son, a former electrician, a blind Koran teacher and the runner up to the world champion in Koran recitation. The documentary-style theatre performances offer a fascinating glimpse into contemporary Egyptian society. The Ud players of the Palestianian Trio Joubran can be heard in a joint concert with the New Ensemble from the Netherlands. The British architect Zaha Hadid, who is originally from Baghdad, has designed a pavilion for the Holland Festival; it is set up in Amsterdam's Westerpark.

Radio Muezzin will be presented on 15, 16 and 17 June 2010. Trio Jourdan and the New Ensemble will give their joint concert on 17 June 2010.