June 28, 2011 - 8:30 pm
Tue 28 Jun till Sun 3 Jul, 2011
A musical play by Marwan, Ghadi and Oussama Rahbani.
Based on Cervantes’ literary masterpiece, Don Quixote is an epic musical play created by Marwan, Ghadi and Oussama Rahbani for the opening of Byblos 2011.
Don Quixote’s idealism clashes with Lebanese realities in this huge theatrical sensation starring Rafic Ali Ahmad, Hiba Tawaji and Paul Sleiman.
With the beginning of every summer, we gather at Byblos, this ancient city that has given its name to the Holy Bible, educated mankind, proclaimed civilization and spread alphabet and knowledge in the whole world.
The new play we will be presenting this season at the opening of Byblos International festival is inspired by the most renowned novel in the world: “Don Quixote” by Cervantes: a Literary wonder that achieved international fame just like the “Iliad” by Homer, the “Divine Comedy” by Dante, “Faust” by Goethe, and “Romeo and Juliet” By Shakespeare. And if we wanted to sum up this novel with one word, it would be “Sarcasm”, as it is the most sarcastic and satirical novel in western literature. Yet, stories that make people laugh make them weep too.
Why “ Don Quixote” ? … And why today?
Because it is the time to dream, and what is a dream but a representation of truth and reality. “Don Quixote” or “Don Assaad Quixote” as he is named in the play, tried to sow dreams of change in the minds and spirits of his people; but he came up against a sad and ugly truth: some societies do not desire to change, and latch onto their diseases, hungering for corruption and following their leaders’ whims.
“Don Quixote” is a play that verges on dreams and fantasy, and that is presented with a revolutionary vision.
We set off from our environment, our country, and our reality to travel through a story that sheds light on corruption and injustice through an errant knight in love with his imaginary Dulcinea, whom he reverts back to purity after society had corrupted her.
And here is the shameful equation: who is the victim and who is the oppressor, the people or the rulers? At times, they are both partners in crime.
We have taken the essence of the story and presented it in a play, which we introduced to you the general guidelines, leaving the details and dramatic an comic incidents for the performance.
With a new vision in direction, great production, dramatic script and lyrics, and dazzling composition and performance, this play will come to life with a high tech mobile décor, futuristic costumes, captivating choreography, and elite artists.
The concept and music are signed by Oussama Rahbani, the book and lyrics by Ghadi Rahbani, the direction by Marwan Rahbani, and the production by Byblos International Festival and Oussama Rahbani.
We hope “Don Quixote” will be a new and innovative version of the novel that has taught generation after generation,
The first generation met “Don Quixote” with laughter.
The second met it with a smile.
The third met it with tears.
We hope that our people meet it with a pinch of conscience, to change the inhuman and unjust situations prevailing in our modern society.
Composer, writer, film and stage director and producer Marwan Rahbani was born in Antelias, Lebanon in 1958. Marwan studied music composition under the guidance of Master Hagop Arslanian.
He took courses in the aesthetics of dramatic with the late Andre Gedeon, following which he moved to Paris, then Los Angeles, to complete a course in film direction. Upon graduation, Marwan soon immersed himself in theater direction. He worked with the late legend Assi Rahbani on several musical plays by the Rahbani brothers in Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, France (the Olympia in Paris) and England (the Palladium in London). He established Rahbani Productions in Lebanon in 1977, and moved to Dubai in 1989. The company specializes in the production of commercials, TV programs and documentaries. Rahbani Productions has recently embarked on a new venture, to provide on-flight entertainment for illustrious airlines.
Marwan Rahbani’s repertoire includes:
- Hello Beirut (Music-Hall), shown in Lebanon (1982), Libya (1984), Jordan (1984), Syria (1985), the United Arab Emirates (1985) and Kuwait (1986).
- Lawhat (Ballet), shown in London, 1987 / Credited as co-composer.
- Al Assifa: The Tempest (Ballet), 1988 / Credited as co-composer.
- Al Inqilab: Coup d’Etat (Musical play), shown in Lebanon (1995), Syria (1996) and the UAE (1996) / Credited as director, co-writer, and co-composer.
- The Last Days of Socrates (Musical Play), shown in Lebanon (1998), Egypt (Cairo’s Opera House, 1999) and Abu Dhabi (2000).
- The Voice, shown in Syria (Palais des Congres, 1998) / Credited as director and co-composer.
- Passage To Asia (Variety show), shown in Syria (Damascus International Fair, 1999) and Lebanon, 1999 / Credited as director and co-composer.
- The Maronite Mass (Concert), shown in Lebanon, 2000 / Credited as director.
- He Rose on the Third Day (Musical Play), shown in Lebanon, May 2000 / Credited as director.
Won the Said Akl Award for Best Director in August 2000, and the Golden Murex for Best Theater Director in June 2001.
- Abu Tayeb Al Mutanabbi (Musical Play), shown in Dubai (2001), Lebanon (Baalbeck Festival, 2001 / Beirut Forum, 2002), Syria (Palais des Congres, 2001), and the Kingdom of Jordan (2002).
- Flags of Freedom (Operette), shown in Bahrein (August 2002) / Credited as composer and director.
- The Nation and the Leader (Operette), shown in Qatar (2003) / Credited as director.
- Kings of Communities (Musical Play), shown in Lebanon (2003) / Credited as director.
- The Last Day (Musical Play), shown in Lebanon (2004) / Credited as director.
- Hekem al Rehyan (Musical Play), shown in Lebanon (2004) / Credited as director.
- Gibran and the Prophet (Musical Play), shown in Lebanon (Byblos Festival, 2005) / Credited as director.
- Zenobia (Musical Play), shown in Dubai (2007) / Credited as co-composer and director.
- The Return of the Phoenix (Musical Play), Director (Byblos Festival 2008, Dubai, Casino Du Liban)
- Saif 840 (Musical play), Director (Byblos Festival, 2009)
- Don Quixote (Musical play), Director (Byblos International Festival, 2011)
Film and Television
He directed two films:
Anything Wrong Miss, a short from 1975, and feature film End of Summer in 1979.
He directed for television the following musical plays:
Hello Beirut, Summer 840, The Will, Coup d’État, The Last Days of Socrates, Maronite Mass (in 2000), He Rose on the 3rd Day (2000), Abu Tayeb Al Moutanabbi (2001), Flags of Freedom (2002), The Nation and The Leader (2003), Pavarotti Concert (2003), and Kings of Communities (2003), The Last Day (2004), Gibran and The Prophet (2005), Zenobia (2007), The Return of the Phoenix (2008). He also directed over 120 TV features, including children’s shows, variety musicals, dramas, documentaries, and made well over 500 TV commercials.
His current catalogue includes more than 20 CD releases, widely available on the market, consisting of music composed with his brother Ghady Rahbani.
Author, composer, poet, producer and orchestra leader Ghadi Rahbani is Marwan and Oussama’s brother. He was born in Lebanon in 1960, where he studied composition, harmony and piano under the guidance of Hagop Arslanian for a period of ten years.
In 1989 he founded Rahbani Productions in Dubai with his brother Marwan. He works with equal ease in various media, including TV, theatre and film.
Ghadi Rahbani’s repertoire includes:
Theater and Ballet
- Hello Beirut (Theatrical show), 1982 / Credited as author and composer.
- Lawhat (Ballet), shown in London, 1987 / Credited as author and composer.
- Summer of 840, by Mansour Rahbani, 1987 / Credited as orchestrator and conductor.
- Al Wasyah: The Will by Mansour Rahbani, 1993 / Credited as co-orchestrator.
- Al Assifa: The Tempest, by Charles Sawaya (Ballet), 1994 / Credited as co-author and co-composer.
- Al Inqilab: Coup d’État, 1995 / Credited as author and composer.
- The Last Days of Socrates, by Mansour Rahbani, with the Kiev City Symphony Orchestra, 1998 / Credited as co-orchestrator, co-composer and conductor.
- Passage to Asia (Variety Show), 1999 / Credited as author and composer.
- He Rose on the Third Day, by Oussama Rahbani, 2000 / Credited as co-composer.
- The Maronite Mass, by Mansour Rahbani, 2000 / Credited as co-orchestrator and conductor.
Film and Television
- End of summer / 1980
- Artistic Visit / 1983, Ghadi also wrote several social and educational programs for children, as well as TV documentaries that include:
- Escaping Moments
- The Memorial of Assi Rahbani’s Death (a biography of the Rahbani Brothers). Of the latter, 120 different episodes were made for TV.
Ghadi wrote the lyrics for a number of songs, including ‘Our Story in Society’ and ‘I’ve Got to Change the System’ (whose video-clips were directed by Oussama Rahbani). He has also composed for classical orchestra and piano on several instances, and his illustrious quartet for strings and woodwinds was performed in Damascus and Cairo.
In the years 2001 and 2002, Ghadi and his brother Oussama re-did the orchestration of several passages from the Rahbani Brothers’ musicals, and along with other Lebanese composers presented these re-interpretations as symphonic suites, as part of an elegant tribute to Lebanon’s musical heritage in two parts: Lebanese Night, with the National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine, conducted by Vladimir Sirenko (2001), and Impressions from Lebanon, with the Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Constantine Orbelian (2002). In 2003, Ghadi composed and wrote the orchestral parts for Kings of Communities. He also re-orchestrated some of the Rahbani Brothers’ songs with l’Orchestre de la Région de Tours, with maestro Jean Clement Jollet conducting. The pieces were performed in the ‘Niha’ and ‘Sourat’ festivals. In 2004, he contributed to Hekem al Rehyan and The Last Day by Oussama Rahbani, while 2005 was marked by his participation to Oussama Rahbani’s Gibran and the Prophet.
In 2007, Ghadi co-composed, orchestrated and conceived the production for the musical play Zenobia.
In 2008, Ghadi co-composed and orchestrated The Return of the Phoenix.
He founded the ‘Fersan 4’ group and he released their first CD the same year.
In 2009, he participated in the new production of Saif 840 at Byblos International Festival and Casino du Liban.
In 2011, he returns to the Byblos Festival as the author of the epic musical play Don Quixote.
Oussama Rahbani was born in Antelias, in the suburbs of Beirut. His father Mansour Rahbani is a legend, a pioneer of Middle Eastern music, where tradition and creativity are in a continuous state of mingling.
Oussama began to study the piano in 1973, and gradually entered the world of composition.
Oussama’s mentor throughout all his years of apprenticeship was Hagop Arslanian. Oussama also attended two sessions at the Berklee College of Music, Boston, Massachusets, in 1990 and 1995 respectively.
Oussama Rahbani’s work
- 1986 He was one of the prime movers in Lebanon’s Jazz Renaissance. He was a member the Jazz Gate Group, and played in a succession of successful concerts including the Byblos Festival
- in 1987, the History of Jazz concert in 1987, and the Winter Concert in 1989.
- 1997-1998 He composed the soundtracks for the two feature films Al Awsaj and Al Mawt Al Kadem Ila Al Sharq, as well as for a number of documentary films.
- 2000 He composed, orchestrated and produced the musical play He Rose on the Third Day.
- 2001 He recorded the music for two NADEC Television commercials with the symphonic ensemble London Session Orchestra in London’s famous Abbey Road Studios.
He produced outstanding sessions for the St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Nicolai Alexyev, for a special performance of Russian Night in Lebanon.
Along with his brother Ghady Rahbani, he produced a concert by the Ukraine State Symphonic Orchestra in Kiev, on the occasion of a unique Lebanese night. The program included a new orchestration and symphonic adaptation of two plays by the Rahbani Brothers, The Days of Fakhreddine and The Mount Sylex, as well as Mansour Rahbani’s play The Last Days of Socrates. The orchestra was conducted by Vladimir Sirenko.
- 2003 He produced Impressions du Liban, a concert by the Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Constantine Orbelian and playing musical pieces by Oussama and Ghady Rahbani.
- 2004 He composed, orchestrated and produced The Last Day, a musical play adapted from Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet. The play was choreographed by the famous Debbie Allen.
- 2004-2006 Oussama is the Honorary Consultant of the Star Academy music reality program, produced by TV station LBCI. He is responsible for giving candidates in “Ear Training and Musical Culture”, in addition to evaluating the ‘Primes’ held weekly for the candidates. The Star Academy program made Oussama even more popular among Middle Eastern audiences.
- 2005-2006 He composed, orchestrated and produced the play Gibran and the Prophet, based on the book The Prophet by celebrated Lebanese author Gibran Khalil Gibran. The legendary Mansour Rahbani was responsible for the play’s booklet and poetry. It was shown first during the Byblos International Festival, then again at the Beirut Forum with new staging. The play was directed by Oussama’s brother, Marwan Rahbani.
- 2006 He put the finishing touches to Synergy, a new album of classical music recorded with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and Choir, conducted by Ion Marin. The album was made on the occasion of the opening of the Jameel Gallery of Islamic Art at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London.It consists of the following pieces: Symphonic image 1: Interlock / Symphonic image 2: Oriental Chivalry / Symphonic poem 1: Synergy. The last of these pieces, Symphonic poem: Synergy, was given its world premiere performance on July 18, 2006, at the V&A Museum, in the presence of his Royal Highness Prince Charles and dignitaries from all over the world. Oussama Rahbani also held several conferences and seminars in various schools, universities and cultural entities around the world, on the theme of “Musical Culture”.
CAST & CREDITS
- Concept and Music Oussama Rahbani
- Book and Lyrics Ghadi Rahbani
- Directed by Marwan Rahbani
- Artistic Consultant Fouad Khoury
- Set and costumes designer Agnes Treplin
- Choreographer Dolly Sfeir
- Assistant Choreography Pascal Sayegh Zgheib
- Set execution Myriam Kordahi
- Wardrobe execution Majed Bou Tanous
- Dance Arabesque
- Hairdresser Robert Maalouf
- Production Manager Abdo Housseini
- Production Office Manager Issam Hamdan
- Public Relation Sami Attieh
- Assistant Director Boutros Hanna
- Recorded At Georges Merheb
- Visual effects and Graphics Studio Emile Adaimy
- Produced by Byblos International Festival and Oussama Rahbani
- Don Assaad Quixote Rafic Ali Ahmad
- Dima – Dulcinéa Hiba Tawaji
- Samho Al Ghool Paul Sleiman
- Al Moutahakem bel Ibad Antoine Balaban
- Al Mouhtaram Majid Assaad Haddad
- Al Tahich Nazih Youssef
- Atared – Tarka el Haeka Maya Yamine
- Nicolas the Barber Boutros Hanna
- Shamshoum Al Kirchani Tony Issa
- Rana Rita Hayek
- Mr Farhat Michel Nassar