ARABIC POETRY EVENING WITH BACH

MIREILLE MAALOUF, actress, RIFAAT TORBEY, actor, ROMAN STOROJENKO, cello

Thursday, 1 March at 8:30pm
Venue: CRYSTAL GARDEN, Hotel Al Bustan

Two masters of Lebanese theatre, Mireille Maalouf and Rifaat Torbey meet for an evening honouring Arab poets such as Gebran Khalil Gebran, Said Akl, Mahmoud Darwish and many others… They are accompanied by Roman Storojenko, first cellist of the Lebanese Philharmonic Orchestra who will play extracts of Bach’s cello suites.

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MIREILLE MAALOUF, actress

Mireille Maalouf was born in Paris and grew up in Beirut, Lebanon. After graduating from St Joseph French University of Beirut’s Law School, she trained as an actress under the direction of Lebanese director Mounir A. Debs before joining his theatre company. She performed in most of his Arabic productions of Sophocles, Euripides, Shakespeare, and Dostoievski playing parts such as Antigone, Jocasta, Lady Macbeth, Gertrude, or Maria Lebiadkin. In 1972 she performed and toured in “Le Déluge” with Debs company which won the price for best play at the East Berlin Festival 72. She then played the part of Hala in Maroun Bagdadi’s Beyrouth Ya Beyrouth

In 1974 she joined Peter Brook’s company in Paris. She played in several Brook’s productions including Measure for Measure, Ubu Rex, The Conference of the Birds, The Mahabharata, with which she toured internationally (USA, South America, Australia, Europe, Japan…) playing in both English and French language. During that time she also took part in various French productions in Paris including Bernard Sobel’s production of King John in which she played Eleanor of Aquitaine.

In 1981, despite the raging Civil War that took place in Lebanon, she returned to Beirut and worked in many TV, radio, and theatre productions. Plays in the 90’s include the title role in Sherif Khaznadar production of Julia Domna and Michael Frayn’s Noises Off.

In 2000, she’s awarded Best Modern Actress of the Arab World at Cairo’s International Theatre Festival for her performance in Julia Domna. More recently, in 2010, a tribute was paid to her in Damascus where she received an Outstanding Achievement Award for her career.

Back to Paris in 2009 she performed in Racine’s Bérénice directed by Lambert Wilson at the Bouffes du Nord.

In 2010 she took part in Giles Terera’s work in progress at the National Theatre Studio that are part of his forthcoming film Muse of Fire.

In 2011 she performed in Women in War written and directed by Jawad el Assad that premiered in Theatre Babel, Beirut.

She then joined Irina Brook’s theatre company to take on the part of Ase in Ibsen’s Peer Gynt which premiered at the Salzburg Festival in 2012 and to perform in La Vie Matérielle by Margueritte Duras in 2013 at the Théâtre National de Nice.

In 2014, she starred in the film Go Home directed by Jihane Chouaib, in competition at Busan Film Festival and Dubai International Film Festival.

She is currently on tour with two productions: Peer Gynt and La Vie Matérielle.

  • 3rd appearance at the Al Bustan Festival

RIFAAT TORBEY, actor

Born in Chatine, North Lebanon on November 9, 1948

Has graduated from Beirut school of Modern Theater, and has been considered from the second generation in the Lebanese theater. He has participated in many principal roles in the following:

1973 – Jesus with Mounir Abou Debs
1974 – Hamlet with Mounir Abou Debs
1974 – Kaligoula with Mounir Abou Debs
1977 – Charbel with Raymond Gebara
1978 – Zaradacht Sar Kalban with Raymond Gebara
1979 – Kondlaft Yassaad ila Al Samaa with Raymond Gebara
1980 – Iaadat Mouhakamat Yasouu with Raymond Gebara
1981 – Dakar AlNahel with Raymond Gebara
1983 – Sanee Al ahlam with Raymond Gebara
1981 – Kazzab with Jalal Khoury
2002 – Hindiya with Jalal Khoury
1979 – Mouzakkarat Maljaa with Chakib Khoury
1992 – Jabal al Jan with Chakib Khoury
1994 – Sakhret Tanios with Gerard Avedissian
1996 – Ah ya Ghadanfar with Gerard Avedissian
1997 – Kalila wa Doumna with Gerard Avedissian
1995 – Gebran with Berge Vazilian
2000 – Habel el Machnou with Berge Vazilian
2003 – Helem Leilet Sayf with Berge Vazilian
2009 – Nisaa el Saxophone with Jawad el Asadi
2009 – Taer el Finiq with Mansour Al Rahbani
1992 – Harame wled zghar with Antoine Kerbaj
1994 – Min bado yeetol min with Joseph Bou Nassar
1991 – Harb bel Tabek el Telit with Latife and Antoine Moultaka

He directed several theatric plays:

1978 – Al Majous Al Rabee
2004 – El Bsein
2011 – Opera el Dayaa– Caracalla ( he directed Al Habalon role)
2012 – Maktal Inna wa Akhawatiha with Ryamond Gebara ( he directed Doctor Al Alsouniya role)

He participated in all Abdel Halim Caracalla’s last plays.

In Cinema, he participated with many movie directors: Andree Jedaoun- Maroun Baghdadi- Samir Ghoussayni- Leila Assaf Tingrouth- Barhan Alawyiya- Samir Habchi and Joseph El Khoury

In TV, he worked with many TV directors: Chakib Khoury- Elie Saade- Antoine Remi- Bassem Nasr- Liliane El Boustany- Marc Boustany- Marwan Najjar and Joseph El Khoury.

He made many cultural documentary films for the Lebanese television and the French television TF3.

In festivals, he participated in the first and second theater festivals in Baghdad (Iraq) and in the Carthage festival (Tunis) and in leopels festival in Morocco. He participated as well in experimental theater festival in Cairo (Egypt) twice; the first time he was guest lecturer and in the second time he was member of the jury.

In Radios, he also has two radio programs at “Sawt Lebnen”, Dbayeh: Autostop and Alo Raymond.

Teaching Experience:

A director at the Theater Department in “Al Kafaat University”

Instructor at “USJ University”.

He is founder member in many cultural movements:

Al Haraka Al thakafiah- Antelias

Likaa Al Jazira- Antelias

Likaa Bekfia Al Koubra

LANA Tannourine

He organized several poetry evenings and has a principal role in Fine Art in Lebanon

He organized several poetry evenings and has a principal role in Fine Art in Lebanon

  • 2nd appearance at the Al Bustan Festival

ROMAN STOROJENKO, cello

Born in Kaluga near Moscow, he began studying cello at the age of five. Roman graduated from the Tchaikovsky Conservatory of Music in Moscow, and hasperformed in several Moscow Symphony Orchestras, the Moldavian National Symphony and others. In additionto performance in many concerts in Europe, Asia and Latin America, he has held positiosn as a principal cellist since 1988 in several orchestras. Currently, he is the principal cellist in the Lebanese Philharmonic Orchestra and teacher at the Lebanese National Higher Conservatory of Music.