2016 - Fes Festival of World Sacred Music: musical direction, composition and arrangement for the festival’s opening performance “A Sky Full of Stars,” which recounted the stories of Arab and Muslim women who had left their mark on history. Stories of wise women, mystical women, founders of Islam and other ancient cultures, poets and enchantresses, are told through the mythical figure of Sheherazade, a noblewoman who mastered the artistic and intellectual pursuits of her time and risked her life by joining the harem of a cruel man in order to save the women of her kingdom. Through song, music and dance, the performance highlights the reign of the Queen of Sheba, the slave woman Tawaddud Al-Jâria, who challenged the powerful sages of her court, and Oum EL Banine, who founded the Karounine mosque and the University of Fes, among others. Contemporary women artists onstage included horsewomen poets from the Mongolian steppes, musicians from the court palaces of Azerbaijan, Persian Sufis, and singers, dancers and instrumentalists from China, Ethiopia, France, Italy, Lebanon, Morocco and Palestine, all backed by a large orchestra of Palestinian and Moroccan musicians. The creator of the show is Alain Weber, artistic director of the Fes Festival of World Sacred Music.

Description of the festival opener

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