Romeo Lahoud with Sabah… Ten years before breakup (1)

Romeo Lahoud started his performing career with Sabah in Baalbek in 1963 where he supervised the presentation of the play ‘The Waterfall’. The partnership between Shahroura and the up-and-coming artist continued over the next few years and developed into a solid partnership between 1967 and 1972. However, this partnership cracked dramatically in early 1973 and quickly turned into a complete break.

In 1963, the Baalbek Festival Committee chose Romeo Lahoud to supervise the “Lebanese Nights”, and he was a new face at the time. The emerging artist presented the play ‘The Waterfall’ with Sabah, without having any role in the composition or composition. The story was written by his sister Aline, the dialogue was written by Younes Jr., the music was composed by Walid Gholmieh and directed by him, the choreography was choreographed by Nihad Chehayeb and Sarkis Paskalian, the training was supervised by Franz Bauer Pantolier, and Romeo was content to supervise the execution of this show.

After “The Waterfall,” Romeo assembled his own troupe and presented “Mawal” at the Phenicia Hotel theater, “Lebanese’s first folklore program,” according to the announcement. Indeed, this program fully resumed the tradition inaugurated by the Baalbek Festivals Committee in the summer of 1957, and constituted its continuation. Under the supervision and sponsorship of Sabri al-Sharif, the Baalbek Committee established a folk dance troupe, raising the banner of Lebanese folklore. From this band emerged the “Popular Band”, founded by Sabri al-Sharif with the Rahbani brothers in 1960, and the band “Al-Anwar”, founded by Said Freiha in the same era. In turn, Romeo created another troupe carrying the banner of folklore, and this troupe included many faces who participated in the “Cascade”, and in its early days it bore the name “The Ensemble Loyal to the Phenicia Theater”, and made revived the “Third International Cedar Festival” in the summer, where he presented a show entitled “Rice Dreams.

In this exhibition, Romeo Lahoud restored the paintings he presented in “Mawal”, and presented them as part of a story developed by his sister Aline, author of the story “The Waterfall”. Maurice Awwad wrote the dialogues and songs, Younes Jr. co-wrote two songs, Berg Fazelian supervised the direction, Sarkis Paskalian choreographed the choreography, and Antoine Kerbaj acted as the narrator. This performance came after the brothers Rahbani and Sabri al-Sharif performed with the popular band in the summer of 1964 the show “Bayaa al-Khawatm” in the Cedars, and Fayrouz opened these performances that day with poetry by Gibran Khalil Gibran “Give me the flute” composed by Najib Hanakash. Romeo Lahoud followed this line in “Cedar Dreams”, and opened the performances with another poem by Gibran, “Al Shahrour”, composed by Walid Gholmieh, and performed by Issam Raji.

Romeo Lahoud continued this march with a firm step on the stage of the Venice Theater, and in early 1966 he presented “Mijana”, and Zaki Nassif contributed to the composition of this play, in which Sabah acted as an honored guest. The ad read: “Largest Lebanese Theater Production, Seven Scenes, Eighty Male and Female Performers, Two Hours of the Most Wonderful Scenes, Produced by Romeo Lahoud.” The Rahbani brothers entered the world of cinema with ‘The Seller of Rings’ in 1965, and Romeo Lahoud quickly entered this world, introducing the film ‘Mawal’. The first screenings of this film opened in the fall of 1966, produced and distributed by the Film Company for Production and Distribution, and performed by “Sabah and the Venice Theater Ensemble”, as stated on the invitation cards for the opening ceremony projections. The film was signed by Muhammad Salman who also wrote the story and screenplay, Walid Gholmieh supervised the music, Sarkis Paskalian choreographed the dances and Shafiq Hashem supervised the performances presented by the ‘Venice Folk Dance Troupe’.

From Baalbek to Paris
Romeo Lahoud continued his walk in the Phenicia Hall, and in 1967 presented the show “Ataba”, “which included, in addition to Lebanese folk art, a desert scene showing the ancient Arab traditions in their best manifestations, and also included a scene taking place under the sea, through the sophistication of decoration As the “network” wrote on the day.In that year, the Baalbek Festival announced a new play by Romeo Lahoud, starring Sabah, and titled “The Citadel”, but this performance was postponed due to the defeat in 1967, and was replaced by a variety concert prepared by Romeo Lahoud.The “Castle” is presented the following year, and Romeo’s name appears for the first time in this opera as an author and composer. And her heart is big” and “It is not a shame to lie” written and composed by Walid Ghulamiyah, and “Mish Kul Al-Sunni” was composed and composed by Maurice Awad.

In early 1969, Romeo Lahoud traveled to Paris with his folk band to Paris to perform a concert on 20 January on the stage of ‘Olympia Hall’, and Sabah attended this show as the guest of honor. The party was titled ‘Lebanese Nights’, which is how local nights at the Baalbek International Festivals were known by, and its announced program included a group of song-and-dance paintings previously presented by Romeo Lahoud’s troupe as part of its performances at the Teatro Fenicia. After Paris, Romeo Lahoud went with his band to Belgium to give five concerts in four cities, the first of which was a concert in Brussels, and Sabah also participated in these concerts.

Following this trip, Romeo Lahoud was forced to leave the Phenicia Theater in February 1969, after the Civil Court of Appeal in Beirut declared it bankrupt, but he continued to work tirelessly and after a few months he traveled again with his troupe and Sabah in Iraq at the invitation of Mr. Abdullah Sharif and the contribution of the Lebanese Ministry of Tourism. This artistic tour began in Baghdad on May 13, where ten concerts were presented, followed by a series of performances in some Iraqi brigades. Also with Sabah, and also, at the end of that year, Romeo Lahoud presented a television evening produced by him, titled ‘The Seasons’, in which Al-Shahrora sang, from his own words and composed by Issam Raji, ‘Ya People del Dolab world”.

A dispute arose between Romeo Lahoud and his partner Walid Ghulamiyah at this time, and the latter said, “He was consulting Romeo on some of the tunes he was preparing for festivals where he collaborated with him”, including the tune “O Traveler , Stand Up on the Path” which Sabah sang, and the tune “Qudaydish We Spent.” Sawa” performed by Issam Raji, and the melody of “Mish Kil Al-Sunni” performed by the choir. Romeo Lahoud separated from his partner, Walid Gholmieh, following this dispute, and returned to Baalbek in 1970, where he introduced a young singer named Naziha Moukarzel, who he discovered and named ‘Majdala’.On the other hand, Sabah played the lead role in a play presented in Byblos under the title ‘The Illusion’.Romeo was absent from this play and many of those who have participated in the making of her previous works have participated, including Maurice Awwad, who wrote the story of the singer and her poetry, Walid Gholmieh, who composed most of her melodies, and Berg Vasilian, who the has direct .

A second episode follows on Lahoud’s quarrel with Sabah’s husband, the deputy

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