In June each year, the city of Fes hosts a festival of sacred music. This international gathering draws performers and spectators from far and wide to Morocco, and Intrepid’s Laura Carroll recommends you put this festival high on your list if you love hearing world-class music from a variety of countries and cultures…
“Created in 1994, the festival serves as a bridge between cultures, to create a musical dialogue between faiths. The themes always reflect that goal, with performers coming from America, France, Spain, Norway, Lebanon, Mali, Senegal, India, Tunisia, Saudi Arabia, Bali, Vietnam and beyond.
I was fortunate to arrive in Fes with my Intrepid group on the opening night of the concert. We reached the city gates at dusk, to find that the crowd had gathered and you could sense the excitement.
As we took our seats, a trumpet sounded and a hush filled the air, as the festival opened with the entrance of Morocco’s queen, the beautiful Lalla Salma. She floated down the red carpet, looking like a fairytale vision in her beautiful dress, and gave her blessing to the festival to the cheers of the adoring crowd. Once she was seated, the legendary Jessye Norman took the stage. An American classical and gospel singer, she performed a selection of pieces that ranged from Bach and Handel to traditional spirituals and Duke Ellington. As her voice filled the night and drove away all other sounds, we knew that we were experiencing a performance that would stay with us for the rest of our lives!”