American opera star Renee Fleming has pulled out of plans to perform in Lebanon due to the ongoing conflict in neighbouring Syria.
The soprano had been booked to open the Baalbek music festival with a concert on 30 June (13), but she has since axed the show as the civil war rages on.
Meanwhile, organisers have been forced to find a new venue for this year's (13) event as the Syrian war spills over into Baalbek's Bekaa Valley, which typically serves as the location for the gigs. Members of Lebanese militant group Hezbollah have clashed with Syrian rebels east of the town of Baalbek, while rockets have also landed nearby.
War-torn Syria has been back in the news this week (begs17Jun13) after United Nations ambassador Angelina Jolie travelled to the Middle East to meet with refugees in Jordan, and called for world leaders to find a solution to the ongoing conflict and bring an end to the "worst humanitarian crisis of the 21st century" in recognition of World Refugee Day on Thursday (20Jun13).