The Cairo Opera House celebrated its 32nd anniversary on Saturday with a masterful performance on the big stage by the Cairo Symphony Orchestra led by maestro Ahmad Saidi. Cairo Opera Company stars Iman Mustafa, Reda el-wakil, Amr Medhat and Julie Fizi performed alongside an acapella choir. They played Beethoven’s legendary Ninth Symphony, also known as Choral Symphony.
During the performance, Egyptian Minister of Culture Dr. Ines Abdel-Dayem said: “The Egyptian opera is among the strong pillars of culture, and it contributes, through its various activities, to the developing awareness, improving human beings and enhancing their artistic sense. Since the new opera first opened in 1988, it has been engraving the pages of the history of art and culture with light, regionally and internationally.”
The Cairo Opera House has a large number of performance companies including, the Abdel Halim Nowera Ensemble for Arab Music, Cairo Opera Ballet Company, Cairo Opera Company, Cairo Symphony Orchestra, Cairo Opera Orchestra, the National Arab Music Ensemble, Religious Song Ensemble, the Heritage Ensemble for Arab Music, the Egyptian Modern Dance Theater Company, Cairo Opera Choir, Acappella Choir and Alexandria Opera Ensemble for Music and Arab Singing.
The Cairo Opera House’s production of its own shows contrasts with other opera houses in the region, which host various international, Arab and local performances, none that they produce.
An extraordinary 90 percent of the opera’s shows are in house productions, according to Dr. Magdy Saber, President of the Cairo Opera House.
She added in an interview with Asharq al-Awsat that “before the coronavirus pandemic the Opera used to present, about 1,500 musical, cultural and artistic performances in Cairo, Alexandria and Damanhur, annually. But this year it decreased due to only 1,000 performances the pandemic”.
However, she stressed: “The opera house’s artistic program has not been greatly affected by the pandemic, and continues as is, except for the inability to organize performances by foreign bands.”
Located in the Gezira area next to the historic Cairo Tower, and built after the old opera house built by Khedive Ismail in 1869 (Downtown Cairo) burned down in 1971, the massive hall was among the first institutions to reopen after the lockdown ended in July.