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Cairo Opera House

Music is the food of the soul. every human being whatever his education and level of living can enjoy the music somehow. Egypt knew the importance of the music years and years ago that’s why Cairo Opera House was built In 1869 and became one of the most important Music Houses in the world. Let’s take a small tour in this blog to talk about the Cairo Opera House and learn about one of the greatest sources of music ever. 

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Opera House History 

During the occasion of the inauguration of the Suez Canal, Khedive Ismail asked to build an Opera House In 1869. At that time they used to call it Khedivial (Royal) Opera House. This great building took only six months based on amazing designs from two Italian architects, Avoscani and Rossi. The theater was built by outstanding specialists who came specially to Egypt to finish the theater. 

Khedive Ismail wanted the opening ceremony of the Opera house to be magical and so unique, so he asked Mariette Pasha to prepare for a great performance that should reflect glimpses of Ancient Egyptian history. Mariette Pasha decided to choose the Italian poem Gialanzoni and commissioned him to write the libretto, then the Khedive commissioned the musician Verdi to compose the music. As a result of this great mix, the famous opera Aida came out.  Opera Aida performance was known for presenting a patriotic subject with amazing passionate songs full of superb music, that’s what we call a musical masterpiece.

But after these great efforts from the 3 of them, Aida didn’t make it to the opening performance of the Opera House as it wasn’t ready. Therefore, another masterpiece took the stage and it was also made by Verdi and Rigoletto. Two years later, Opera Aida took the chance to be performed at the Khedivial (Royal) Opera House. 

At that time, the Opera House in Cairo was the first in Africa to perform symphonic masterpieces.

The Opera Museum

The Cairo Opera House has a museum located in the first floor of the Main Hall. This museum is divided into many parts, one part is dedicated to the Opera history where you will know everything about the Opera House from 1869 until now. This will include many  rare photos of the building and especially the famous accident of the Royal Cairo Opera House burnt down in 1971 and how it became a totally new building that lives until now. 

Another part from the museum presents different costumes, jewelry, and musical scores of the opera Aida. You will also find Some historical documents written in Italian about lots of old performances that used to be presented in the Royal Opera House. 

One other part of the museum is dedicated to the New Cairo Opera House Which was renovated after the fire in 1988. They showed many posters of the amazing performances that happened in the opera’s theatres.

You can find there some ancient instruments that will amaze you. One of these instruments is a huge nay (oriental flute) which is 10 cm wide and about 2 m long made in ornamented wood! Can you imagine? This is beside another rare piano piece with some extra keys on its keyboard that can play the oriental tunes. 

This museum is like a treasure for those who appreciate the real meaning of Music. You will definitely enjoy your tour inside each part of the opera Museum.

Music Library

You will find in this amazing place a Music Library full of information about the opera, and all what relates to the music and art like symphony, Arab music, Cultural Salons in the Opera, ballet, and Panel Discussions. There are also rare books and manuscripts plus a large collection of digital recordings belonging to many different singers and composers from Egypt and the Arab world. You can check all the Opera House performances in CDs, Records, cassette tapes, and videotapes.

They also present maquettes of Opera House performances beside the books, magazines, and records.

The Cairo Opera House contains an audiovisual room that’s always available for the public. For all the university’s students, the library offers them training courses at most of the library departments.

The Music and Art knowledge are in one place at the Music Library of The Cairo Opera House in Egypt. 

Art Gallery

The main building of the Cairo Opera House has an Art Gallery where the artistic activities are held and recorded to be archived at the Music Library. This means that The Cairo Opera house has all the means to make a piece of music and save it for educational and cultural purposes.

Since 1988, the Cairo Opera House has held many important exhibitions and events at the Art Gallery.  One of these events is the Annual Exhibition for the International Photography Competition (Holland) and also the Egyptian Plastic Art Pioneers Exhibition which represents the different art schools in Egypt. The Arabic Calligraphy Exhibition is also another important event that happened in the Gallery.

If you’re fond of all kinds of art, this Gallery is your beloved home. You will enjoy every moment spent in this place. 

The National Cultural Centre

The Ministry of Culture has created the National Cultural Centre at the Cairo Opera House to be responsible for organizing all the music or dance companies, museums, libraries, galleries, and all the educational programs in the Opera House. 

While creating the new Cairo Opera House in 1988, this amazing place was established and started to do it’s activities. The main goal of the National Cultural Centre is to promote the music and dance and to renew the traditional Arab music. In this place you will not only enjoy music and art performances, you will also have a space to learn and exchange ideas, and share passion for the arts with others. All this will teach you how to respect the common cultural heritage.

Inside the Opera House, all the ballet, operatic or symphonic works are held with Egyptian companies or by cooperating with foreign ensembles or soloists. What is amazing about the Opera House is that it organizes cultural tours frequently to different Egyptian governorates to give all the people the chance to experience the national and international art performances.

The National Cultural Centre “Cairo Opera House” was opened In October 1988, by the former President Mubarak and his Highness, Prince Tomohito of Mikasa, the younger brother of the Japanese Emperor. This amazing event happened with a remarkable ceremony where the Kabuki show was presented for the first time. Kabuki shows are a traditional popular performance full of singing and dancing. 

Thus, the great efforts of Egypt with Japan have given a unique landmark of aesthetic and cultural interest.

The Cairo Opera House is a great edifice full of love and respect for all kinds of arts, music, or dances. There you will not only enjoy performing music, you will also get educated about the history and get the knowledge about all kinds of arts in Africa and the whole world. Make sure to visit such a place once in your life.

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