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Musical notes

Nader Shukry

12 Mar 2016 9:13 pm

To celebrate Spring, which has come to Egypt rather early this year, the Cairo Opera House presented a series of concerts on its Cairo and Alexandria theatres. They began with performances of Schumann Symphonies III by the Cairo Symphony Orchestra conducted by the German Stefan Vladar and with violinist Islam Nour Eddin and cellist Hassan Moataz as soloists. The concert also included compositions by Wagner and Brahms.

Omar Khairat, the master
Performances by the prominent Egyptian composer Omar Khairat never fail to attract thousands of his fans. Khairat will be giving two performances at the Opera House’s Sayed Darwish Theatre in Alexandria next Monday and Tuesday, during which he will play some of his best-loved compositions such as Dhameer Abla Hekmat (Headmistress Hekmat’s Concience), Leilet al-Qabd ala Fatma (The Night Fatma was Arrested) and Wagh al-Qmar (Face of the Moon). Khairat’s fans believe he is the best ever Arab composer and that his music moves hearts and engages the most tender of human sentiments.

Fiesta Flamenca and Carmina Burana
Again on Alexandria’s Sayed Darwish Theatre, the Cairo Opera House will on 13 March stage the two dance shows Fiesta Flamenca and Carmina Burana, both of which present an innovative merge of classic ballet with Spanish flamenco. Four performances have already been staged in Cairo to full houses of enthralled audiences.
The shows are performed by Ballet Flamenco de Madrid which visited Cairo and Alexandria in February last year with Carmen, a show that fused extracts of Bizet’s music with traditional flamenco.
The producer Maher Zekri says that more than 40 dancers participate in the show which presents the struggles and contradictions of life represented in good and evil, love and hatred, joy and pain.
The Ballet Flamenco de Madrid was founded in 2001 as an independent theatre company and became a non-profit cultural association in 2009. The group already presented successful shows in Italy, Switzerland, Estonia, Romania, China, Germany, Brazil, Mexico, Panama, Portugal and Argentina. It also participated international competitions and festivals, among them the Beijing International Festival, and won several awards including a special award from the Chinese Ministry of Culture in 2001, an appreciation certificate from the Egyptian Ministry of Culture in 2005, special prize from China University in 2006, the Egyptian Shield from the Ministry of Culture in 2007.

The Metropolitan Opera’s Manon Lescaut
Among its live broadcasts of performances by the Metropolitan Opera in New York, the Cairo Opera House is airing a performance of Puccini’s Manon Lescaut at the Small Hall.
The Opera House joined the Metropolitan Opera’s international transmission network for the 2015 – 2016 season, broadcasting live 10 performances during the season on a giant screen and high-quality stereo sound that makes the performance come alive.
Manon Lescaut (L’Histoire du chevalier des Grieux et de Manon Lescaut) is a short novel by French author Abbé Prévost, published in 1731. It was controversial in its time and was banned in France upon publication. Set in France and Louisiana in the early 18th century, the story follows the hero, the Chevalier des Grieux, and his lover, Manon Lescaut, through adventures in France and the US in the hope of being united together despite adverse circumstances. But Manon dies in the end, and des Grieux is taken back to France by a close friend.

Munich plays in Egyptian
Music remains the world language understood and responded to by all humans. In a dramatic performance by 100 Egyptian and German musicians, among them 75 Germans the Cairo Opera House presented a concert which was attended by Germany’s ambassador to Cairo Julius Georg Luy and some 1200 audience. Led by Conductor Adel Shalabi, the Munich Percussion Ensemble and Madrigal Choir Munich performed Carl Orf’s Carmina Burana, as well as compositions by Egyptian composers Omar Khairat and Hani Shenouda. The concert featured Soprano Nikola Hillebrand and Anna-Lena Eblbert; Tenor Eric Price and Jonas Wurmeling; Bariton Benedikt Eder and Carl Rumstadt.

Aida for women
March is the month of women in Egypt. The date 8 March marks International Women’s day, 16 March marks Egyptian Women’s Day, and 21 March marks Mothers Day. To celebrate women, the Cairo Opera House presents on 30 March a concert that features the most popular songs about women and mothers. Culture Minister Helmy al-Namnam will be attending the celebration.
Also at the end of the month, the Opera House will be presenting three performances of Verdi’s Aida, performed by the Cairo Opera House’s orchestra and opera and ballet groups.

Watani International
12 March 2016

 

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