The Metropolitan Opera has honoured Egypt’s Minister of Culture Ines Abdel-Dayem on 7 May at the Small Theatre of the Cairo Opera House (COH) by dedicating to her the live broadcast of the Metropolitan’s performance of Puccini’s Turandot.
Before the show started, Mahmoud Abdallah, member of the Metropolitan Opera’s Board of Directors, handed Ms Abdel-Dayem the encyclopaedia of the Glory of the Metropolitan Opera, in appreciation of her career in creativity, and for her role in enriching the artistic and cultural arena in Egypt. Ms Abdel-Dayem is a brilliant flautist in her own right.
Attending the ceremony were pillars of the cultural and artistic arena in Egypt, among them the head of COH, Magdy Saber and Conductor Nayer Nagy.
First woman minister of culture
Ms Abdel-Dayem expressed her appreciation and gratitude to the Metropolitan Opera administration for this precious recognition which she said has elated her. She also thanked Mr Abdallah who represents the Metropolitan Opera for his role in keeping up the live broadcasts of the Metropolitan performances, which continue to add value to the COH. The programme of the live transmission of the Metropolitan Opera performances to the COH has been running for many years, but was interrupted during the coronavirus pandemic and resumed last January. Ms Abdel-Dayem reminded that Egypt was the first in the region to host the Metropolitan Opera transmissions, stressing Egypt’s openness to cultures of the world.
A beaming Mr Abdallah said he was proud and happy to honour a creative artist in the truest sense of the word. “Through the COH,” Mr Abdallah said, “I have been friends with Ms Abdel-Dayem for more than 10 years. We were all very proud when she became the first female Egyptian Minister of Culture.” She deserves the appreciation and respect of everyone, he said, divulging the keenness of the Metropolitan Opera administration to honour her in appreciation of her artistic career, and her role in enriching creativity in Egypt.
Turandot is an opera in three acts by Giacomo Puccini who almost finished composing it before he died in 1924. It was Franco Alfano who finished the third act. Turnadot premiered at La Scala in Milan on 25 April 1926. The show that was transmitted live from the Metropolitan Opera on 7 May, was directed by Franco Zeffirelli when in 1987 Turnadot was released in a new more modern production.
The orchestra was conducted by Marco Armiliato. Turnadot was played by Liudmyla Monastyrska, Ermonela Jaho depicted the devoted servant Liù, Yonghoon Lee played the bold prince Calaf, and Ferruccio Furlanetto the blind king Timur.
Turnadot takes place in China. It tells the story of Prince Calaf falling in love with Princess Turandot, who pledged to marry him by passing a test that consists in solving three complex challenges. Calaf succeeds in the test, but the princess would still not marry him.
9 May 2022