Cairo Opera House

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Cairo Opera House

Post by HEPZIBAH » Thu Sep 28, 2017 6:48 pm

Earlier today Hafiz posted about the proposed Opera House for Luxor. Coincidentally, I have just seen this article about the history of the Cairo Opera House.

A pictorial history of Cairo's Opera House

Ahram Online , Thursday 28 Sep 2017

In 1869, Egypt's first Opera House officially opened during the reign of Khedive Ismail.

Designed by Italian architect Pietro Avoscani, the Khedivial Opera House was opened on the occasion of the inauguration of the Suez Canal.

The old Opera house was located in the Azbakiya district in central Cairo.

In 1971, a fire tragically burned down the opera building completely.

In 1985, Egypt worked in cooperation with Japan's International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to build a new Opera House.

The new opera house was inaugurated in 1988 by then-president Hosni Mubarak and Japan's Prince Tomohito of Mikasa, the younger brother of the Japanese Emperor.

Ahram Online takes a look at the Opera House's history through pictures.

Sorry, for the photographs you will need to go to the article as there are too many for me to transfer to here.

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent ... ouse-.aspx


Image Experience is not what happens to you;
it is what you do with what happens to you.
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Re: Cairo Opera House

Post by Hafiz » Sat Sep 30, 2017 5:58 pm

Thanks Hepzibah.

The new Opera House would be a good idea if it was based on an actual need but I suspect it was a lot like a lot of other projects - a donor offered and who would refuse a free offer. The Japs are now paying for the new Egyptian Museum and no one is asking why a single subject museum needs to be five times the size of the multi-subject Metropolitan in NYC.

The old one was built for a one-off event to show western monarchs that the Kdheive was sophisticated in western terms.

I'm sure the Cairo Opera House is in good hands - after all its Chair is Farag the former 'buldozing' governor of Luxor.

The idea of western classical concerts, western operas and western ballet however seems a bit silly - even if it was done well - which it is not. Even within this repertoire their programs are even more reactionary than the worst places in Russia or Romania. They are programs like out of some Ruritanian backwater in the 1920's.

What I find difficult is the subsidy. Their programs are expensive, their audiences upper class but their tickets dirt cheap - with the taxpayer filling the bill. Subsidizing poor people I can accept but not the rich and not with third rate performances of the worst of the western music and dance repertoire. Its almost as if the audiences were fans of that horror Andre Rieu - and I think they probably are.

On the other hand maybe it performances should be regarded as a perfect litmus test of the intelligence, taste and interest in new things of the Egyptian ruling classes. :zz

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Re: Cairo Opera House

Post by newcastle » Sat Sep 30, 2017 6:10 pm

Do you ever have those dream sequences.....you know....when everything makes sense and, suddenly you wake up and try to re-run what you were dreaming and you discover it's a succession of non-sequiturs....nothing makes sense or connects in any rational way?

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Re: Cairo Opera House

Post by Hafiz » Thu Oct 05, 2017 4:33 pm

Often - especially when its about Egypt - also Australia.

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Re: Cairo Opera House

Post by Hafiz » Thu Oct 05, 2017 4:36 pm

Often - especially when its about Egypt - also Australia.

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Re: Cairo Opera House

Post by Hafiz » Thu Oct 05, 2017 4:44 pm

Often - especially when its about Egypt - also about Australia.

As far as the new Opera House is concerned I remember one thing about the conducted tour - besides the appalling architecture. Even the Egyptian tour guide said that all customers had been told that the floors would be damaged by stiletto high heels and that these should not be worn. This produced the opposite. The upper class Cairene madams wore their stilettos and 'punctuated' the floors. No-one ever stopped them but the tour guide expressed her disgust at their bad behavior.

The Japs paid for the whole thing. Its like a lot of other things - freebies are rarely respected or properly used.

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