• Mai Khder

Cairo Opera House – A Perfect Venue for Performing Arts

Cairo Opera House – A Brief History

The art of opera is not an art far from tasting the oriental people or the Egyptians in particular, the ancient Egyptian history is full of musical models accompanying dramatic performance and poetry, and on the walls of the temples are engraved wonderful recordings of many ancient Egyptian celebrations in which the extent of interest in the art of music, singing and dancing is shown, so that they invented many instruments Musical love for music, so we find the famous harrib instrument, which underwent various developments until it reached the present day the oriental oud.


The story of the creation of the ancient opera was closely linked with the opening of the Suez Canal during the reign of Khedive Ismail, who was passionate about the arts, and therefore it was called the Khedivial Opera. As a result of Khedive Ismail's love for fine art and his passion for it, he wanted the Khedive Opera House to be an architectural masterpiece no less than its counterparts in the world. To decorate and beautify the opera And before the construction was completed, the great monarch had begun preparing for his new house a pure artistic heritage indicating the first indications of the glorious past of Egypt. Mariette Pasha asked the Khedive to choose a story from the pages of ancient Egyptian history that would fit a nucleus of a poetic theatrical. Nuzouq and Khedive Ismail entrusted the musician with the development of her fine music, so the immortal opera "Aida", with its Egyptian national theme, powerful songs, and wonderful music, was a product of the three geniuses.

The Khedivial Opera was opened on the first of November 1869 with the celebrations of the Suez Canal, and despite the interest of the Khedive Ismail and his firm desire to open the Khedivial Opera House with the performance of Aida opera, circumstances prevented it from being presented at the opening date, and the Khedivial Opera was opened with the Rigoletto Show.

The ancient opera was considered the first in the continent of Africa, and its theater was considered one of the most spacious, ready, and luxurious in the world. On the dawn of October 28, 1971, the old Cairo Opera House was completely destroyed, leaving nothing but the statues "Rakha" and "Renaissance of Arts", both of which are the work of artist Mohamed Hassan.

The National Cultural Center was not limited to presenting the fine arts, but it has become an enlightening cultural center with a strategy and a plan with clear features, providing what is commensurate with its goals in building, developing, and crystallizing national art, as it clearly contributes to building and developing the Egyptian and Arab human beings through education, culture, and creativity.

The National Cultural Center pursues a policy of diversity, renewal, and encouragement to draw features of the new Egyptian culture. The center has worked hard for the sake of continuing national and global cultural communication, combining international, musical, and artistic performances with the roots of popular and heritage art. For everyone within the framework of a deep understanding of its cultural mission and its artistic and humanitarian content.

Believing from the National Cultural Center that it is the work itself that sorts the positives and negatives, it was able to develop things and avoid previous mistakes. It is also interested in presenting international and Egyptian performances on its big stage and exerts effective efforts to achieve the vision adopted by the center in formulating awareness and stimulating cultural thought, and the center holds seminars, cultural meetings, and various concerts that are presented regularly within a stable plan with clear features, goals, and diversity It includes all intellectual and artistic currents, from meetings and dialogues to artistic performances. The opera house also sends artistic groups on artistic tours in the various governorates of Egypt to provide an opportunity for the region’s audiences to witness these global and local creations and fine arts. 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