Cairo Opera House: 147 years of civilization and spreading culture
It is the main performing arts venue in Egypt, as it carved itself a significant place in the cultural landscape of Egypt and the Middle East. It hosts high-quality cultural events and became a symbol of art and culture in Egypt and the world.
Khedivial Opera House
The first opera house in the Mena region and Africa was the Cairo Opera House, which built in 1869, regarding to Khedive Ismail instructions in the occasion of the inauguration of the Suez Canal. It is characterized by its amazing design by two Italian architects, Avoscani and Rossi.
The building process of the opera house ended in six months only, and it was then named the Khedivial Opera House or Royal Opera House at first. November 1st, 1869, was the opening day of the opera with a masterpiece performance by Verdi, an Italian opera composer.
Opera Aida is one of the most popular operatic works in the world. It was planned to be the opening ceremony of the Cairo opera house. As the Khedive asked French Egyptologist, Auguste Mariette, to prepare a story regarding Egyptian history. Gialanzoni, an Italian poet, wrote the libretto of Opera Aida and the musician, Verdi, composed the music.
The circumstances prevented the submission of Opera Aida in the opening ceremony of Khedivial Opera House. So, the first time that Opera Aida was preformed in the Khedival Opera House in Cairo was on December 24th, 1871, with great acclaim. Thereafter, the Milan premiere was held, followed by premieres around the world.
The Opera building was tragically burned down on the 28th of October, 1971 after it has been a cultural beacon for 102 years.
The Egyptian Ministry of Culture in collaboration with the Japanese International Cooperation Agency, prepared a new design for the opera building with the theme of modern Islamic architecture. The design process took years and finally, in March 1985 the design was completed and the construction process had begun. After three years, the Cairo Opera House was inaugurated on the 10th of October, 1988.
The Opera House extends to 45 000 m2 along the Nile, including pristine lawns and gardens as well as seven theatres. It is located on the southern portion of Gezira Island in the Nile River, in the Zamalek district west of and near downtown Cairo.
Cairo Opera House contains three theaters:
- The Main Hall: contains 1200 Seats, and has four levels.
- The Small Hall: contains 500 seats on a single floor.
- The Open-Air Theatre: contains 600 seats for outdoor performances.
“Cities’ Identity Through Architecture and Arts” in Cairo Opera House
Cities’ Identity became a pressing issue for many countries nowadays. Every city has its unique and valuable identity, this identity is revealed through its physical and visual form. The Cities’ Identity is subjected to, Architecture and Arts are the embodiment of the cultural, historical, and economical characteristics of the city.
Cairo Opera House will adopt the upcoming international conference on ” Cities’ Identity Through Architecture and Arts”. This conference is dedicated to the investigation of the different new approaches developed in Architecture and Contemporary arts. It will focus on the basis of urban life and identities.
The Conference also will display how citizens look at their city and how it is in a physical or mental manner compared, by them, with the ideal city by their own perception. Moreover, the city’s identity presents distinctive aspects that clarify its uniqueness and distinguishes it from any other city.
You can know more about the conference, through the following link: