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Cairo Opera House Performances
El Borg Gezira
(Next to Kasr el-Nil Bridge)
20 2 737 0601
Egypt has a long association with the performing arts, stretching all the way back to pharaonic times. The first Royal Opera House was built in 1869, to celebrate the opening of the Suez Canal. Sadly, in 1971 it was completely destroyed by a fire. The replacement, designed by a Japanese architect, was not officially opened until 1988, and was a joint venture between the Ministry of Culture in Cairo and the Japan International Co-operation agency.
The Cairo Opera house is set on the south end of Gezira Island (often known as Zamalek
) and is a marvel of postmodern architecture. The exterior is suggestive of traditional Islamic design, yet the interior is a heady blend of the pharaonic and the Baroque! The Cairo Opera House is part of the National Cultural Centre, whose aim is to promote and encourage art, music and dance, and to preserve traditional Arabic music.
There are two main concert halls, as well as an open air theatre. All sorts of performances take place here, from classical music and opera to ballet, traditional music and pop concerts. It's well worth checking the schedule to see what's going on, as all the events are very reasonably priced. Note that the Museum of Modern Islamic Art is also housed in the complex.