If you’re in the mood for some first-rate classical music and finely crooned pop arias, head to the Cairo Opera House this month, where the Cairo Symphony Orchestra will be performing a series of all-time favorites the mark the holiday season.
If the gala concert of Dec. 16 is anything to go, be sure not to miss the next couple of shows.
Combining a brilliant orchestra, fantastic vocals and an exceptional maestro, the performance rose to the expectations of a full house in the Main Hall. With conductor Francesco Lentini – who studied in Rome under the great Franco Ferrara who called him an interpreter of no ordinary sensitivity – at the helm, both singers and musicians awed the audience with his technique.
The evening consisted of orchestral and opera pieces from works by French great Georges Bizet and Italian Giacomo Puccini. Lentini’s rendition of the introduction to Bizet’s Carmen left the audience impressed and elated.
The young Gala El Hadidi then performed songs from the first two acts stunning the audience with her phenomenal talent, despite her limited experience. Seasoned Egyptian soprano Iman Moustafa rounded off Carmen extracting a deluge of enthusiastic applause.
Bizet’s Opera L Arlesienne came next, but was a purely orchestral piece without singing.
This was followed by a number of brief (but brilliant) Puccini arias performed by Mona Rafla and Tamer Tawfik as well as a duet from the Madame Butterfly by Iman Moustafa and Gala El Hadidi .
The evening ended with a standing ovation that lasted at least five minutes.
Look out for the next few performances by the Cairo Symphony Orchestra, which will include The Nutcracker Ballet and a special New Year s Concert.
Just be sure you book tickets in advance. Throngs of classical-music lovers are already lining up.