Royal melodies to grace two opera houses

Deena Douara
2 Min Read

CAIRO: If you’re into classical music, the British Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO) is as good as it gets. And you don’t have to go all the way to the UK to enjoy them.

The world renowned orchestra will be touring Egypt with three performances at the end of January, their very first live performance in the Middle East. Their Egypt appearance is part of a worldwide tour to celebrate the Orchestra’s 60th anniversary.

Egyptian piano virtuosos Ramzy Yassa and Ahmed Abou Zahra will be joining on accompanying performances.

Yassa, winner of several international awards, is currently the Artistic Director of the International Music Center at Cairo Manasterly Palace; while Abou Zahra, based in Germany, is another established pianist with much international experience and recognition under his belt.

American conductor Leonard Slatkin, music director of the National Symphony Orchestra and principle guest conductor of the RPO and the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl, will lead the orchestra. Of his over 100 recordings, more than 50 have received Grammy nominations and five have raked in the much-coveted awards.

While one night’s proceedings will go to the Children’s Cancer Hospital and the Abou El Rish Hospital, Mohamad Hamdy, Artistic Director for Music, Opera and Ballet at the Cairo Opera House, told The Daily Star Egypt that this fact is not being prominently publicized so as not to take away from the artistic value of the momentous event.

And in order to raise the greatest amount for the hospitals, the event is backed by 25 sponsors, many of them UK-based, as well as by the Ministry of Tourism and the British Embassy in Cairo.

The RPO will be performing Jan. 30 and 31 at the Cairo Opera House and Feb. 1 at the Alexandria Opera House. Ticket prices are LE 250, LE 200 and LE 100. For more information call the Cairo Opera House at (02) 739-8114 and the Alexandria Opera House at (03) 480-0092.

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