Amr Sedki, the head of the Egyptian parliament's tourism and aviation committee, has praised the decision of the culture ministry to put on Verdi's Aida at a historic site in Luxor, saying it will boost the tourism sector.
"We highly welcome the return of the opera Aida to the Temple of Hatshepsut after an absence of 22 years," said Sedki, adding that "the performance of Aida was a regular event at Luxor in the 1990s, but after the terrorist attack around the Temple of Hatshepsut in November 1997, the culture ministry decided it be performed in Cairo only."
The opera will be performed at the temple from 22 to 24 October.
Sedki said the performance of Opera Aida at Luxor is significant for two reasons. "First, it will give a big boost to Egypt's tourism and economy as a whole, and the second is that it will help promote a new kind of artistic tourism which seeks to attract guests who are interested in following cultural events around Luxor city's monuments and temples during the winter season," said Sedki.
According to Sedki, the tickets for the performance in October have already sold out, demonstrating high interest among tourists and elite guests from all over the world to come back to Egypt to follow artistic and cultural events.
As a result, said Sedki, "I expect that the coming winter season in Luxor will be one of the best, not to mention that it will show that Egypt is on the way to recovering its prestigious position on the map of international tourism."
"Aida has a long history of attracting global and Egyptian stars to Luxor, helping to make it magnet for tourism all year around," he said.
Aida is set in ancient Egypt, and tells the story of an eponymous Ethiopian princess who is enslaved by the Egyptians. Radames, an Egyptian military commander, falls in love with her and must choose between his love for Aida and his loyalty to the king.
Ismail Pasha, Khedive of Egypt from 1863 to 1879, commissioned Giuseppe Verdi to write the opera to celebrate the opening of the Khedivial Opera House in 1871.