Mohamed El-Masoud, a member of Egyptian parliament's tourism and civil aviation committee, has said that 90 percent of the tickets for the performance of Aida in Luxor next month have been sold.
"This comes as a slap in the face of all of those who are trying their best to stain the image of Egypt on social media and on hostile television channels,” said EL-Masoud, noting that “the prices are very high, ranging between $100 and $750 per ticket.”
The opera will be performed between 26 to 28 October in the ancient Temple of Hatshepsut.
In a statement on Monday, El-Masoud cited Mohamed Othman, head of the committee for marketing cultural tourism in Upper Egypt, as saying that more than 3,000 tourists have already bought tickets.
"This means that more than 90 percent of the tickets have sold and this in turn demonstrates that there is a high interest on the part of foreign tourists and global elite guests to come to Luxor and watch the opera," said El-Masoud.
El-Masoud said a number of world renowned figures will attend the event.
"We will have other high-profile figures from Spain, Germany, France, and Britain, and they are coming not only to watch the Aida opera, but also to visit Luxor, Aswan, Hurghada, Sharm El-Sheikh and other Egyptian touristic cities," he said.
The opera was last performed at the famed temple in the 1990s, but stopped after a terrorist attack at the temple in November 1997 killed 62 people, most tourists.
The tourism and aviation committee last month praised the decision by the culture ministry to put on the Verdi opera in Luxor once more, saying it will boost the tourism sector.
"First, it will give a big boost to Egypt's tourism and economy as a whole, and second, 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," read a committee statement.
As a result, said the statement, "we expect that the coming winter season in Luxor will be one of the best, and it will show that Egypt is on the way to recovering its prestigious position on the map of international tourism."
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.