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Thursday, 14 December 2017

Art Alert: Mezzo-soprano from Panama to join Egypt's artists in Romeo and Juliet

Panamanian mezzo-soprano Maria Cecilia Prado will join the Egyptian singers and orchestra in the performance of Hector Berlioz's Romeo and Juliet -- Symphonie Dramatique

Ahram Online , Monday 20 Nov 2017
Berlioz
From left to right: tenor Amr Medhat, bass Reda El Wakil and mezzo-soprano Maria Cecilia Prado
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On Saturday 25 November, the Cairo Symphony Orchestra conducted by Ahmed El-Saedi will perform Hector Berlioz's Romeo and Juliet, a Symphonie Dramatique, Op. 17 for Soloists, Choir and Orchestra featuring mezzo-soprano Maria Cecilia Prado from Panama alongside Egyptian tenor Amr Medhat and bass Reda El-Wakil.

The concert will also include the A Cappella Choir with the Choir Master Maya Gvineria.

Many classical music compositions have been inspired by Shakespeare’s iconic Romeo and Juliet, among them Sergei Prokofiev's ballet, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky's fantasy overture and French composer Hector Berlioz's Romeo and Juliet, Symphonie Dramatique (dramatic symphony) Op. 17 (1839).

One of Berlioz's most successful works, Romeo and Juliet is a large-scale choral symphony that lasts more than 90 minutes. Many critics find that Berlioz's Romeo and Juliet Berlioz's is strongly indebted to Beethoven's 9th symphony, for it incorporates the soloists and the choir as well as it is characterised by the powerful musical weight given to the vocal part, particularly in the work's finale. 

Born in Panama and based in Madrid, mezzo soprano Maria Cecilia Prado studied piano at the National Institute of Music and received her first singing lessons from bass Arnold S. Walters. She is currently a student of the renowned Italian voice teacher Vincenzo Spatola. She has worked with the master repertories Manuel García Morante, Juan Antonio Álvarez Parejo and Manuel Ángel Burgueras and was a semifinalist in the International Singing Competition “Manuel Ausensi”; finalist in the 1st International Singing Contest “Villa de Colmenar Viejo”; finalist in the IX Contest of Cant per Veus Joves, “Manuel Ausensi”; and won First Prize in the "Hispanic Competition" and Second Prize of the "II International Singing Contest City of Zamora."

Prado's participation in the concert comes as part of the Panama's National Month and the Panama-Egypt Cultural Cooperation.

Egyptian tenor Amr Medhat was born in Alexandria in 1984. He studied singing at the Cairo Conservatory, under Violetta Makkar. His repertoire includes participation in several operas and recitals at the Cairo Opera House and other venues such as the American University in Cairo.

Reda El Wakil has been a bass-baritone of the Cairo Opera Company since the inauguration of the New Opera House in 1988. He studied at the Cairo Conservatory and then at the Ecole Normale de Musique de Paris (France).

Winner of several competitions including the first prize in Placido Domingo Competition (1994, France), El-Wakil performed across several countries. He has been serving as an Artistic Director of the Cairo Opera Company between 2008 and 2009 followed by the position of an Artistic Director of the Cairo Opera House, a post he held until 2016. El-Wakil teaches at the Cairo Conservatory.

Programme:
Saturday 25 November at 8pm
Cairo Opera House, Main Hall, Zamalek, Cairo

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