On 18 March, Italian singer Eugenio Bennato performed in concert at the Cairo Opera House Open-Air Theatre.
The event was part of the Italy, Cultures and the Mediterranean programme promoted by the Italian Cultural Institute in Cairo.
The concert was presented by Paolo Sabbatini, Director of the Italian Cultural Institute in Cairo and cultural counsellor of the Italian Embassy.
In attendance was the Italian Ambassador to Egypt, Giampaolo Cantini, in his first appearance in a cultural event, Supervisor of the Cairo Opera Ballet Company Erminia Kamel among other personalities.
Eugenio Bennato, born on 16 March 1947, is an Italian folk musician and songwriter, and brother of the musician Eduardo Bennato.
This was Bennato's first visit to Cairo since 2004.
Sunday's concert is part of the North Africa leg of his international tour called “Da Che Sud E 'Sud” (Since the South is South).
Bennato has already performed in Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco and concluded in Cairo on Sunday.
The concept of his eponymous new album is embodied in the instruments, timbres and voices from the various parts of the world's south.
As described by Bennato, “The songs composed and proposed in the tour turn out to seem, at the end of the work, like the pages of a travel diary, a journey carried out around the world, from the South of America to the north of Africa; of its drums and caravans, its despair and hope, to the Mediterranean of exchanges and barriers, to the Far East of mystery and legends."
"Each piece has its own story and its identity. All the songs are united by the presence of my narrating voice; a voice that resonates the musicality of different languages, from French to English, from Spanish to Brazilian, and certainly to Arabic, with a strong rhythmic and evocative value of the movements of the present," he elaborated.
In 1969 Bennato founded the band Nuova Compagnia di Canto Popolare along with musician Carlo D’Angiò.
It was the first and most important folk ethnic revival group in southern Italy.
Bennato parted ways with the group in 1976 and dedicated himself to the ‘Musicanova’ project.
In 1998, he founded his most successful music project, Taranta Power, with the aim of promoting southern Italian folk culture through music, cinema and theatre.
Bennato's last performance in Egypt kicked off a two-year international tour and was held during the Cairo International Film Festival ceremony at the Cairo Opera House.
L to R: Director of the Italian Cultural Institute Paolo Sabbatini and Italian Ambassador Giampaolo Cantini (Photo: Ayman Barayez)
Italian Cultural Institute Cultural Events Administrator Manal Habib (Photo: Ayman Barayez)
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