No plans to merge Egypt's premier orchestras: Cairo Opera House head

Ahram Online, Monday 17 Jun 2013

While admitting to serious budgetary problems, Cairo Opera House head Badr El-Zakaziky denies rumours that Egypt's Cairo Opera Orchestra and Cairo Symphony Orchestra would be merged into single entity

Badr El Zakaziky on 28 May 2013, day of his appointment as head of the Cairo Opera House on 28 May 2013. (Photo: Ati Metwaly)

In a brief interview with Al-Ahram's Arabic-language news website on Monday, Cairo Opera House head Badr El-Zakaziky said there was "no intention" to merge the institution's two symphonic orchestras, namely the Cairo Opera Orchestra and the Cairo Symphony Orchestra.

Noting that the musicians in these orchestras were government employees, El-Zakaziky stated that "many steps" were currently underway to increase the opera house's annual budget, including plans to host concerts and exhibitions in cooperation with various cultural centres in an effort to boost revenue.

Speaking about concerts by Omar Khairat, El-Zakaziky acknowledged the existence of "numerous problems." These included the fact that empty seats are frequently found even when patrons are told that concerts have been sold out. El-Zakaziky said that the issue should be resolved with employees working at the ticketing office.

When speaking about possible television marketing strategies, El-Zakaziky dismissed this option, saying: "Marketing is difficult. We are currently searching for support, but television advertising or programmes about opera activities is not an option, because if people watch performances on TV, they won't come to the Opera House."

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