Omar Khairat, opera Aida to be featured in Suez Canal celebrations

Ahram Online , Wednesday 5 Aug 2015

One thousand artists will participate in the celebrations marking the opening of the new Suez Canal expansion on Thursday 6 August

omar khairat, opera aida

Cairo Opera House chose Egyptian composer Omar Khairat and the Triumphal March of Giuseppe Verdi’s opera Aida to be performed during the celebrations of the new Suez Canal.

The cultural segment of the celebrations will open with a concert by Omar Khairat and orchestra, conducted by Nayer Nagui. The compositions will include a selection of Khairat's best-known works.

Khairat is a reputed composer and pianist, whose original compositions -- which bridge contemporary Arab music and western songs -- have earned him a large following in Egypt and the region.

Khairat composed the music scores of over 50 Egyptian films, including The Sixth Day (1984), The Terrorist (1993), Mafia (2002), Girl's Love (2003), The Embassy in the Building (2005), and Deer's Blood, (2006). He also composes music for television series and special occasions, such as the opening ceremonies of important Egyptian and regional festivals. Khairat also arranged compositions by celebrated Egyptian musician Mohamed Abdel-Wahab, and songs of Um Kulthoum.

The composer is particularly famous with audiences in the Arab world for his frequent performances with his Omar Khairat Group, which continues to sell out concert halls.

In the second half of the celebrations, the Cairo Opera artists joined by international soloists will stage Triumphal March from Giuseppe Verdi's Opera Aida, an opera whose story is set in ancient Egypt. David Crescenzi will conduct the orchestra.

The scene comes from the opera's second act, when Ramades returns to the city to the celebrations of his victory in the battle.

The scene opens with the choir, who represent the Egyptian people, singing:

Glory to Isis and the land
By her firm arm protected!
To Egypt's King elected,
Raise we our festive songs!

Opera Aida is among the best-known works by Italian composer Giuseppe Verdi.

The opera Aida was composed to the libretto by Antonio Ghislanzoni and based on a story written by French Egyptologist Auguste Mariette, who was commissioned by the Khedive Ismail Pasha. Aida was first performed at the Khedivial Opera House in Cairo on 24 December 1871.

Learn more here about Aida's role in Egyptian history

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