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Sunday, 20 June 2021

Art Alert: Talents Development Centre's vocal class to stage 1st opera

Brainchild of Egyptian tenor and voice professor Sobhi Bidair, Talents Development Centre will stage its first opera buffa 'La serva padrona'

Ahram Online , Monday 13 Apr 2015
Sobhi Bidair
Rehearsal of La serva Padrona at the Cairo Opera. From left to right: Sherif Elwan (piano), Sobhi Bidair, Alyaa Zohni (soprano) and Ahmad El Shimi (bass). (Photo: Ati Metwaly)

The intermezzo in two parts La serva padrona (The Servant Turned Mistress) by Giovanni Battista Pergolesi (1710 – 1736) will be performed on Thursday 16 April at the small hall of the Cairo Opera House.

This is the first opera production incorporating singers trained by Sobhi Bidair at the Talents Development Centre. Though the work includes only two singers, Bidair hopes that that the performance will pave the way for many other productions.  Another aim of the production is to development an opera studio, an entity catering for vocal talents and an important supporting arm to the opera's professional productions.  

Bidair, tenor and for many decades an active artist, has scores of achievements, among which we trace the years he was singing in operas on local and international stages or his appointment as director of the Cairo Opera Company, a post he has held more than once. Among several commitments, today Sobhi is also in charge of a voice class at the Talents Development Centre.

La serva padrona is based on two characters, Uberto (bass Ahmad El Shimi) and Serpina (soprano Alyaa Zohni), both students at the Talents Development Centre, in addition to a silent actor, Vespone (Hassan El-Naggar). 

The comic opera revolves around the elderly bachelor Uberto who though he feels dominated – and annoyed – by his maidservant Serpina, ends up marrying her. The simple story incorporates a lot of wit and intelligently drawn characters who find themselves attracted one to the other.

The team will be joined by the newly discovered by Bidair talent Sherif Elwan as accompanist. A neurologist in his main profession, Elwan's journey with piano began at the age of ten and today he has a score of solo performances under his belt, mainly at the Russian Cultural Centre.

Benefiting from director Sherif Ramadan's knowledge of the opera's treasures, the team performs to the scenography and costumes all coming from the opera's storage collection. 

Thursday 16 April, 8pm
Cairo Opera House, small hall


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