Former chairman of Cairo Opera House dies

Ahram Online, Tuesday 26 Feb 2013

Abdel-Moneim Kamel, chairman of Cairo Opera House from 2004 until 2012, dies of heart attack in Alexandria on Tuesday

Abdel Moneim Kamel (1949-2013)

Abdel-Moneim Kamel, former chairman of the Cairo Opera House, died from a heart attack in Alexandria on Tuesday morning.

Born in 1949, Kamel's career took him from renowned performance halls to the top of Egypt's cultural scene. Having graduated from the Ballet School, he performed in Egypt and internationally. For several years, Kamel danced with the world-renowned La Scala in Milan, where he met his wife Erminia Kamel, currently artistic director of the Cairo Opera Ballet Company.

Upon his return to Egypt in 1982, Kamel performed many leading roles in ballet productions. With the inauguration of the new Cairo Opera House in 1988, Kamel started directing and choreographing ballets for the newly formed Cairo Opera Ballet Company. He became the troupe's director in 1991, adding his own renditions of Romeo and Juliet, Swan Lake, Nutcracker, Hamlet, among others to the repertoire of the company.

In the following years, Kamel directed a multitude of classical and contemporary ballets.

In 2004, Kamel was appointed chairman of the Cairo Opera House (National Culture Centre). Following the January 25 Revolution in 2011, Kamel was among several figures accused of the corruption. His contract expired in February 2012 and was not renewed.

Kamel's funeral will take place on Tuesday after noon prayers at the Cairo Opera House mosque, in accordance with his will.

The Ministry of Culture announced that all cultural activities at the Cairo Opera House, as well as the opera houses in Alexandria and Damanhour, will be postponed in mourning.

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