Cairo Celebration Choir to sing in France

Ahram Online, Thursday 3 Apr 2014

Conducted by its founder and artistic director Nayer Nagui, Cairo Celebration Choir will perform at the voice-celebrating Festival de la Voix, followed by another concert at UNESCO

Cairo Celebration Choir
Cairo Celebration Choir (Photo by Miriam Benyamein)

The Cairo Celebration Choir (CCC) will sing in France on Friday 4 April as part of the regional Festival de la Voix (Voice Festival). Joined by the French Choeur régional Vittoria d’Ile-de-France, the Egyptian group will perform in Soisy-sous-Montmorency (15km north of Paris) under the bâton of Nayer Nagui. The following day, Saturday 5 April, the CCC will head to the UNESCO Main Theatre Hall for another performance.

Launched in 2000, the biennial festival incorporating numerous international artists celebrates voice, in its sung or spoken form, in all styles of music -- classical, contemporary, Oriental or other.

The 4 April programme will include Deux Poèmes (Two Poems) by Alain Huteau. Originally written for choir, soprano, cello, piano, classical and oriental percussions, the composition is based on Cantique des Cantiques (Song of Songs). The piece refers to a cultural variety in which classical and traditional sounds meet, with space allowed for an inspiring instrumental improvisation. The soloist of the evening is Sabine Kovacshazy.

Deux Poèmes was performed in Egypt at the end of 2010, when the Cairo Celebration Choir joined the A Cappella Choir, to the accompaniment of the Cairo Symphony Orchestra and the Arabic Percussion Ensemble conducted by Michel Piquemal.

The Cairo Celebration Choir’s 5 April concert at the UNESCO Main Theatre Hall will include chosen works from its collection of Aghani bel Arabi (Songs in Arabic), featuring compositions by Sayed Darwish, Gamal Abdel-Reheim and Awatef Abdel Kerim among others.

Founded in 2000, and consisting of "professional amateurs" as Nagui describes them, the Cairo Celebration Choir has become a vibrant element of Egypt's cultural life. Over 100 choir members sing the famed choral works of the Western classical music repertoire, Gregorian songs and famous Egyptian choral works by Sayed Darwish and Gamal Abdel- Reheim, arranged by Nagui. They regularly participate in the annual Christmas Concert organised at the Cairo Opera House where they are joined by the Cairo Opera Orchestra and soloists from the Cairo Opera Company.

In 2012, the choir participated in the Czech Republic's Prague Voices 2012 Festival, winning the Silver Level Diploma.

The Cairo Celebration Choir’s last international commitment was in early January with a concert dubbed Une Note d'Ici et d'Ailleurs (A Note from Here and There) opening the 2014 programme of the National Mohammed V Theatre in Rabat, Morocco.

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