With precautionary measures against COVID-19 fully implemented, the Cairo Opera House is full of audience to enjoy the world-renowned opera Aida, which depicts the love story between Ethiopian princess Aida and Egyptian hero Radames.
CAIRO, May 30 (Xinhua) -- The entrance of the Cairo Opera House was decorated like a passage to a shining ancient Egyptian temple, which leads to the open-air Fountain Theatre that staged Egypt's world-renowned opera Aida written by Italian composer Giuseppe Verdi.
"With (the replicas of Pharaonic) statues, obelisks and columns in the entrance, I intend to make the audience sense the ancient Egyptian atmosphere and the greatness of the Egyptian civilization," Hisham el-Tally, director of the opera Aida, told Xinhua.
With precautionary measures against COVID-19 fully implemented, the open-air theatre was full of audience on Saturday. Among them was Egypt's Minister of Culture Inas Abdel-Dayem.
"I'd like to hail Cairo Opera House in that it managed to complete the show under the harsh circumstances brought by the COVID-19 pandemic," the minister told Xinhua during the break.
Premiered in 1871, Aida was one of the most popular masterpieces written by Verdi under the commission of Khedive Ismail of Egypt. Aida depicted the love story between Ethiopian princess Aida and Egyptian hero Radames. Aida and Radames fall in love with each other, while the Egyptian king's daughter Amneris loves Radames as well. King Amonasro offers triumphant Radames an unwanted gift: Amneris.
"Amneris, the role I play, is very important to me because it demonstrates all my artistic potentials," said Jolie Faizy, an Egyptian mezzo-soprano, who has played the role for 18 years.
Radames was played by Italian tenor Dario Di Vietri, who said that he played this role in many parts of the world but it was unique to perform it in Egypt where it was originated.
"The difficulty of playing this role is that the psychology of Radames changes a lot in every act," the Italian tenor told Xinhua.
Enthusiastic cheers and applause after each act showed how much the audience enjoyed the show.
"I regularly come to see opera shows here and I really enjoyed the opera," Anne Sophie, a French women who dwells in Egypt, said after the performance.
She added that being staged in an open-air theatre with seats away from each other and people wearing face masks made her feel safe to attend the show.
Mohamed Hamdy, an Egyptian accountant who came with his family, said he was fascinated by Aida although he was not a regular opera visitor.
"It is really fantastic. The show is so beautiful and I hope more people could come watch such nice performance," Hamdy said.