Excitement builds for sold-out Aida in Luxor

Event returns to Egypt after 22 years on October 26 and 28

21 August, 17:56

    CAIRO - Excitement is building for two sold-out performances of the Giuseppe Verdi opera Aida at the Temple of Hatshepsut in Luxor, Egypt, on October 26 and 28.

    Mohamed Osman, a representative from the Luxor tourism promotion office, said 4,000 spectators are expected from around the world.

    Osman confirmed to the MENA news agency that both shows are sold out and said this demonstrates "tourists' strong desire to take part in international shows in Egypt". "Aida in Luxor isn't just a unique event on its own; it will also give a big push to tourism and the economy in Egypt," Osman said.

    Various international VIPs are expected at the performances.

    The opera, staged by German director Michael Sturm, will take place in the open space in front of the funerary temple of the Egyptian queen Hatshepsut.

    The temple is recognisable for its triple series of columns beneath the vertical rocks of Deir el-Bahari on the eastern bank of the Nile River, near the Valley of the Kings. Conductor Oksana Lyniv will lead eighty musicians with the Lviv National Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra of Leopoli, Ukraine, in the performance.

    Lyniv was the first woman to head the Graz Opera in Austria.

    Aida will be sung by Korean soprano Sae Kyung Rim, with Belgian tenor Mickael Spadaccini in the role of Radames.

    The opera of the tragic love story between the Ethiopian slave Aida and the Egyptian military commander Radames is linked to Ismail Pascia', khedive of Egypt, who wanted to commission Verdi to compose an anthem to celebrate the opening of the Suez Canal.

    The composer refused to compose the anthem because he said he didn't write music for occasions, but he then composed Aida for the inauguration of the new theatre in Cairo with the premiere in December 1871.

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