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“u have to go there”
Review of Cairo Opera House

Cairo Opera House
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Cairo City Tour with Cairo Tower
Ranked #50 of 326 things to do in Cairo
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: This cultural venue, The National Cultural Centre "Cairo Opera House" is part of the Ministry of Culture and serves as an umbrella organization for all the music or dance companies, galleries, museums and the educational programs of the Cairo Opera House. It was established in 1988 with the inauguration of the new Cairo Opera House. Its goal is to promote the arts of music and dance and to preserve and renew traditional Arab music. In order to be more than just a place where music and art are performed the National Cultural Centre wants to give space to learning and inspiration, to the exchange of ideas, the respect of a common cultural heritage, and a shared passion for the arts. It encourages interest for music and art in the younger generation by offering ballet, voice or instrumental classes for talented children or youths. Performances of ballet, operatic or symphonic works are staged with Egyptian companies or in cooperation with foreign ensembles or soloists. Seminars and cultural conferences covering a wide range of artistic and intellectual issues are held regularly. Opera House companies are frequently sent on tours to different Egyptian governorates to give the people in urban areas the chance to see national and international art performances. In March 1985, Former President Mubarak laid the first corner stone of the new Cairo Opera House which was to be built with the support of JICA, the Japan International Cooperation Agency. Careful planning by the Ministry of Culture in Cairo and the JICA produced a design suggestive of traditional Islamic architecture and blending in harmoniously with the surrounding buildings. In October 1988,Former President Mubarak and His Highness, Prince Tomohito of Mikasa, the younger brother of the Japanese Emperor, inaugurated the National Cultural Centre “Cairo Opera House” in a remarkable ceremony. It was the first time for Japan to stage a Kabuki show, a traditional popular drama with singing and dancing, in Africa or the Arab World.
Useful Information: Wheelchair access, Activities for older children, Stairs / lift, Bathroom facilities, Food available for purchase
Reviewed 30 October 2012

the spirit of cairo , a real amazing place, different cultures, intersection point for the whole world and a real good place to get rid of all your stress and problems, staring with the concerts either for local or international bands, recitals for lots of artists and performances from all over the world, u have to visit its museums and have a walk in the garden among the statues of um kolthom and abd el wahab

1  Thank kik069
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 9 October 2012

Yet, it is still a great place to visit and just see the building and the theater even if there is no shows

4  Thank Mina_Rick
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 October 2012

You either live in Cairo or you are one of our esteemed guests. Out of all Cairo’s attractions you definitely picked a good one, one of the best ones. The traffic, honking, and yelling—all are nicely muffled by the state of the art sound proof theatre. A safe haven where only sounds pleasant to the ear are allowed!
You can count on everything to go according to plan, except there website. Don’t even bother with it, it’ll only bother you. It exists, but in the same way the pyramids still exist, it’s just there.
Do not let a fossil of a website deter your trip from the Opera House, and a great show. Where nowhere else in the world could you pay between 35LE (6USD) and 100LE (20USD) for a ticket!
The Opera House is probably one of the least frequented attractions by tourist but the easiest one to get to in all of Cairo. It has its only Metro stop (which in itself is its own kind of attraction) and that stop is called Opera! Or in Arabic, pronounced “Obera”, due to the flipping upside down of all “p”s.
Or if the Metro is not the sort of cheap thrill (1 LE to ride) you are chasing, just hop in a cab and tell them “Obera”,that should do the trick. To be on the safe side, have a map, and pinpoint the place before you head out: it is a rather large complex at the south end of the island called Zamalak.
If you are staying in a hotel around Tahrir square, and are feeling brave, you can also walk. Walk straight down Tahrir Street, and across Tahrir Bridge, and it will be smack dab in front of you, you can’t miss the large arch over the entrance. Once inside the compound, signs will lead you to the ticket booth.
Around the ticket booth and in displays on the walls, you can see what is showing, whether opera, orchestra, or local sounds. The orchestra schedule is a bit sporadic and the operas generally run for five days. It is really the luck of the draw whenever you happen to show up. All shows start at 8pm on whatever their assigned date is, so show up the day before or early in the afternoon to see what’s playing and to purchase tickets. The nose bleeds are 35LE, the ground level orchestra seats are 100LE, and all the rest of seats are in between the aforesaid prices.
If you can’t find a show that you’re interested in or nothing is playing, the Opera compound has two other buildings that resemble museums rather more than the warehouse that is the Egyptian Museum.
The Cairo Opera House has the works, an opera company, opera symphony orchestra, opera chorus, ballet, and an A Cappella chorus. A Full scale operation to say the least!
So far I have been to eight performances: 3 operas, 3 symphonies, 1 ballet, and a recent special performance by the Munich String and Percussion Orchestra (which was a knock out!)
I would agree with the next guy if he told me, “I didn’t come to Cairo for the opera.” I would let him have his say on the matter, and when he finishes, tell him that for the price he pays, he must go to the Cairo Opera, just to say he did, what else is there to do in Cairo at 8pm on any given night?
You will get so much more than you expected-- you really do get an excellent and professional performance! Aida by Verdi was so much fun I have gone two consecutive seasons, so as to see any improvements or changes, and it was even more fun the second time! The sets are simple but creative, the costumes are flamboyant and colorful, it is full of dancing, women fainting and crying, and bittersweet love! A must see if playing. Since it is set in Ancient Egypt, what better place than to see it than in a modern Egyptian Opera House (courtesy of the Japanese)?
Based on the, ballet performance- Tango Reve—I attended during the Spring season, which was a showcase for the talent of the Opera Company Ballet, definitely consider a dance concert if the Opera is not available. The choreography and subjects were contemporary themes, entirely produced “in house”—extremely well done.
I have yet to be disappointed with a show, maybe one or two slight wardrobe snags—there was a dramatic moment in Aida when Amneris’ gown was held captive by her throne as she rushed to join Radames--, but that is it. I on the other hand, have once been guilty of a wardrobe malfunction: I thought I could be semi-formal for a weekday symphony. I was mistaken, but it was solved by their free rental tie service, and my buddy’s jacket (which fit me like a trench coat). The dress code is “formal”, but not black tie. A tie and a blazer, of whatever color you fancy, just gotta have it for show. And ladies, no jeans or obviously casual attire. If you didn’t bring a dressier top with you to Cairo, wrap yourself up in the lovely shawl that you’ve purchased at one of the nicer traditional handcraft shops and that will pass muster.
No cameras allowed, if you want to bring it, you will have to check it once inside.
I have talked enough about how great the shows are, now let me touch on a not so pleasant side of the whole thing-- the local audience. You are (relatively) safe (from nuisance) in the orchestra seating, otherwise they are a hit or miss crew in the courtesy department. Many take the liberty of chatting to each other during the performance—including during the arias, others clack away at their cell phones, sending texts to the outside world. It is a habit in this Opera hall that whenever a singer hits a long high note to clap at the end and some go as far as to exclaim “Bravo!”, even if the scene is not over, a nuisance of an interruption, for viewer and performer alike. Do “shush” the chatters if you want, it might work better for you than for my family, some seem to give a look of “how dare you” upon being “shushed”, but they will get over it.
There are refreshments during the intermission, nothing stronger than a Pepsi or tea, and nothing blander than water. There is a café on the first floor in case you are falling asleep or are a bit chilly from the air conditioning-- there you can find a pick-me-up espresso and a warming hot chocolate.
IMPORTANT!! If you have to make a trip to the Ladies room, bring your own tissues. Guys, borrow tissues from the ladies if that is what you’ll need. The bathroom attendants give out toilet paper to dry your hands (if they have any), and expect a pound or two tip. But better safe than sorry- This is where Cairo is great, you can buy tissues in the street for a pound, best place to get ‘em, you can’t miss ‘em!
As you leave the show and are walking out of the spacious empty compound back into the hectic Cairo streets, you will feel like you really did stumble onto a special an unexpected treat. Hopefully it adds a bit of flavor and variety to your Cairo trip. I will be the first to admit, there are only so many rocks that one can handle to see! SO Enjoy!

8  Thank Robert N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 September 2012

The Opera House is a beautiful building, huge, much bigger than we expected. They were painting some of the walls when i visited, but it didn't spoil the visit.

2  Thank marilyn h
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 6 September 2012

A multi-per pose place for musical concerts, ballet shows, plays from all over the world, artistic seminars, exhibitions of art and musical library besides the library of fine arts. It includes also the Museum of Modern Art.
Al Gazira Art Palace is the biggest hall in Egypt in terms of size & events.
It has two main theaters besides the Hanager theater.
Even if you don't go to any of the shows, you can enjoy the spacious open area with great landscape full of sculptures and statues.
It has a direct acces from Cairo Metro "Opera station"

1  Thank Egyptian_Mandala
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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