The Cairo Opera House is the main performing arts venue in the Egyptian capital which is a part of Cairo’s National Cultural Center. It provides a platform to most of Egypt’s finest musical groups. The opera house was inaugurated on 10 October 1988. It is located on the southern portion of Gezira Island in the Nile River, in the Zamalek district of Cairo.
The President Hosni Mubarak’s of Egypt when visited Japan in April 1983 he was given the funds for the complex as a gift from the nation of Japan. The Construction began in May 1985 and lasted for three years.
In October 1988, President Mubarak of Egypt and Prince Tomohito of Mikasa inaugurated the National Cultural Centre Cairo Opera House. 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.
In recognition of the Cairo Opera House, the London Royal Philharmonic Orchestra chose it as a venue for their first performance in the Middle East and Africa in January 2007.In 1869, Khedive Ismail gave instructions to build an opera house to celebrate the opening of the Suez Canal. It was called Khedivial Opera House and was meant as a lasting and outstanding symbol of the arts of drama and music.
Designed by Italian architects Avoscani and Rossi, the opera house was completed in six months, in the center of Cairo near the Azbakeya district.The Khedive commissioned a performance which would reflect the ancient Egyptian history.
French archaeologist Auguste Mariette Bey, in the Khedive’s service, wrote a plot which eventually served the respected Italian librettist Antonio Ghislanzoni as a basis for his libretto. Giuseppe Verdi was appointed to compose the music. The result was the famous opera, Aida, with its heroic quality, powerful dramatic scenes and its passionate music.