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Cairo Opera House

What is this? This is the state-run music center system with locations at the Opera House in Zamalek, Cairo; the Gomhouria Theater in downtown Cairo; and two theaters in Alexandria (the second largest city in the north).

Where A central location in the southern part of the Gezira Island (Zamalek).
Shows All sorts of classical music - Arab and non-Arab, including Arab classical music, European operas, symphony concerts, ballets, and the like. The opera house has its own orchestra and opera and ballet company. Many foreign governments also send their orchestras, ballet companies, theater companies, and other performing ensembles.
Tickets There are ticket offices, and you must go to the box office of the specific performance venue, either at the opera house or the Gomhouria downtown. There are no online sales.
Cost Reasonable by Western standards, from a few US dollars to a few dozen.
Times Show times are mostly at 8pm.
Dining A very nice cafe offers cakes and beverages.
English The ticket office people speak English, but sometimes hang up on you if you call in English. Most other staff members speak English.
Patrons Middle to upper class Egyptians of all ages, with some expats.
Smoking A non-smoking policy is observed, for the most part. Occasionally, both staff and audience members are seen smoking on the premises.

Although it is called the Opera House, it is a state music center system covering Western and Arab classical music. Located at the southern part of the Gezira Island (Zamalek), it is a large complex consisting of the opera house, the cinema (used also as a mid-size hall), an outdoor stage, the music institute, the cafe, and other facilities.

Please note that the Opera House system also includes The Gomhouria Theater in the old downtown Cairo and the theaters in Alexandria. However, the performance calendar on the website lists all these venues with obscure venue notes at the top, and you may end up in the wrong place. The website calendar is not always update and current.

It is best if you go to the Opera House in the Zamalek as soon as you arrive in Cairo, check the most updated performance schedule and the venues, and buy tickets in person.

Arab music concerts are usually less thanUS$10. Operas may cost you US$40.

According to a former member, the opera house orchestra performs both Western and Arab music, and the orchestra forms a few different ensembles for Arab music with different names. Maestro Gobashi often directs these ensembles. The Arab music orchestras performing at the Opera House system are all big 30-40 instrumentalists and 10 singers as well as multiple solo vocalists. Please do not expect to see small ensembles like the Oum Kalthoum photograph from the Cairo Congress. Instead, expect to see a big band in her later years.