“Where Art Thou Romeo?”… He’s at the Cairo Opera House!

romeo and julietTwo young dreamy lovers whose untimely deaths ultimately unite their feuding families, is a heartbreaking story being performed as a ballet at the Cairo Opera House.

Romeo and Juliet ballet opened at the Cairo Opera House Oct. 16. It is a widely popular ballet adapted from the world-renowned Shakespearian play. The ballet is in three acts. It is being  performed by the Cairo opera Ballet Company, in cooperation with the Cairo Opera Orchestra.

Two musician composers wrote music for the same ballet. One was Pyotr Ilych Tchaikovsky, and the other was Sergey Prokofiev. The current performance of the ballet at the opera is of the one with Prokofiev’s music, (Op. 64). It is one of Prokofiev’s masterpieces that contains some of the most inspired and emotional passages in his whole output.

The last time Romeo and Juliet ballet was performed at the Cairo Opera House was four years ago, and the ballet was performed to Tchaikovsky’s music. Almost the same set and costumes were used for both performances.

Ahmed Yehia and Zurab Mikeladze are both performing the role of Romeo, while Anja Achin and Olga Dirda are both performing the role of Juliet. Conductor Nayer Nagui leads the Orchestra.

Other significant performers in the ballet include Ahmed Nabil and Mohmoud Hassan who perform the role of Mercutio, Ahmed saleh and Amr farouk who perform the role of Tybalt. Maged Hamdy and Mamdouh Hassan who play Benvolio. Along with significant members of the Cairo Opera Ballet Company including Dr. Sahar Helmy, Tijana Sebez, Oxana Betsmanova, Victoria Pashenko, Ira Prokopenko, Alexander Kreniok, and Carla Berard.

The artistic director of the Cairo Opera Ballet Company, a former first ballerina, along with Abd El Moneim Kamel, also a former soloist, choreographed the ballet.

The scenery was a very simple, yet beautiful and elegant, designed by Mohamed El Gharbawy. The costumes, designed by Marina Martisenko, gave a whole different color to the performance, and very much enhanced it. The costumes also gave a beautiful identification of the setting and era with which the play takes place; they also help a great deal in identifying the characters from one another, and the families from one another.

The outcome of the ballet was beautiful. Both the Cairo Opera Ballet Company and the Cairo Opera Orchestra outdid themselves in such a spectacular performance.

Remaining performances of the ballet take place at the Main Hall of the Cairo Opera House, on Oct. 21, 22, 23, and 25.

-By Nouran Khalil

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