“The king” Mohamed Mounir will perform his first-ever concert at Cairo Opera House, which has always set standards for the type of performances it presented, particularly the festival, which adopted the preservation of the Arab musical heritage for many years.
He is set to participate at the opening of the Arab Music Festival 28th edition, which will run from November (1-12).
This year’s festival includes 37 concerts hosted at the Cairo, Alexandria, and Damanhour Opera Houses featuring a massive lineup consisting of 92 Arab artists.
It includes Angham, Ali El Haggar, Wael Jassar, Hanan Madi, Hany Shaker, Mohamed El Helw, Marwan Khoury, Mohamed Tharwat, Faia Younan, Carmen Soliman, Mohamed El Sharnouby, Nedaa Sharara, and Reham Abd Elhakim.
Moreover, it is scheduled for Syrian superstar, Assala Nasri to conclude the festival.
The news of his participation has sparked controversy during the festival’s press conference, which was hosted at the Opera House to unveil the details of the upcoming festival.
Some people wondered about his choice of music, whether if he will perform a number of his old and latest songs, or will perform traditional songs.
Meanwhile, others wondered about his attire, especially as he is known for his casual outfits and dance moves on stage, which are not suitable for the opera house.
The festival’s director, artist Jehan Morsi answered, said: “It is the festival duty to keep pace with the development of the art scene to be able to achieve the goal of an achieved balance between the fine art and the low standard art and what they represent.”
She continued: “In addition to this, the cultural orientation in Egypt, it is imperative for us to work on attracting youth and all the music that represents them to raise the public taste and create a strong link between them and the Opera House and state theaters.”
She also addressed the concern over the huge turnout expected at the upcoming concert, saying: “Through reactions to the concert news we will measure the size of the turnout, which will determine the measures needed for a ceremony this size.”
Veteran musician Helmy Bakr, a member of the festival’s preparatory committee, called on the participating singers to add songs from the golden age to their concerts program.
Alongside the festival, the 6th edition of the scientific Arab Arab Music Conference, headed by Dr. Rasha Tomoum, professor of Theory and Composition, at Helwan University, will be held.
Dr. Rasha highlighted the importance of the meetings and seminars the conference hold, which often do not receive the same media attention as the concerts, and therefore a seminar was added for music researchers on contemporary music issues such as the decline in the use of maqams and women composition for music and children’s work, as well as the relational dialectics between youth and music development.
Contributed by Yara Sameh