Chairman of the Board of the Cairo Opera House.
Opera Egypt

Dr. Lamiaa Zayed

Chairman of the Board of the Cairo Opera House

   Dr. Lamiaa Zayed was born on the 26th of August 1968 in Cairo, Egypt. She completed her ballet studies in 1985 with distinction, and in 1989, she obtained her B.A. from the Higher Institute of Ballet with distinction. In November 1990, she worked as a teaching assistant at the Higher Institute of Ballet. In 1991, she obtained a bachelor’s degree from the Libraries and Information Department, Faculty of Arts. Then in 1992, she obtained a postgraduate diploma with distinction, and in 1997, she obtained a Master’s in Ballet with distinction. In June 1998, she worked as an assistant teacher at the Higher Institute of Ballet, and in November 2000, she worked as a teacher at the Higher Institute of Ballet. In 2000, she obtained a PhD with honours. In December 2005, she worked as an assistant professor at the Higher Institute of Ballet, and, then as a professor in January 2011. In October 2012, she was appointed as the Head of Choreography and Directing Department at the Higher Institute of Ballet, Academy of Arts. From August 2015 until 2018, she was appointed as the Dean of the Higher Institute of Ballet, and in 2022 - 2023, she was appointed the Head of Choreography Department.

    Dr. Lamiaa Zayed taught the following subjects: Classical movement structure, project preparation and implementation, pantomime, forms of movement, choreography, preparation and direction of a theatrical performance, ballet costumes and props, historical dance, ballet choreography,  the possibilities of movement, the structure of Egyptian folk dance, folk dances, and ballet production.

   Dr. Lamiaa Zayed published many researches and articles, including “The Embodiment of Myth in the Art of Ballet”, “The Movement Formation Between Static and Dynamism Among Ballet Choreographers”, “Palace Dancing Between Originality and Evolution”, “Swan Lake (Classical Ballet Performances for Amateurs)”, “The Pharaonic Theme and its Physical Embodiment for Amateurs”, “Kesan Glozewski and the Minotour Method in Ballet”, and “The Art of Dance and the Baroque Era”.

   She participated with the Cairo Opera Ballet Company as a soloist, then as a choreographer, a First Trainer, and Executive Director to all the company’s performances, then as a Vice Manager of the Cairo Opera Ballet Company, and the company’s most important performances include: Romeo and Juliet, The Nutcracker, Swan Lake, Giselle, Cinderella, Coppélia, Don Quixote, Isis and Osiris, Bolero, Cleopatra, Carmina Burana, Malgré Tout, Tango, Carmen, Danses qu’on Croise, Sleeping Beauty, and Le Sacre du Printemps.

   She was also the Executive Director in several events held at the Cairo Opera House such as the Anniversary of the Cairo Opera House, Arab music concerts, Mother’s Day celebrations, and 6th of October celebrations. She participated as a director and trainer in performances such as Aida, Carmen, La Traviata, La Bohème, Anas Al Wugud, The Magic Flute, and The Merry Widow. She also participated with the company in its performances abroad in many countries, including (USA, Turkey, Spain, Germany, France, China, South Korea, North Korea, Canada, Moscow, Ufa, Georgia, Armenia, Porcelain, Italy, Austria, South Africa, India, Tunisia, Syria, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Prague, Greece, Switzerland, Oman, Jordan, England, Ireland, Bahrain, and Mexico). In 2018, she participated as a jury member in the National Theater Festival.

   Lamiaa Zayed was trainer and director at the Talent’s Development Center of the Cairo Opera House, and directed many performances such as The Enchanted Crystal, The Princess and the Seven Dwarfs, Don Quixote, Cinderella, and various shows of Indian tableaux, tango, modern dance, and Pharaonic tableaux.

    In 2000, she participated in the 8th Spring Festival of Art and Friendship held in the Democratic Republic of Korea as a choreographer, teacher, trainer, and assistant director.

   Dr. Lamiaa Zayed’s achievements were recognized with multiple honours and awards, including an award at the Korean Arts and Spring Festival in 2000, an award in the Egyptian-Canadian Year of Friendship in Canada, a Labor Day Award at the Cairo Opera House in 2017, an award at the Arab Music Festival at the Cairo Opera House in 2016, a certificate of honour from the Egypt-China Year of Friendship in China 2018.

National Cultural Center "Cairo Opera House"
Opera Egypt

Egypt has always been regarded as a cultural and geographical crucible of world civilizations. Gifted by its strategic location, it has consistently served as a beacon of art and a nucleus for cultural diffusion. Acknowledging the pioneering role of Egypt, Khedive Ismail gave instructions to build an Opera House, in 1869, to celebrate the inauguration of the Suez Canal. Known for his passion for culture and art, the Khedive planned to lay the foundation of an architectural masterpiece that rivals its counterparts in Europe. The Khedivial Opera House was constructed in only six months to the design of two Italian architects, Avoscani and Rossi. Outstanding specialists with wide experience in theatre construction were brought to Egypt to carry out the work. Before the building was complete, Khedive Ismail started to prepare a great performance for the opening of his project that should reflect glimpses of Ancient Egyptian history. He commissioned the Italian poet Antonio Ghislanzoni to write the libretto and Giuseppe Verdi to compose the music. The outcome was the famous opera, Aida, with its patriotic subject, passionate songs, and superb music: an operatic masterpiece. Unfortunately, because of delays caused by the Franco-Prussian war, the sets and costumes for the premiere of Aida could not be transported from Paris in time. Accordingly, Verdi’s Rigoletto was performed in the Khedivial Opera House’s official opening instead. Aida eventually premiered two years later, in 1871. The Khedivial Opera House was the first in Africa and the Middle East, where famous world operas and symphonic masterpieces were performed. Tragically, in the early morning hours of 28 October 1971, a fire burned down the building of the Khedivial Opera House leaving Cairo without a suitable operatic venue for nearly two decades. In March 1985, the first cornerstone of the new Opera House was laid. Egypt, with the support of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), decided to build a prestigious cultural edifice that shall become a hub of artistic activity in the region. After deciding on Gezira in central Cairo as the new location, careful planning by the Ministry of Culture and the JICA produced a design suggestive of traditional Islamic architecture which blends in harmoniously with the surrounding area. This cooperation was a significant gesture revealing the bonds of friendship between these two ancient countries. After 34 months of continuous hard work, the Cairo Opera House was officially inaugurated on the 10th of October 1988.

The Mission of the Cairo Opera House
The Cairo Opera House is a cultural landmark renowned for leadership, excellence, and imagination. It has carved itself a significant place in the cultural landscape of Egypt and the Middle East. Its mission is to: - Host a wide variety of cultural events including opera, ballet, classical music concerts, theatre performances, and art exhibitions. - Support learning, creativity, and innovation. - Discover and nurture young talented artists and provide them with the opportunity to perform on the same stage with internationally renowned artists. Main Building The main building in El-Jazeera Island includes four theatres: Main Hall, Small Hall, Open Air Theatre, and Fountain Theatre (new one). Museum The building also includes a museum with two wings. One wing is completely devoted to documents describing the history of the Khedivial Opera House. On display are rare photos of the building, the most important artistic performances, and several brochures of the concerts given at the Khedivial Opera House. This wing also exhibits costumes, jewelry, and musical scores of Opera Aida. Some historic documents written in Italian about the artistic performances of the Khedivial Opera House from 1869 until 1907 are displayed as well. The other wing is dedicated to the new Cairo Opera House which was inaugurated in 1988. Posters and brochures of the most important artistic performances held at its different theatres are showcased. Art Gallery The main building of the Cairo Opera House houses Salah Taher Art Gallery, named after one of the Pioneers of Egyptian plastic art. Since the inauguration of the Cairo Opera House, the Art Gallery has been an active venue for many important exhibitions and events. Offering two floors of professional light-filled spaces, the Art Gallery showcases a variety of personal and group artwork. Music Library The Music Library, situated on the Cairo Opera House grounds holds rare books and manuscripts about art and music and has a large collection of digital recordings of singers and composers from Egypt and the Arab world. Recordings, CDs, videotapes, and cassette tapes of Opera House performances are available. The Music Library also houses Ziad Bakir Art Gallery. The space in the circular, two-storey construction lends itself admirably to the display of artistic works. Several theatres are also affiliated to the Cairo Opera House: Gomhouria Theatre in Abdeen, Arab Music Institute in Ramses Street, Alexandria Opera House “Sayed Darwish Theatre” in Alexandria, and Damanhour Opera House in Beheira Governorate. The Opera House also houses a costume design workshop and a set design workshop that produce the attire and scenery for the art performances held at the theatres of the Cairo Opera House.
New Cairo Opera House
New Cairo Opera House The Egyptian Opera House, or the General Authority of the National Cultural Center, was opened in 1988 and is located in its new building, which was built by a grant from the Japanese government to its Egyptian counterpart on the land of Al-Jazeera in Cairo.the house was built in the Islamic style. This great cultural edifice, which opened on October 10, 1988, is the alternative to the Khedive's Opera House, which was built by Khedive Ismail in 1869 and burned down on October 28, 1971 after remaining a cultural beacon for 102 years. The history of the construction of the old opera house dates back to the period of prosperity witnessed by the era of Khedive Ismail in all fields. Khedive Ismail ordered the construction of the Khedivial Opera House in the Azbakeya neighborhood in central Cairo on the occasion of the opening of the Suez Canal, where he intended to invite a large number of kings and Queens of Europe. The opera was built in just six months after its design was developed by the Italian architects avoscani and Ross. Khedive Ismail's desire was for an Egyptian Opera to be opened by the Khedivial Opera House, an opera Aida, whose music was composed by the Italian musician Verdi, but circumstances prevented it from being presented at the time of the opening ceremony, so the opera Rigoletto was presented at the official opening, which was attended by Khedive Ismail, Empress Eugenie, wife of Napoleon III, King of Austria and crown prince of Prussia. The Khedivial Opera House, which burned down at dawn on October 28, 1971, had a capacity of 850 people, and there was a place dedicated to important personalities and that house was characterized by grandeur and luxury.
Documentary video of the Egyptian Opera House
Royal Opera
Opera Egypt
The art of opera is not an art far from the taste of the Orientals or Egyptians, especially, the ancient Egyptian history is filled with musical models accompanied by dramatic performances and poetry, and on the walls of the temples were engraved wonderful recordings of many ancient Egyptian celebrations, which shows the extent of interest in the art of music, singing and dancing, they even invented many musical instruments for a love of music, so we find the famous harp instrument on which various developments were carried out until it has now reached the instrument of the oriental lute. The story of the creation of the ancient opera was closely associated with the opening of the Suez Canal during the reign of the Khedive Ismail, who was passionate about the arts and therefore it was called the Khedivial Opera. As a result of Khedive Ismail's love for high art and his passion for it, he wanted the Khedive Opera House to be an architectural masterpiece no less than its counterparts in the world, so he commissioned Italian engineers avoscani and Russian to design it taking into account artistic accuracy and architectural splendor, and Khedive Ismail was interested in decorations and artistic splendor, and he used a number of painters, illustrators and photographers to decorate and beautify the Opera. Before the construction was completed, the great monarch had begun to prepare for his new home a pure artistic heritage that refers first of all to the glorious past of Egypt. Mariette Pasha asked the Khedive to choose a story from the pages of ancient Egyptian history that would serve as the nucleus of a poetic play.her poetry was organized by the Italian poet giala nazouk and the reign of Khedive Ismail to the musician Verdi by setting her high Music. The Immortal opera "Aida" with its Egyptian national theme, its lively songs and wonderful music was the product of the three geniuses. The Khedivial Opera was opened on the first of November 1869 with the celebrations of the Suez Canal, and despite the interest of Khedive Ismail and his firm desire that the Khedivial Opera House be opened with the performance of Aida opera, circumstances prevented it from being presented on the opening date and the Khedivial Opera was opened with the performance of Rigoletto. The ancient opera was considered the first on the continent of Africa and its theater was considered one of the most spacious, prepared and luxurious in the world. At the dawn of the twenty-eighth of October 1971, the ancient Egyptian opera house burned down completely, leaving only the statues "prosperity" and "renaissance of the Arts", which are the work of the artist Mohammed Hassan.