Previous performance for “The Merry Widow” at Cairo Opera House - Photo Courtesy of press release by Cairo Opera House. Previous performance for “The Merry Widow” at Cairo Opera House - Photo Courtesy of press release by Cairo Opera House.

The story behind ‘The Merry Widow’ operetta

Thu, Feb. 22, 2018
CAIRO – 22 February 2018: Egypt Today presents to you a brief history of “The Merry Widow”, an operetta by Franz Lehár. The operetta will be performed at Cairo Opera house for four evenings from February 22-26.

“This operetta will be staged in Egypt for the third time after a long [pause],” Erminia Kamel, artistic director of Cairo Ballet Company told Egypt Today. She continued that late renowned director Abdel-Moneim Kamel took the initiative to introduce this operetta to the Egyptian Opera scene for the first time in 1990s. A performance of the opera was held then but it was directed by Abdallah Saad; this time it is directed by Mahdy El Sayed.

“The Merry Widow” revolves around the story of a woman born in a small eastern village, who then marries a rich old man leaving the poor country. The woman returns to her country as a rich widow and the country’s governor starts to woo her into marrying one of the country’s inhabitants as an attempt to help the country with her wealth. The widow suddenly meets her first lover who at the beginning refuses love her again after she left him for another man. The widow marries her first lover at the end of the operetta and ends up donating a large amount of money to save her country’s future.

Erminia clarified that the performance’s scenario will be the same as the original story except that it will be conducted in Arabic. When Kamel first directed this operetta specifically, he insisted to direct it in Arabic to have the audience more involved dramatically in the play itself.

As for her expectations, Erminia believes the audience will enjoy the operetta, “There will be many artists creating a beautiful world on the stage; actors, singers and beautiful orchestra by the prominent musician Hisham Gabr,” she stated. It only consists of two acts. The operetta is not only solely based on a romantic plot, but is also largely comedic.
 
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