CAIRO – 15 September 2021: Alexandria Opera’s Sayed Darwish Theater is considered the second oldest opera theater in Egypt after the Khedive Opera.
Sayed Darwish Theater was established in the Greek style, and is decorated with many unique gilded and geometric plant motifs of a classic European character.
This theater is an architectural masterpiece; its foundation stone was laid in 1918 under the title Zizinia Theater. It was owned by one of the wealthy people of Alexandria from the Al-Qardahi family. It was then called Teatro Mohammad Ali during the reign of King Fouad I.
Designed by French architect Georges Park, it draws inspiration from the elements of the Vienna Opera and the Odeon Theater in Paris. It was then opened in 1921, and many Egyptian and foreign shows were presented on its stage.
In 1962, its name was changed to Sayed Darwish Theatre, in honor of the genius of Arabic music, the famous son of Alexandria, musician Sayed Darwish.
The theatre became affiliated to the Ministry of Culture, which allocated it to present theatrical and musical performances. The theater was included over time in the Egyptian Heritage List, and underwent intensive renovation operations starting the year 2000.
After several years of skillful work, the building has returned to its former glory and splendor.
The Sayed Darwish Theater re-opened in 2004 after its modernization and development. The ceilings of the theater are adorned from the inside with the Latin letters of the most famous names of international artists, including the Austrian Mozart, one of the most prominent creative geniuses in the history of music; the Italian Verdi; as well as the Italian Rossini, and others.
This theater attracted the most famous artists in the world, and the first operetta staged there in 1921 was “Shahr Zad”.
The Egyptian Opera House celebrated the centenary of Sayed Darwish Theatre, with a huge event that took place in August.
During the celebration, Egypt’s Minister of Culture Inas Abdel Dayem honored 21 symbols of the city of Alexandria who made distinguished contributions to the theater.