Magdy Saber, Chairman of the Cairo Opera House, receives an interview with Xinhua in Cairo, Egypt, on May 4, 2021. (Xinhua/Ahmed Gomaa)
by Mahmoud Fouly
CAIRO, May 10 (Xinhua) -- Cultural cooperation between Egypt and China has been fruitful in recent years, Chairman of the Cairo Opera House Magdy Saber recently told Xinhua.
"China is one of the most important and largest countries that we deal with in the Opera House, through exchanging cultures, troupes, and expertise," said Saber, adding that the Cairo Opera House has close cooperation with the China Cultural Center in Cairo.
Saber made the remarks as Egypt and China are celebrating this year the 65th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations.
Egypt-China cultural cooperation continued despite the COVID-19 pandemic, he said, referring to a number of joint online performances held on different occasions.
The Cairo Opera House hosted in February a joint online concert displaying performances of Egyptian and Chinese music and art academies to celebrate the Spring Festival, or the Chinese Lunar New Year.
In May 2020, Egyptian and Chinese musicians staged a virtual performance of the Triumphal March from the world-famous opera Aida. A month later, Egyptian and Chinese orchestras held a joint online concert to mark the 64th anniversary of the establishment of China-Egypt diplomatic relations.
"They were so successful ... that they were encouraged and praised by Egyptian Culture Minister Inas Abdel-Dayem," Saber told Xinhua.
Saber said that he took part in the arrangements of the opening ceremony of the China-Egypt Culture Year in 2016.
The celebration, featuring Egyptian and Chinese stage performances, was also held to mark the 60th anniversary of bilateral ties.
"We as the opera house presented various performances including operatic and ballet singing and Egyptian arts. The Chinese side also performed very unique ballet and arts of China," Saber said. "It was a ceremony that combined both antiquities and history."
"We are happy with the Egyptian-Chinese friendship, and I hope it will grow further in the coming years," he said.
He also commended China's efforts to promote the development of global cultural exchanges.
"What brings peoples together the most are culture, art, and sports. Hence, there must be cooperation between different cultures and civilizations," Saber said.
He recalled his visit to China when he was in charge of the Opera House ballet company that presented performances in Shanghai then.
"That trip was more than wonderful and I enjoyed it very much," he said.
"Based on my work and our cultural and artistic exchange with China, I see that our cooperation is more than successful and there is a real friendship between us," he added. Enditem