Al-Mawred Al-Thaqafy inaugurated its summer musical programme at El Genaina theatre last Thursday. Since 2006, the annual line up has been fully packed with musicians from Egypt and abroad. This year, the performances feature partnerships between foreign and local bands.
The idea behind the summer programme is to get more people interested in the local music scene and introduce them to different kinds of music. Every year, new artists make their debut at El Genaina Theatre. The theatre’s manager, Charles Akl, explained: “El Genaina theatre has developed significantly over the years. We have a very particular music selection, which is why having a new artist at El Genaina has a lot to do with his or her breakthrough.”
Musicians go through a rigorous selection process in order to perform at the popular theatre in Al-Azhar Park. “For the June and July programme artists have been picked to create multiple themes; the event started off with African music, and there are also two concerts for heavy metal and hard rock. A night of re-tune shaabi music has been incorporated into the performances. Also, Al-Mawred Al-Thaqafy celebrates its other projects at El Genaina Theatre this month, with a performance from Al Darb Al Ahmar Arts School Troupe and Khater Dawa, a Syrian musician who was awarded [a grant] from Al-Mawred Al-Thaqafy,” Akl said.
The highlight of the season is the performance from Hayy Festival, an annual festival focussing on regional musical and literary figures. “The events, starting mid-July until mid August, concurrent with the holy month of Ramadan, features female artists from the Arab world … This year Hayy features divas from Morocco, Tunisia, and Palestine among others,” he said.
Akl explained that most of their audience is a younger demographic, but “the theatre’s programme continues to attract all age groups.”
The organisers have also incorporated a new feature in their booking process to make things easier for the audience. “Concert goers in Alexandria can now purchase our tickets online and through outlets in the city and come to the theatre guaranteeing that there is a spot for them. Cairenes also benefit from that service. Unlike last year, the audience doesn’t have to come to Al-Mawred Al-Thaqafy’s office to buy tickets,” Akl said.
The summer programme continues every Thursday and Friday at 8.30pm until 5 July.