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Siemens strengthening opera in Egypt

“One purpose of our activities is to promote diversity and equal opportunity in the cultural sphere, too,” said Stephan Frucht, Artistic Director of the Siemens Arts Program. “Our approach to continuing education, which is an approach that places a strong emphasis on sustainably developing musical theater, also plays a major role for young people in Egypt. In the process, intercultural skills become a universal capacity that encourages people to embrace peaceful and cooperative togetherness.”   
German opera director Manuel Schmitt is directing the production. Set and costume designer Bernhard Siegl, who is also from Germany, is overseeing the design of the stage-set and costumes. He will also be training Bibliotheca staff in both areas. With this German-Egyptian education project, the production team aims to provide fresh momentum for Alexandria’s opera tradition, develop further expertise within Bibliotheca Alexandrina’s choir and foster talented young singers. The project is also seeking to build local skills in the directing of operas and in stage-set and costume design, all with an eye to fostering sustainable, continuing development in the area of musical theater.
“This staging of ‘Don Giovanni’ is the only opera production at the Bibliotheca Alexandrina this year and marks a highlight among the few opera performances in Egypt,” said director Manuel Schmitt. “For me, the coming together of two very different cultural spheres – the Central European with the Egyptian – makes rehearsing and performing ‘Don Giovanni’ in Egypt a very special and important cultural endeavor. The language of Mozart and Da Ponte becomes a common language for people who have very different cultural backgrounds and thus also view this opera from very different perspectives. This grappling with the operatic work and the themes it addresses is a fundamental component of the staging work. In this project, the context-based portrayal of sexuality, violence against women, masculinity and femininity, and the questioning of identity roles, as well as similar topics, are to be discussed from the viewpoints of two cultural traditions and then lead to a multicultural performance.”
For the ensemble of soloists, the Siemens Arts Program initiated an international casting call to fill the roles of Donna Anna and Leporello. The casting jury chose Mexican baritone Antonio Azpiri and Serbian/Bulgarian soprano Isidora Moles. The jury consisted of conductor Nayer Nagui, director Manuel Schmitt and the Siemens Arts Program.
“Alexandria has always been a cosmopolitan city where opera, musical theater and concerts of all kinds have always been present and have created a strong community engaged in cultural activities,” said director Nayer Nagui. “Projects like these bring back this ‘Belle Époque’ while including young artists give the city a future and sustainability."
Sabine Erlenwein, Head of the Goethe-Institut in Alexandria, adds: “This production of ‘Don Giovanni’ stands for strengthening international artistic and cultural ex-change. The collaborative synergy between the German director, German set and stage designer, the international singers, and the choir of the Bibliotheca Alexandria under the baton of conductor Nayer Nagui will make the work to stage ‘Don Giovanni’ an exciting and creative experience for everyone involved. The process of staging the opera is something very special – as is the prospect of being able to thrill thousands of Egyptian opera fans with Mozart’s music.”

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Siemens AG (Berlin and Munich) is a technology company focused on industry, infrastructure, transport, and healthcare. From more resource-efficient factories, resilient supply chains, and smarter buildings and grids, to cleaner and more comfortable transportation as well as advanced healthcare, the company creates technology with purpose adding real value for customers. By combining the real and the digital worlds, Siemens empowers its customers to transform their industries and markets, helping them to transform the everyday for billions of people. Siemens also owns a majority stake in the publicly listed company Siemens Healthineers, a globally leading medical technology provider shaping the future of healthcare. In addition, Siemens holds a minority stake in Siemens Energy, a global leader in the transmission and generation of electrical power.
In fiscal 2022, which ended on September 30, 2022, the Siemens Group generated revenue of €72.0 billion and net income of €4.4 billion. As of September 30, 2022, the company had around 311,000 employees worldwide. Further information is available on the Internet at
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Florian Martini

Siemens AG

+49 (174) 155 2072