The Cairo Symphony Orchestra returned to deliver its third edition of their collection of classic cinematic scores, which included scores from films such as 'The Dark Knight', 'Harry Potter' and 'The Godfather.' Led by Conductor Ahmed Atef, the Cairo Symphony Orchestra delivered marvelous renditions of some of the most famous and well-known cinematic scores. Yet, while some music pieces were perfectly accurate to the scores they were adapting, others included variations in tunes, which at times took away from the mastery of their original counterparts.
The orchestra started off with a spectacularly accurate rendition of 'Back to the Future', igniting a flare of excitement. This was followed by the endearing score from 'Forest Gump' that was clearly, for every artist on that stage, a favourite. The Cairo Symphony Orchestra then captivated the audience with an expertly played adaptation of ‘Lawrence of Arabia’s’ main theme, conjuring up a sense of adventure.
Yet, despite of the fact that those musical pieces were warmly received by audience members, it was nothing compared to the reception of the world renowned Hedwig's musical theme from the ‘Harry Potter’ series. Indeed, this score seemed to be the highlight of the evening for some (if not most) of the audience; it was one that evoked the most nostalgia, and largest of wonderment. Afterwards, the Cairo Symphony Orchestra played the hauntingly beautiful score from the film The Godfather; this only added to the admiration that the audience had for them.
Unfortunately, what followed waned the excitement in the audience; while their rendition of John Corigliano's Red Violin was beautifully played, it was not a famous enough musical film score, that has the capacity to excite audience members. Following the intermission, nonetheless, the orchestra returned to form, with the awe-inspiring John Williams’ Jurassic Park musical theme. This piece moved the audience members, and granted the orchestra a much-deserved and prolonged ovation.
The Cairo Symphony Orchestra then chose to dazzle the audience with their stylish rendition of a medley, composed of multiple themes from the 'James Bond' series; the medley included scores from classic 'James Bond' films like Gold Finger, as well as a score from the more modern release Sky Fall.
The surprise of the night came with the inclusion of the marvelously talented Mezzo-Soprano, Amina Khairat. Khairat completely captivated the entirety of the Opera theatre, with her cover of the well-known Cabaret; she was a true splendor to behold. After Khairat left the stage, the Cairo Symphony Orchestra delivered their most anticipated orchestration of the evening, Hans Zimmer and James Newton Howards’ theme from the film The Dark Knight. The orchestra delivered an eerie, inspiring and mesmerizing theme, which almost inspires one to revisit the films, and/or put on a cape and cowl for the night.
Khairat then returned to the stage, and performed an unforgettable cover for the song “I Will Always Love You,” from the film ‘The Body Guard;’ swaying the theatre with her alluring voice as she spectacularly reached every high note and swept the audience off their feet.
Capping off the night, the Cairo Symphony Orchestra made their final musical adaptation a splendidly joyful and cheerful one. They orchestrated a coral for "Somewhere in my Memory" and "Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas" from the film series 'Home Alone'. These scores led to the show ending with a standing ovation, in gratitude of a truly memorable night, courtesy of the Cairo Symphony Orchestra, and the Cairo Opera House.
By Nader Issa