Cairo has built itself a new house--for opera, that is. The $40-million structure, built by Japan on a Nile River island as a token of Japanese-Egyptian friendship, includes a main auditorium and two smaller theaters. President Hosni Mubarak and about 1,200 foreign and Egyptian guests watched the gala opening ceremony Monday night, which featured a mixture of Japanese Kabuki theater, Egyptian songs and the finale of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. The new complex replaced an opera house that was built in 1869 to celebrate the opening of the Suez Canal but was destroyed by fire in 1971.
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