Legendary singer Julio Iglesias proved he could hold his own against the might of the Sphinx when he performed at the Giza Pyramids last week.
His performance marked his return to Egypt after a 30-year hiatus, having come to Cairo as “a guest of President Anwar El Sadat".Although the organization was picture-perfect and guests were mingling, chatting and enjoying a three-course dinner until the show, their reaction to one of the greatest swooners of all time taking to the stage was lackluster.
If there was one word that could describe the audience, it would be stiff. Throughout Iglesias’ performance, I kept wondering whether the audience had originally booked themselves seats at the Opera House to hear a Mozart concerto.
Nonetheless, Iglesias kept trying to lift their moods by saying things like “come one Egypt!”
One of his backing vocalists kept gesturing for the audience to rise, but only a few would respond.
Some brave soul in the back managed a muffled “I love you, Iglesias.”
According to Sarah Valenzia, Events Plus organizer, the concert was attended by many prominent figures, including 13 ministers and other famous figures and such as Zahi Hawass.
There were also a number of celebrities present at the concert including Tamer Hagras, Nadia el Guindy, Khaled el Nabawy and Mohamed Tharwat.
The audience finally reacted when Iglesias’s sang his most famous songs; “Je n’ai pas change,” “Manuela,” and “When You Tell Me That You Love Me,” a duet with a 19-year-old female singer.
Iglesias was deft at grabbing the audience’s attention through emotional aspects. For instance, after his duet with the 19-year-old he told her, “One day you will be able to tell your ‘mamy and papy’ that you sang in one of the most beautiful countries, Egypt, by the great pyramids.”
Filled with national pride, the crowd stood up and applauded vigorously.
Between songs, Iglesias would stop and tell people about his experience when he first visited Egypt.
“There were many sponsors including Vodafone, Chevrolet, Al Mansour International Distribution Company, EgyptAir, and the National Bank of Egypt,” said Valenzia.
“People were asking for tickets until the last moment,” said Valenzia, “therefore the thing we might want to change for upcoming concerts is to increase the number of invitations.”