Beyond the footlights, the audience is an unseen expectant mass. Zeina El Hefny commands the stage, her coloratura notes easily ascending the runs and trills of Handel’s score to hit a high F. She has made it, all the way from Cairo to the heart of Europe. But how she missed her own civilised bathroom and its bidet!
A house light sparks off a tiara in the Royal box.
A stray thought sparks off Zeina’s mind as she regards the opera-goers. “All these people smear their shit around their arses with bits of paper.”