Julio Iglesias, the “Quijote” of the Giza Pyramids
October 16, 2010
With his black suit, eyes closed, and the milestone of his 67th birthday recently reached, Julio Iglesias made this night of Quijote a polyglot one before a select audience, thirty years after his first concert at the Pyramids of Giza.
It was precisely “Quijote” the song that opened the night. The lights flooded the stage, the Pyramids and the Sphinx confirmed their presence, and Julio made the song of the knight of La Mancha his letter of introduction.
“One of my best memories is of Egypt,” confessed the most universal Spanish singer, who performed in the same place in 1981, invited by then president Anwar Sadat.
Seduced by the Nile, Julio Iglesias acknowledged being in love with the Sphinx: “I have come to give it my “marriage proposal.” And he aroused the first applause and smiles.
As usual, Julio Iglesias kept his hand on his chest, flirted with some of his dancers, and had a sudden urge to dance.
“I am Spanish from head to toe,” he proclaimed, before explaining that his father was born in the northern Spain of Celtic sounds and his mother in the southern Spain of flamenco rhythms, which she timidly dared to sing.
And, remembering his father, Julio Iglesias brought to Cairo the “homesickness” and the “nostalgic sadness” hiding in ” Un Canto a Galicia”.
From the repertory of his more than 40-year musical career, he did not forget the Latin rhythms of “La gota fría” nor his French songs like “Je n’ai pas changé” or “Ne me quitte pas” from the Belgian Jacques Brel.
For “Ae, ao,” “Manuela” and “Mammy Blue,” the Spanish artist invited the public to sing the chorus, and he awoke exclamations of surprise, when during the song “A media luz,” a pair of tango dancers took the stage.
“Sex appeal is within us,” he said in a quick lesson in tango, a dance he described as the closest thing to “making love in a vertical position”.
“La carretera” and “El bacalao” also rang out in a concert in which, to the surprise of the Egyptians, Spanish dominated, and throughout which Julio Iglesias moved from one language to another several times, while he opened his heart to the audience.
“Why don’t you take me with you?” asked one of the five children he has with Miranda Rijnsburger. “It’s a long journey. The next time I will take you,” promised Julio Iglesias, and witnessed by an audience who enjoyed the two-hour concert.
The Spanish singer, with 79 albums and more than 300 million copies sold, also wished to remember the Italian tenor Luciano Pavarotti with the Italian song “Caruso”.
And in addition to leafing through his memories, Julio Iglesias shared a song with the young Swedish singer Linda Lind, to whom the Spaniard said that she should not speak of him to “her father, nor her mother, nor her boyfriend”.
“At least you can say that you have worked one night in one of the most beautiful places,” he added.
When Julio Iglesias was ending the show with another of his international hits, “Me va, me va”, the audience asked for more, and he dedicated the last song to Anwar Sadat, “the former historic president” who remains close to his heart.