When tourists look for destinations to see world class operas, Jerusalem doesn’t exactly make it to their top 10 list, but the opera in Jerusalem isn’t one to be ignored.
The Jerusalem Opera Festival launched last summer to acclaim and success, giving way to an annual festival that brings unique opera performances to one of the city’s most epic theaters, The Sultan’s Pool, an outdoor amphitheater positioned right outside the Old City Walls.
After last year’s impressive performance of L’elixir D’amore, Jerusalem is upping their opera game in a major way.
What’s unique about the Jerusalem Opera Festival in 2016?
This year, The Jerusalem Festival will feature a production of Giuseppe Verdi’s Rigoletto, by an all-star lineup of international singers, the Israeli Opera Chorus and the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra. The role of Gilda will be played by non other than opera diva, Hila Fahima, the ideal character for this role. Why? Not only is Hila a graduate of the Jerusalem Rubin Academy for Music and Dance but she’s performed this lead role at one of the world’s most famous venues, Wiener Staatsoper in Vienna. The story of the duke’s jester and his horrific tragedy which comes to life through Verdi’s beguiling musical numbers will be performed under the star lit skies of Jerusalem.
Tickets for this Jerusalem performance are still available, but they are going quickly.
Not interested in classic opera? Well Jerusalem has thought about that, too. On the second night of the Opera Festival weekend, a Cinema Paradiso will be performed. What’s a Cinema Paradiso, you ask? Imagine watching the famous opera scenes from popular movies like Pretty Woman, Moonstruck, The Fifth Element, Amadeus, A Room with a View, The Godfather 3, A Quantum of Solace,and Bend it Like Beckham. During the Cinema Paradiso in Jerusalem, while the scene is projected on large screens, opera soloists will perform the scene live!
While Verdi’s Rigoletto and the Cinema Paradiso are certainly the main attractions, families looking for more kid friendly operas can watch numerous concerts at venues around the city by Israeli performing groups, including soloists from the Israeli Opera. For one weekend, the entire city will be celebrating the worldwide cultural influence of the opera.
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Some of the more family friendly opera performances in Jerusalem will include additions by the Museum of Italian Jewish Art, which will host an ‘Italian Celebration’ where arias and duets from popular Italian operas will be performed.
When the Phantom Comes to the Opera. This one is for Broadway buffs. Experience the magic of Broadway where beloved songs from popular musicals will be performed by Israeli Opera soloists.
Magic Flute. A one hour version (in Hebrew) of Mozart’s magical opera in a special adaptation for the entire family, performed by Israeli Opera soloists in a fully staged production with colorful costumes.
Cinderella. Experience the operatic version of the beloved fairy tale about Cinderella who in spite of her two stepsisters and evil stepmother manages to marry her prince charming. Imagine making this classic fairytale your excuse to get the kids out to experience their first opera in Jerusalem?
Jerusalem is embracing the opera and music in general as a way to break barriers, inspire and motivate visitors from all over the world. Music is a language that resonates with everyone.
See you in June for opera in Jerusalem.
The article was written by Mordecai Holtz, Director of New Media for Itraveljerusalem.com, the official portal for all Jerusalem travel information. Join the conversation about opera in Jerusalem by following them on Twitter, Facebook or Instag