Opera

Much like any good story, the story of Israeli opera starts with a dream, and a dreamer. It was a Russian Jewish musician named Mordechai Mordecha that decided to establish the Israeli Opera in 1923. Although he first considered Jerusalem, he ended up starting in Tel-Aviv. The city however was all sand back in those days, and no opera houses existed, so the first opera concerts were held in cinema buildings all over the city. The very first opera took place on July 26th 1923, and was none other than La Traviata.

Opera

Much like any good story, the story of Israeli opera starts with a dream, and a dreamer. It was a Russian Jewish musician named Mordechai Mordecha that decided to establish the Israeli Opera in 1923. Although he first considered Jerusalem, he ended up starting in Tel-Aviv. The city however was all sand back in those days, and no opera houses existed, so the first opera concerts were held in cinema buildings all over the city. The very first opera took place on July 26th 1923, and was none other than La Traviata.

The Israeli opera went through various cycles of popularity and disinterest however it remained always present in some degree. After the closing of Mordechai’s opera in 1940, the folk Israeli opera began to gain popularity, which was primarily a cooperative group of 10 female dancers, 36 band players, 10 solo singers, 8 backup singers and 3 conductors. The peak of the opera success was a production of “Dan the guard”. After this opera closed, it reopened again in 1947 and was done in the Hebrew language until the19 60s. From the 1960s onwards the entire trend of Israeli opera changed and often was performed in the original language of the opera play. This new acceptance to international opera attracted famous foreign singers such as José Plácido Domingo Embil that performed in Tel-Aviv for three years.

Israeli opera awareness and appreciation continued to grow with the building of the the performing Arts Center –established in 1994. The Center attracts leading opera artists from all over the world, and remains one of the main pillars of Israeli culture. The Arts Center usually plans eight performances every year, showcasing foreign productions with leading opera establishments from all over the world. The Israeli opera has received a significant amount of recognition and appreciation from the worldwide opera press. In addition to international cooperation, the opera establishment is deeply involved with training the next generation of Israeli opera, to create new Israeli performers and original works. In recent years the Israeli opera has also presented classical music and other dance traditions.

In recent years such as more opera showcases have been perform “Opera in Masada” and “Opera in the Park” projects. The park opera project takes place in Tel-Aviv and is designed to bring opera to a wider audience. Every year in July there are opera performances free of charge in Park Hayarkon, for thousands of viewers. In 2010 the famous “Carmen” opera was performed for a crowd of 80,000. In 2011 Mozart’s “The Magic Flute” was performed for a crowd of 100,000. Opera in Masada takes place in summer on the slope of Masada in the desert. This huge production includes the best opera solo performances from all over the world. In 2010 it was Nabucco, 2011 Aida, 2012 Carmen, 2014 showed La Travita, and in 2015 there will be two massive productions, one of Toska, the other of Carmina Burana. These performances have become “events of the year “therefore if you wish to attend you’d be wise to reserve your ticket well in advance.