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The everyman's aria

Acre locals join opera pros in ‘The Magic Flute’ production

Residents aged 5 to 75 spent the last six months rehearsing and learning operatic tradition, as part of Israeli Opera community project

Jessica Steinberg covers the Sabra scene from south to north and back to the center.

Soloists, musicians, and dancers from the Israeli Opera will perform 'The Magic Flute' with 150 members of the Acre community on January 9, 2023. (courtesy, the Israeli Opera)
Soloists, musicians, and dancers from the Israeli Opera will perform 'The Magic Flute' with 150 members of the Acre community on January 9, 2023. (courtesy, the Israeli Opera)

More than 150 Acre residents will gather onstage this week in a series of collaborative performances of “The Magic Flute,” alongside the singers, dancers, and musicians of the Israeli Opera.

“It’s the full opera, in Hebrew,” said Maor Benzino, director of the Acre Culture Center, which produces many communal productions over the course of the calendar year. “It’s everyone from age 5 to 75, from all of the after-school and retiree programs — it’s everyone together.”

The opening performance will take place January 9, followed by several performances, including two daytime shows on Wednesday for audiences from the city’s third- and fourth-grade classes, who have been learning the story of Prince Tamino, the Queen of the Night, and her daughter, Pamina.

“They learned about the opera, how to act in an opera, and what’s unique about opera,” said Benzino.

The week-long event is part of the Israeli Opera’s community outreach project, active in cities around the country in an effort to expose more audiences to the grand musical tradition. This particular production has been in the works for the last six months.

“We do everything cultural here, not just opera,” said Benzino. “It’s an educational process for us, with all-day rehearsals and everyone on stage: old and young, Arab and Jew, religious and secular. We’ve sold out every ticket.”

Acre locals, including kids and adults, rehearse for a collaborative performance of The Magic Flute with professionals from the Israeli Opera, at Heichal Tarbut Acre, January 9, 2023. (Courtesy PR)

The entire cast traveled to the Israeli Opera house in Tel Aviv to work on their texts and get fitted for costumes, said Benzino.

“Everyone has an outfit, including wigs,” he said. “It’s just like the opera is supposed to be.”

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