The Israeli Opera announced its fifth Masada Opera Festival, featuring “Tosca” by Giacomo Puccini and “Carmina Burana” by Carl Orff, to be performed at the base of the historic mountain in June.
The festival will take place on two successive weekends in June, with four performances of “Tosca” and two of “Carmina Burana.”
The opera festival is an ongoing effort to draw a younger audience to the musical art. The event was far from sold out last year.
Holding it on the weekend, rather than mid-week, makes it more attractive for the Israeli audience, said Yonat Burmil, who handles press relations for the Israeli Opera.
“It’s easier for Israelis to do weekends,” said Burmil.
The two “huge productions are totally different from each other,” said Israeli Opera director Hanna Munitz, but will be performed on the same gigantic stage that is rebuilt every year especially for the Opera Festival at the foot of Masada.
Creating the massive stage for the opera is a several-month effort that usually begins in the spring. The production project employs around 2,500 people, said Munitz.
Performing each opera a week apart should also ease rehearsal time, said Burmil.
The announcement of the Masada festival came several weeks after the opera said it would be producing a Jerusalem Opera Festival, also in June.
“Tosca” will be conducted by Israeli Opera music director Daniel Oren and directed by Nicolas Joel, with a team of international and Israeli soloists, as well as the Israeli Opera Chorus, the Moran Children Choir and the Opera orchestra, composed of the Rishon Lezion Philharmonic.
“Carmina Burana,” known as a scenic cantata, will be a different kind of production, with lots of color and pyrotechnics, and a cast of hundreds.
The two very different productions allows for different customers, said Burmil.
“There’s a lot of ‘ooh-ah’ with ‘Carmina,” she said. “‘Tosca’ is more complicated.”
“Tosca” will be performed in Italian on June 6 and 13, Saturday evening, 9:30 pm, with Hebrew and English subtitles. The performance is approximately three hours long, and ticket prices are NIS 400/500/750/950/1300. Tickets are available at Bimot and there will be vacation packages as well.
“Carmina Burana” will be performed on Friday, June 5 and Friday, June 12 at 10 pm, and the performance is approximately one hour long. Ticket prices: NIS 300/440/660/825/1100.