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Belting on the lawn

Israeli Opera brings ‘Carmen’ back to Tel Aviv park

Bizet’s opera offers comedy, drama and romance in equal parts in free performance at Ganei Yehoshua

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

A past performance of The New Israeli Opera at Tel Aviv's Ganei Yehoshua; this year's free production will be 'Carmen' on August 18, 2022 (Courtesy Yossi Zveker)
A past performance of The New Israeli Opera at Tel Aviv's Ganei Yehoshua; this year's free production will be 'Carmen' on August 18, 2022 (Courtesy Yossi Zveker)

The Israeli Opera returns to Tel Aviv’s Ganei Yehoshua with a free performance of “Carmen” on Thursday, August 18, with more than 250 singers, musicians and dancers onstage.

Set in southern Spain, the comical opera — composed in four acts by French composer Georges Bizet — is based on the novella by Prosper Mérimée and tells the story of Don José, a simple soldier seduced by the wily gypsy Carmen.

José deserts the military and dumps his childhood sweetheart for Carmen, but loses her love to the bullfighter, Escamillo. The opera includes musical numbers separated by dialogue, making it a top pick for opera beginners, with catchy, familiar tunes and a dramatic plot.

The Israeli Opera last showed “Carmen” at Ganei Yehoshua in August 2009. This production with the Israel Symphony Orchestra Rishon LeZion will be conducted by maestro Dan Ettinger, and directed by Gadi Schechter.

Mezzo-soprano Na’ama Goldman reprises her “Carmen” role from the 2014 production at Masada.

Entry to the opera at the park will start at 7 p.m., and the opera begins at 8:30 p.m. No tickets are required.

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