Jerusalem Lyric Opera Festival offers a total operatic immersion experience complete with the twin blockbusters of Rigoletto and the Marriage of Figaro and much much more
The great Jewish virtuosos of the 20th century like the immortal violinist Jascha Heifetz can mislead us into thinking that classical music was a very Jewish field of human achievement. In fact, it was not. With roots deep in Christian liturgy and European folk music, classical music and its twin sister the opera were actually very Gentile, very European in terms of the composers, the librettists, and the performers alike. Opera especially, was not a field in which the Jewish world had a tremendous amount of interest until well into the 20th century, when it became a worldwide phenomenon.
In Israel, it was classical music that led the way with world renowned orchestras like the Jerusalem Philharmonic. Opera came later with the establishment of the New Israeli Opera in Tel Aviv in 1985. Today, many Israelis have season tickets and, like my parents have so often done, come to Tel Aviv from far and wide in Israel to enjoy an opera performance and spend a night or two in one of the world’s great cosmopolitan cities.
Unfortunately, the high cost of tickets combined with spending time in one of the world’s most expensive cities put this experience out of reach for many ordinary Israelis. The Jerusalem Lyric Opera with its eponymously named festival go a long way to addressing this problem and bringing world-class operatic experience to those who may not have otherwise chosen or been able to afford to partake of it. With ticket prices of only NIS 109 (about $30) per person and less for students and retirees, this is an experience that everyone can afford.
The festival is now in full swing and you can get all the details on its website at: http://www.lyric-opera.org/EN/#csi-news. The two flagship events are Rigoletto by Giuseppe Verdi on July 23rd and Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro on July the 28th. Both events will take place at the YMCA Auditorium in Jerusalem. VIP ticket packages are also available and they include an assortment of operatic experiences such as behind the scenes tours and lunch with the opera stars.
The uniqueness of the Jerusalem Lyric Opera Festival is in its immersive yet approachable structure. Guests are invited to experience world-renowned singers accompanied by the home-grown Ashdod Orchestra and experience for themselves how opera is made via workshops, master classes, and even an international opera competition. The festival is produced by the Jerusalem Lyric Opera Studio. If you are interested in finding out more about this organization, please visit: http://opera-studio.org/.