The historical churches of Jerusalem will become the venues for a cultural sampling of Israel’s classical music scene.
As part of the 2011 Israeli Opera Festival, Jerusalem churches will host classical concerts in an appetizer of sorts to the city’s main events: A gala opera concert with the Arena di Verona Orchestra on June 2 and a performance of Verdi’s Jerusalem, conducted by David Stern, in the shadow of the Old City on June 6, both at Sultan’s Pool.
Michael Ajzenstadt, artistic administrator of the Israel Opera Tel Aviv-Yafo, said that every year the opera directors discuss which operas to perform for the festival. This year, the choice was easy, he told Travelujah.
“We thought, if we are doing this festival in Jerusalem, what would be better than an opera written by the greatest opera writer about Jerusalem?” Ajzenstadt said.
Giuseppi Verdi wrote Jerusalem in March 1847 for the Paris Opera. It was loosely based on I Lombardi all Prima Crociata. The four-act opera is about a crusade to Jerusalem and takes place partly in the crusader staging areas in Ramla.
At Masada’s outdoor theater, Verdi's Aida will be performed on June 4, 5, 9 and 12, conducted by Maestro Daniel Oren and on June 3, Verdi’s Requiem with the Arena di Verona Orchestra conducted by Giuliano Carella.
The Jerusalem concert series will take place on June 3 at 10 different churches and other Christian sites. Click here for a complete list.
This first Jerusalem opera is part of the Israeli Opera Festival, which featured open-air performances at Masada of Verdi’s Nabucco. Israel joins the international community hosting summer operas at historic archeological sites in Italy, France, Austria, Turkey, Greece, Spain and England, among others.
The Dormition Abbey on Mount Zion, the Austrian Hospice and the Church of the Redeemer are some of the venues in the Old City.
Last year, the first Masada Opera Festival drew more than 41,000 opera lovers from Israel and around the world to the Dead Sea.
Nicole Jansezian writes for Travelujah, the leading Christian social network focused on connecting Christians to the Holy Land. People can learn, plan and share their Holy Land tour and travel experiences on Travelujah.