The Israel Opera has announced their 2015-2016 season, with an expanded Masada Festival, operas for children, and more events all over the country.
A strong Italian presence can be noted in the current season – Verdi, Rossini and Puccini dominate. Next season will celebrate some of the greatest French composers with two operas to be performed for the first time at the Israel Opera. The trio of opera festivals across the country will continue with shows at Masada, the Sultan’s Pool in Jerusalem, and Acco (Acre). Also, young opera fans and those who don’t know it yet will get the full opera-going experience with productions for children of all ages. The Liturgical Series and the Symphonic Series both include some of the greatest hits of the respective genres, with some very special guests scheduled to appear.
Bizet’s Pearl Fishers is a masterpiece that sometimes gets lost in the shadow of Bizet’s more famous opera, Carmen. Now it will be given a chance to shine again with a new production. Holding the baton we’ll have Francesco Ciampa, formerly Daniel Oren’s assistant at Salerno. Robert MacPherson and Alexei Dolgov will sing Nadir, and Hila Baggio and Alla Vassilevitsky will share the role of Leila.
We’ll hear two very different Giuseppe Verdis by exploring the growth of his music: his Shakespearean masterpiece Macbeth, written at the start of his career (Ira Bertman and Luca Gallo will portray the dynamic duo), and Il Trovatore, part of the Rig-Trav-Trov trio of operas written by Verdi in his prime. Daniel Calegari will conduct, and as the Troubador of the title, Manrico, we’ll hear Gustavo Porta.
We’ll have more operatic Shakespeare with Gounod’s Romeo et Juliette. Aurelia Florian and Hila Baggio will share the role of Juliette and rising star Najmiddin Mavlyanov will star as Romeo.
The Opera will host two international opera houses next year. The Budapest Operetta Theatre will return with a production of Die Fledermaus, a waltz-filled and fun-filled operetta which is ideally experienced with a glass of champagne in hand. The Lithuanian National Opera will bring us their production of The Marriage of Figaro.
We’ll have Rossini’s madcap La Cenerentola conducted by Daniel Cohen and with our now almost regular cast of buffa soloists: Annalisa Stroppa and our own Na’ama Goldman sharing the title role, Christian S and Bruno de Simone.
David Pountney’s production of Rigoletto will be performed again this year, this time as part of the Opera Festival in Jerusalem at the Sultan’s Pool. The festival at Acco will feature performances of Mozart’s Abduction from the Seraglio.
The Masada festival will grow next year and feature not one but two operas. One is Verdi’s Un ballo in maschera, which was performed last year on the opera house stage. The second is probably the best choice, at the very least historically, for the Masada Opera Festival – drumroll, please – Saint-Saens’ Samson and Delilah. The singers have not yet been announced but given Maestro Oren’s penchant for finding and grooming exceptional artists around the globe, you can rest assured that the voices will be satisfactory.
During Sukkot, the Opera will stage three operas aimed at a younger audience in the main auditorium, giving kids a chance to experience the larger-than-life setting of opera as part of a mature audience. The Magic Flute, La Cenerentola, and David Sebba’s Alice in Wonderland can give the young listener a taste of what the crazy, fabulous world of opera can offer. All of these operas will be performed in Hebrew.
For more details about next season, visit www.israel-opera.co.il.