Last updated June 19th 2016

The Israeli Opera Festival in Jerusalem returns this June with two major productions – Rigoletto and Opera Paradiso, as well as special events throughout the city.

Rigoletto/Photo: Yossi Zwecker

Rigoletto/Photo: Yossi Zwecker

Rigoletto, one of Verdi’s most popular operas, will open the Israeli Opera Festival in Jerusalem on June 22, 2016. The tragedy will unfold under the stars at the Sultan’s Pool, against the dramatic backdrop of the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem. Under the baton of Frédéric Chaslin, the opera will be performed by The Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, IBA; The Israeli Opera Chorus; with Israeli and international soloists, among them: Boris Statsenko as Rigoletto, Hila Fahima as Gilda, and Salvatore Cordella as The Duke. Sung in Italian, with surtitles in English and Hebrew.


Opera Paradiso is an original production of the festival, uniting opera and cinema in this unique setting. As one might recall, Richard Gere took Julia Roberts to the opera in Pretty Woman. In this program, scenes from favorite films that feature opera (some might surprise you!) – Moonstruck, The Fifth Element, Amadeus, A Room with a View, The Godfather 3, A Quantum of Solace, Bend It Like Beckham – will be projected on the huge screen at the Sultan’s Pool, on June 23rd, while opera soloists perform songs from those operas live onstage. The music will be performed by The Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, IBA, conducted by Ethan Schmeisser.

On Friday, June 24th, there will be Concerts All Around the City, at some of Jerusalem’s unique venues:

Italian Splendor – Nahon Museum of Italian Jewish Art

A celebration of Italian opera with arias and duets from popular operas, including: La boheme, L’elisir d’amore, Il barbiere di Siviglia, Don Pasquale, Pagliacci, La traviata, Rigoletto and other popular works. Verdi and Puccini, Rossini and Bellini with a touch of Donizetti. June 24th at 11:00 and 12:30.

Carmen and Friends – Bible Lands Museum

Arias and ensembles from French operas, featuring Carmen by Bizet, as well as Romeo et Juliette, Le Contes d’Hoffmann, Lakme, Les Pecheurs de Perles. Israeli opera soloists accompanied by piano. June 24th at 11:00.

Jerusalem of Gold – The Israel Museum, the Gallery of Israeli Art

Songs of Eretz Israel, the beloved Israeli songs of all times performed by Israeli Opera soloists, accompanied by piano and narration. Sasha Argov and Natan Alterman to Ehud Manor and Nurit Hirsh, from Moshe Vilenski and Haim Hefer to Bialik and Naomi Shemer. June 24th at 14:00.

When the Phantom Comes to the Opera – Yes Planet Jerusalem

Favorite songs from Broadway musicals performed by Israeli Opera soloists, accompanied by piano and narration. Broadway favorites – The Sound of Music, My Fair Lady, The Phantom of the Opera, Les Miserables, West Side Story, Fiddler on the Roof – and a touch of Israel – Kasablan! June 24th at 17:00.

On Saturday, June 25th, the festival presents Opera for the Whole Family:

The Magic Flute – The Science Museum Jerusalem

A one-hour version of Mozart’s popular opera in a special adaptation for the whole family. Prince Tamino and Papageno embark on a mission to save princess Pamina, the kidnapped daughter of the Queen of the Night. A journey to find love and truth that ends happily ever after. Israeli Opera soloists perform a fully staged production, accompanied by piano. Performances at 11:00 and 12:30.


Cinderella – Yes Planet Jerusalem

A family friendly operatic version of Rossini’s Cinderella, telling the beloved tale of the girl who is cruelly treated by her stepmother and step-sisters, but has magic on her side to help her get to the ball and find true love. Performed by Israeli Opera soloists in a fully staged production with colorful costumes, accompanied by piano.

Ticket information:

Rigoletto, June 22nd at 20:00, Sultan’s Pool. Duration: approx. 2 1/2 hours. Ticket prices range from 150 – 250 NIS

Opera Paradiso, June 23rd at 20:00, Sultan’s Pool. Duration: approx. 2 hours. Ticket prices range from 120 NIS – 200 NIS.

Concerts All Around the City, June 24th (times and locations listed above). Duration: approx. 90 min. Tickets are 80 NIS.

Opera for the Whole Family, June 25th (times and locations listed above). Duration: approx. one hour. Tickets are 50 NIS.

To order tickets call *9066, additional information is available in English on the Jerusalem Opera Festival website. 


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