The 13 Yamato Drummers of Japan will open the Israel Festival 2012 tonight at the Hebrew University Amphitheater on Mount Scopus with the high-energy, visually stunning show that won them Spirit of the Fringe at the Edinburgh Festival.

Yamato is trailblazer for the Festival, that includes acts from more than a dozen nations including Columbia, the Congo, Romania, China and of course, our own.

More than 18,000 of the 34,000 tickets on offer have already been sold with extra shows to the Forman Brothers circus cabaret Obludarium (Czech Republic), and Translunar Paradise from the UK’s Ad Infinitum.

Festival highlights include The Defiant Requiem, a special performance of Verdi’s Requiem as presented at the Terezin concentration camp in 1944, the musical Parade, a joint US/Israeli production, as well as appearances by dancer Saburo Teshigawara, the John Schofield Quartet and Victoria Thierre Chaplin.

Festival events are presented at the Jerusalem Theater complex, the Khan, YMCA, the Tower of David and other Jerusalem venues as well as at Holon. The festival ends June 14.

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