The Israel Opera’s canny general director Hanna Munitz doesn’t do things by
Presenting the 2013/14 season to the press at the Israel Opera
House, aka the Tel Aviv Performing Arts Center or TAPAC, she goes all out with a
video presentation, mask centerpieces, a generous spread and a couple of
bewitching arias from two young Israeli sopranos and an Argentinian tenor to die
And 2013/14 in opera, dance and music really is something to shout
First of all there are five operas, one operetta, one musical and
La Traviata at Masada as the pièce de resistance.
The 4th International
Opera Festival at Masada has been a dizzying success ever since the opening
Nabucco in 2010. Tickets are usually sold out long before the June
Daniel Oren will conduct of course and, in a first, Kent
Nagano will conduct Beethoven’s 9th with the Israel Philharmonic.
operetta is Kalman’s Csardas Princess, a production from the Budapest Operetta
Theater. The musical is the Bernstein/Sondheim West Side Story sung in English
with a New York cast. Another visitor is Moscow’s Kolobov Novaya Opera with
Borodin’s Prince Igor – yes, that’s the one with the Polovtsian dances – making
its debut in Israel. Just the costumes may blow your mind.
Our very own
Ira Bertman sings Amelia in a new production of Verdi’s A Masked Ball. Hila
Baggio sings Norina in a new production of Donizetti’s robust comic opera Don
Indeed, increasingly local singers are replacing imports in the
lead roles, still not as much as we’d like, but it’s happening and Munitz is
committed “to make it happen more.”
The other new productions are
Puccini’s beloved La Boheme and Offenbach’s Tales of Hoffman with Gustavo Porta
– the Argentinian tenor – in the title role.
Tchaichovsky’s immortal Swan
Lake is in first place for the dance season with productions of it from Matthew
Bourne’s all male company, part of it from the comedic all male Ballet de
Trocadero and finally a production on ice from the Imperial Ice
Other dance includes Shen Wei Dance Arts, the amazing Chinese-
American choreographer who did the Beijing Olympics opening ceremony, Alonzo
King from San Francisco, the Lorraine Ballet presenting works by Merce
Cunningham and Twyla Tharpe, and Pilobolus with its new production
Highlights of TAPAC’s three music series includes
Mendelssohn’s Elijah and Handel’s Solomon from the Liturgical series and
Mozart’s Women from the Opera’s Saturday morning concerts.
Nor are the
kids forgotten. This season’s opera for children includes The Elixir of Love,
Hansel and Gretel and The Marriage of Figaro, and Nitza Shaul’s wonderful Magic
Sounds series of five concerts takes a look at Vivaldi and William Shakespeare.