Carmen meets Queen Esther, and Silvio Berlusconi, in Holon

Town south of Tel Aviv set to be besieged by a 4000-strong all-singing, all-dancing marching parade, that will honor Holon’s 70th birthday and the Israeli Opera’s 25th anniversary.

February 27, 2010 18:32
2 minute read.
Holon's Purim parade.

purim parade 58. (photo credit: Courtesy)


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On Monday, at precisely 12 noon, the streets of Holon will burst into life as the city hosts the largest Purim festivities in the country, the Ad Delo Yada street carnival. Throughout the afternoon the town south of Tel Aviv is expected to be besieged by a 4000-strong all-singing, all-dancing marching parade, that will honor Holon’s 70th birthday and the Israeli Opera’s 25th anniversary.

Holon, a city with a strong and vibrant cultural tradition, aims to bring something new and exciting to the traditional Purim festivities by adding a slice of highbrow opera to the traditional mix of carnivalesque masquerade. Tzipi Yifat, the head artistic director of the event, has brought together 12 designers, a team of actors and an array of schools “from all over the country” to produce a unique visual and musical experience that combines both “popular music and classical Opera.”

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The focus will be on the pieces of composer Gil Shohat’s pieces. Yifat complained that Israel “doesn’t have a lot of Opera to choose from” and that Shohat’s would be the only Israeli music played during the parade. The pieces she has chosen are not only meant to inspire children but also to please the adults in the crowd. This is an unusual decision for the city of Holon, which boasts a children’s museum and prides itself as being Israel’s kids’ capital.

The parade mixes 12 different sets of music and design, including some Israeli opera from Shohat. As for the Purim side of the event – it remains true to the spirit of the ad delo yada, of not knowing the difference between good and evil, reality and fiction. One of the sets will be a political spoof. Among the politicians gracing the streets of Holon will be Mayor Moti Sasson, PM Netanyahu, French premier Nicolas Sarkozy, Barack Obama, and a swinging Silvio Berlusconi, all dancing with the principal female characters of various operas on a huge moving carousel. It’s certainly an unusual idea, one that only Monday’s crowd will be able to judge the merit of.

The confusion that defines Purim will clearly be present, certainly when Netanyahu dances with Carmen, but, oddly, it doesn’t seem like there will be many references to the story of Purim and the origins of the holiday.

All in all, as one of Israel’s foremost cultural cities Holon is doing a great job at creating another exciting and unique event for Purim.

The Ad Delo Yada, which was originally set to be held on Sunday was put off to Monday at 12 p.m. due to adverse weather conditions.


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