Sopranos are in season

For its 27th year, the Israeli Opera will celebrate with favorites like ‘Madame Butterfly,’premieres of new pieces and foreigners’ debuts.

Don Quixote ballet_311 (photo credit: Courtesy)
Don Quixote ballet_311
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Leos Janacek’s Jenufa (2/12) and the Brecht/Weill The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny (1/12) are part of the eight-opera line-up from the Israel Opera (IO) for the 2011/'12 season.
The IO first did Jenufa, a story of infanticide and betrayal, at Noga in Jaffa during the 1991 Gulf War. Michael McCaffery was the director, and performances were in the morning. Mahagonny was to have come from the Stuttgart Opera in October 2000, but the second intifada broke out that fall, and Stuttgart canceled.
Now they’re both on the bill again. Coincidence or serendipity?
Mahagonny is this year’s big production. It’s the story of pioneers in a new place whose idealism gives way to greed and corruption. Sound familiar? The director is Omri Nitzan and the conductor is IO music director David Stern. Stern will also conduct the season opener, the ever popular Cav and Pag, aka Cavalleria Rusticana Pagliacci (11/11) and Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice (5/12) in which countertenor Yaniv D’or sings Orfeo.
Daniel Oren will conduct Graham Vick’s production of Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor (3/12), passion and madness set among the highlands of Scotland. Oren also conducts a new Carmen for the 3rd International Opera festival at Masada and Jerusalem that includes appearances by tenor Roberto Alagna, pianist Fazil Say and London’s Royal Philharmonic.
Revivals of Madame Butterfly and Rigoletto complete the season. All operas come with English surtitles.
But the Tel Aviv Performing Arts Center (TAPAC) is also home to dance, music, and children’s programming, the latter including the great operas geared to kids, such as The Magic Flute, and Nitza Shaul’s wonderful Magical Sounds programs on the lives of the great composers, which this season include Khatachurian and Schubert.
Dance at TAPAC is a feast featuring, among the nine visiting companies, the pulsating Forever Tango (9/11) straight from Buenos Aires; the all-male Trockadero Ballet (11/11) from Monte Carlo in tutus and on pointe; Heinz Spoerli’s acclaimed Zurich Ballet (11/11) dancing Bach; the equally acclaimed Göteborg Ballet (5&6/12) with Mats Ek’s Sleeping Beauty as one of its two programs; and the Cloud Gate Dance Theater of Taiwan (6/12).
Finally, there’s music from classical to jazz , nine series in all. Highlights include the Saturday morning opera series (9/11-7/12) with arias sung by Opera Studio students, an evening of four Magnificats in the liturgical series, and Finnish pianist Oli Mustonen playing Bach’s Goldberg Variations in the Music of All Sorts series (both 1/12), Dan Ettinger conducting Beethoven’s Ninth (9/11) in the Symphonic Series, and fado diva Ana Moura (1/12) in the World Music series.
Oh yes. There’s a special discount for subscribers in September and October, a performance in English of Michael Bennett’s A Chorus Line and, in complete silence, Slava’s Snowshow.

For more details visit the IO website: