The Israel Opera's entire production of Yosef Bardanashvili's Journey to the End of the Millennium, directed by Omri Nitzan, will celebrate Israel's 60th birthday at the Rome Opera on May 8, Independence Day. Based on the book of the same name by A.B. Yehoshua, Millennium is set in 999, a period that Yehoshua describes as a golden age for the Jews. The action centers around Ben Attar (tenor Gaby Sadeh), a wealthy Tangiers merchant who with his two wives (mezzo Edna Pruchnik and soprano Ira Bertman) journeys to Paris and Worms to effect a reconciliation with his estranged cousin, a journey that coincides with a decree that outlaws polygamy among Jews. The results for Ben Attar and his family are unexpected, even tragic. Sadeh, Pruchnik, Bertman and indeed all the soloists who sang the work at its 2005 world premiere will travel to Rome. The others include counter-tenor Yaniv Deor as Rabbi Elbaz and soprano Larissa Tetuev as Ben Attar's cousin-in-law, Esther Mina. The Israel Symphony Orchestra will be conducted by IO music director Asher Fisch. The invitation came from Israel's ambassador to Italy, Gideon Meir who said he wanted something uniquely Israeli that would also showcase the achievements of Israel's opera in the land where the art form was born.