La Scala is staging six performances of Verdi's Aida at the Tel Aviv opera house and one open-air concert of Verdi's Requiem at Ganei Yehoshua. Three of the Aida performances will be conducted by the up-and-coming Israeli conductor Omer Wellber with the other three performances conducted by famed, Israeli conductor Daniel Barenboim. Israeli Opera Director Hanna Munitz said that there has been a very good working relationship with La Scala for about 12 years, complete with co-productions and teamwork on various ideas. The upcoming performances have been in the works for the past four years, when the two opera houses decided they wanted to celebrate Tel Aviv and perform for the city's 100 year anniversary. The mayors of both Tel Aviv and Milan met to discuss the project, Munitz said. She expressed great excitement for the performances and is expecting many famous faces at the shows, calling it the biggest event the Israeli Opera has ever hosted. There are almost 400 performers coming from Milan, including Violeta Urmana and Maria Jose Siri who will be starring as Aida. The Requiem performance, which will be held on July 16 at 9 p.m., will be especially unique, Munitz said. "We wanted to do this as a gift to the city of Tel Aviv and enable people from all over the country to attend," she said. Only a small number of the tickets were for sale, but the rest are given out to residents for free. Many buses are coming from around the country just to this special performance. Not only are the performances a celebration of Tel Aviv, but the July 22 performance will also be honoring National Egypt Day and marking the first performance of Aida in Cairo in 1871. La Scala performs in Israel between July 14-22. For more information visit israel-opera.co.il or call (03) 692-7777.