Israeli Opera to put on 'Carmen in the Park' in free show at Yehoshua Gardens

The performance will take place at Yehoshua Gardens on August 18 at 8:30 p.m. This year’s show continues a tradition of outdoor operas in Tel Aviv dating back over 20 years.

 A dress rehearsal for the performance of Nabucco, an opera by Giuseppe Verdi, at the Yarkon Park in Tel Aviv, on August 8, 2018.  (photo credit: HADAS PARUSH/FLASH90)
A dress rehearsal for the performance of Nabucco, an opera by Giuseppe Verdi, at the Yarkon Park in Tel Aviv, on August 8, 2018.
(photo credit: HADAS PARUSH/FLASH90)

In cooperation with the Israeli Opera, the Tel Aviv-Jaffa Municipality is set to present a production of Carmen at Yehoshua Gardens on August 18 at 8:30 p.m., according to a joint press release. This year’s show continues a tradition of outdoor operas in Tel Aviv dating back over 20 years that has attracted tens of thousands of spectators who enjoy the productions for free.

What is the history of Carmen?

Carmen, which was composed by Georges Bizet and based on a novella by Prosper Mérimée, premiered in Paris in 1875 and was initially a complete failure in the view of audiences and critics.

Carmen eventually gained success, becoming one of the most performed operas worldwide. The opera tells the story of Don Jose, a Spanish soldier, who is seduced by a gypsy named Carmen. Don Jose kills Carmen after she falls in love with a bullfighter, Escamillo.

What will we see in Tel Aviv?

 A dress rehearsal for the performance of Nabucco, an opera by Giuseppe Verdi, at the Yarkon Park in Tel Aviv, on August 8, 2018. (credit: HADAS PARUSH/FLASH90) A dress rehearsal for the performance of Nabucco, an opera by Giuseppe Verdi, at the Yarkon Park in Tel Aviv, on August 8, 2018. (credit: HADAS PARUSH/FLASH90)

Audiences will be treated to an epic performance featuring over 250 musicians, soloists and choir members onstage, the release stated. The massive set is currently being constructed, and hundreds of colorful costumes are being stitched.

Dan Ettinger, the musical director of the Israeli Opera, is slated to conduct the show, and Gadi Schechter will direct it. Israeli star Naama Goldman will entertain audiences as the opera’s title character, after having played the role of Carmen at Massada. In addition, Ella Vasilbitzky will portray Michaela. The Rishon Lezion Symphony Orchestra and the Israeli Opera Choir will provide musical accompaniment.

Officiating the event is Tel Aviv’s mayor Ron Huldai. “This summer, we will all enjoy a spectacular celebration of intense love, unfathomable hatred and burning passion,” he said. “I am not talking about the upcoming elections, but about the grand and colorful production of Bizet’s Carmen.”

“This summer, we will all enjoy a spectacular celebration of intense love, unfathomable hatred and burning passion. I am not talking about the upcoming elections, but about the grand and colorful production of Bizet’s Carmen

Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai

“Like Carmen — the beautiful and hot-tempered gypsy, who broke the hearts of many pursuers — the Tel Aviv-Jaffa Israeli Opera is professional, experienced, rich in content and grace, captivating with its beauty and voices and sought after by its suitors… I invite all of you!”