The marvelously melodramatic Tosca by Puccini and Carl Orff’s imposing Carmina Burana. To celebrate its 30th birthday the Israel Opera (IO) is offering these two works for its fifth Opera Festival at Masada.“What we considered an almost impossible dream has become a reality,” said IO general director Hanna Munitz. “The festival at Masada has taken its place among the world’s top opera festivals,” which paraphrased means that a lot of tourists come especially for this event set against the dramatic background of Masada.Soprano Svetlana Vasilieva sings Tosca with tenors Fabio Sartori and Gustavo Porta alternating as her ill-fated lover, Cavaradossi.Baritones Scott Hendricks and Sergei Muzaev sing the villainous Scarpia. The sweeping set is by Emmanuelle Favre and our own Daniel Oren conducts, as he has from the start at Masada.Carmina Burana at Masada is a fully staged spectacular directed by Michal Znaniecki and conducted by James Judd. Gloriously- voiced young Israel soprano Alla Vasilevitsky is one of three soloists.This year’s is the biggest production ever. It employs some 2,500 people with an additional 700 or so participants and crew. What makes it even more remarkable is that the 6,500 seats, the 35m by 64m stage, not to mention backstage, offices and the like, are every year constructed and removed, leaving the area pristine.Shows are over two weekends, from June 4-6 and 11-13 with four performances for Tosca and two for Carmina. You’ll need to raid your piggy banks; prices range from NIS 400 – 1,300 for Tosca and from NIS 300 – 1,100 for Carmina Burana.