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A variety of music and theater events happening around Israel this week.

The Israel Symphony Orchestra Rishon Lezion (photo credit: WWW.ISORCHESTRA.CO.IL)
The Israel Symphony Orchestra Rishon Lezion
(photo credit: WWW.ISORCHESTRA.CO.IL)
Argov’s centenary in the desert
The annual Tzlilim Bamidbar (Sounds in the Desert) Festival will take place at Kibbutz Sde Boker for the 17th year in succession on December 18- 21. This year’s event will mark the centenary of the birth of seminal Israeli composer Sasha Argov, and will include three shows based on Argov’s music featuring the Meitar Ensemble contemporary classical music troupe, as well as Argov’s widow and son and a glittering roster of vocalists, such as Yonit Shaked-Golan and veteran rock musicians Alon Olearchick and Nurit Galron.
As usual, the festival includes a wide range of genres and styles, from desert grooves courtesy of the Habibti Ensemble, which hails from Kibbutz Samar near Eilat, to the Beersheba Symphonette playing Israeli contemporary classical music, to “Middle Eastern Jewish funk” music by Shmemel, which performs a wide-ranging sonic palette from jazz to rock, folk music to hassidic songs.
Elsewhere on the highly eclectic Tzlilim Bamidbar program you can find opera music, musical theater for the entire family, an intriguing mix of storytelling, satire and music from Yehonatan Gefen and the Revolution Orchestra, and a high-octane blend of classical music and disco from the Jerusalem Street Orchestra.
For tickets and more information: (08) 656-4115 and www.
Symphonic thousand
The Israel Symphony Orchestra Rishon Lezion will perform Mahler’s gargantuan Symphony No. 8 at the Performing Arts Center in Tel Aviv on December 10, and at Heichal Hatarbut in Rishon Lezion on December 11, 13 and 14. Noam Sheriff will conduct.
Mahler’s work is one of the most voluminous compositions ever written and, due to its size and the number of performers, was dubbed the Symphony of a Thousand. In addition to the orchestra players, the gala concert will feature around 300 singers, including a children’s choir and a large choir from Zagreb, Croatia, and several soloists.
The latter include German soprano Regine Hangler, Polish mezzo-soprano Agnieszka Rehlis, British baritone David Wakeham and Russian-born bass Denis Sedov.
For tickets and more information: (03) 948-4840
Magic Flute in Dimona
Mozart’s The Magic Flute will make it to the South, when the Israel Opera puts on a performance of the perennially popular opera in Dimona on December 8-9. The shows will take place at Heichal Hatarbut in the southern town, as part of the Israel Opera’s community production program – which takes in events at various locations throughout the year, all over Israel.
The Israel Opera has already put on similar performances of The Magic Flute in Upper Nazareth, Kiryat Malachi, Ma’aleh Adumim and Kiryat Yam.
The forthcoming shows will feature many Dimona residents of all ages, including members of the local Black Hebrew Israelites community. The local artists will also include students from the dance department of the Achva School, Gavriel Arts School and Ami Asaf Arts School, as well as the Gil Vezemer choir of senior citizens.
All told, there will be three performances of the opera in Dimona – on December 8 at 8 p.m., with two further shows for the schools’ students on December 9 (10:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.).
For tickets and more information: (08) 655-4950
Grossman’s horse
The next installment of the Ten Lamilim La’asot Becha (“Let the Words Flow Through You”) series, which will take place today (12 noon) at the Mediatheque Center in Holon, will focus on the work of internationally renowned writer David Grossman.
By all accounts, the show will tickle some funny bones, and goes by the jocular title “A Horse Walks Into a Bar.” The lineup for the event includes comedians Shmuel Vilozni, Idan Alterman and Tal Freedman, as well as Grossman himself, singer Efrat Ben-Zur, drummer Keren Teperberg, percussionist Asaf Rott and pianist-vocalist Shlomi Shaban.
For tickets and more information: (03) 502-1552