J'lem churches offer taster for opera festival

As part of the 2011 Israeli Opera Festival, the capital's churches will host classical concerts including Verdi’s Jerusalem.

Church of the Holy Sepulcher 311 (photo credit: Travelujah)
Church of the Holy Sepulcher 311
(photo credit: Travelujah)
For further information on Christian tourism and Holy Land Tours to Israel contact  Travelujah.
The historical churches of Jerusalem are set to become the venues for a cultural sampling of Israel’s classical music scene.
As part of the 2011 Israeli Opera Festival, Jerusalem churches will host classical concerts in an appetizer of sorts to the city’s main events: A gala opera concert with the Arena di Verona Orchestra on June 2 and a performance of Verdi’s Jerusalem, conducted by David Stern, in the shadow of the Old City on June 6, both at Sultan’s Pool.
RELATED:J’lem opera festival launched in David’s TowerDisputed J’lem church concerts to go ahead as planned
Michael Ajzenstadt, artistic administrator of the Israel Opera Tel Aviv-Yafo, said that every year the opera directors discuss which operas to perform for the festival. This year, the choice was easy, he told Travelujah.
“We thought, if we are doing this festival in Jerusalem, what would be better than an opera written by the greatest opera writer about Jerusalem?” Ajzenstadt said.
Giuseppi Verdi wrote Jerusalem in March 1847 for the Paris Opera. It was loosely based on I Lombardi all Prima Crociata. The four-act opera is about a crusade to Jerusalem and takes place partly in the crusader staging areas in Ramla.
At Masada’s outdoor theater, Verdi's Aida will be performed on June 4, 5, 9 and 12, conducted by Maestro Daniel Oren and on June 3, Verdi’s Requiem with the Arena di Verona Orchestra conducted by Giuliano Carella.
The Jerusalem concert series will take place on June 3 at 10 different churches and other Christian sites. Click here for a complete list.
This first Jerusalem opera is part of the Israeli Opera Festival, which featured open-air performances at Masada of Verdi’s Nabucco. Israel joins the international community hosting summer operas at historic archeological sites in Italy, France, Austria, Turkey, Greece, Spain and England among others.
The Dormition Abbey on Mount Zion, the Austrian Hospice and the Church of the Redeemer are some of the venues in the Old City. St. Andrew’s Scottish Church,
Last year, the first Masada Opera Festival drew more than 41,000 opera lovers from Israel and around the world came to the Dead Sea.
Schedule of performances:
St. Andrew's ChurchThe Art of the Concerto: Concerti by Handel, Bach, Vivaldi and CorelliThe Israel Camerata Jerusalem - Avner Biron, conductorMuki Zohar, oboeDate: June 3rd, 2011Hours: 11:00, 13:00
The Lutheran (Redeemer) ChurchMisa Criolla and other Latin American Liturgical WorksYotam Cohen, tenorThe kibbutz Artzi ChoirSouth American EnsembleYuval Ben Ozer, conductorDate: June 3rd, 2011Hours: 13:00, 16:00
Augusta Victoria Church, Mt. Of OlivesHear My Prayer: Choral works by Raminsh, Poulsen, Carter, Schubert, Mendelssohn and BustoThe Ankor Choir (Dafna Ben Yohanan, conductor)Date: June 3rd, 2011Hours: 11:00, 13:00
Dormition AbbeyAve Maria - Choral Works for Girls ChoirThe Young Bat Kol Choir - Anat Morag, conductorDavid Feldman, CountertenorDate: June 3rd, 2011Hours: 13:00, 16:00
Tower of David MuseumOpera Sancta: Sacred songs by 19th century Italian opera composers (Bellini, Donizetti, Verdi, Puccini)Mima Millo, sopranoAlaa Vasilevitsky, sopranoYifat Weisskopf, mezzo sopranoJulia Rovinsky, harpDate: June 3rd, 2011Hours: 13:00, 16:00
The Austrian Hospice - The ChapelMeeting Cleopatra - Arias by Handel, Mattheson and HasseHila Baggio, sopranoShira Raz, mezzo sopranoBaroque Trio directed by Eithan SchmeisserDate: June 3rd, 2011Hours: 13:00 16:00
The Austrian Hospice - AuditoriumEnglish Baroque - works by Dowland, Purcell and HandelYael Levita, sopranoNa'ama Goldman, mezzo sopranoBaroque ensemble directed by Eithan SchmeisserDate: June 3rd, 2011Hours: 11:30, 14:00
The Sisters of Zion Church, Ein KaremFrom Monteverdi to BachThe New Israeli Vocal EnsembleDate: June 3rd, 2011Hours: 13:00, 16:00st. vincent de paulVincent de Paul ChurchBach Barndenburg Concerti - No. 3, 4, 5, 6The Jerusalem Baroque OrchestraDavid Shemer, conductorDate: June 3rd, 2011Hours: 10:00, 11:30
Henry Crown Symphony HallMahler - Das Lied von Der Erde (chamber version)Gil Shohat, conductorAyala Zimbler, mezzo sopranoGabriel Sadeh, tenorDate: June 3rd, 2011Hours: One performance only at 13:30
Nicole Jansezian writes for Travelujah, the leading Christian social network focused on connecting Christians to the Holy Land. People can learn, plan and share their Holy Land tour and travel experiences on Travelujah.