Israel Gets Ready for ‘Carmen at Masada’ , The Most Complicated Production Ever to Be Staged in the Country
On Thursday, June 7, the third Israeli Opera Festival at Masada Dead Sea will open with the premier of Carmen, the first of five open air performances taking place at the lowest place on earth. (June 7, 9, 10, 11 and 12). Carmen, a four act opera blending dialogue and operatic arias, is one of the most celebrated of Georges Bizet’s operas and one of the most popular operas of all time.
Renowned Israeli opera conductor Daniel Oren will lead a cast of hundreds in a spectacular production of Bizet’s Carmen, performed in a specially-created opera village built on the desert floor and set against the backdrop of the historic site of Masada, Herod’s fortress at the Dead Sea. The festival will feature internationally-acclaimed performers, with mezzo soprano Nancy Fabiola Herrera playing Carmen; tenor Marco Berti playing Don Jose; soprano Maria Agresta playing Micaela and baritone Marcin Bronikowski playing Escamillo. Carmen will be directed by Giancarlo del Monaco- Zukerman and set design is by William Orlandi. This year, the festival will feature a special concert on June 8 (22:00) by the Idan Raichel Project, featuring acclaimed international musical guest performers, Martha Gomez (Colombia), Andreas Scholl (Germany) and Mamadou Diabate (Mali).
The Israeli Opera Festival Masada Dead Sea will feature five full performances of Carmen in what will be the largest and most complicated production ever to be staged in Israel. This huge opera operation, which employs more than 2,500 people and will see more than 400 singers and performers on stage, has firmly established itself on the international summer opera festival scene, attracting ‘cultural tourists’ who travel the world in search of international-standard operas, performed in the open air and enhanced by their unique natural or historical surroundings. The setting at Masada is particularly powerful, lending an added dimension to the grandiose production, with the desert wind, the clear night sky at the lowest point on earth, and the Roman fortress/mountain as the illuminated backdrop.