Israeli Opera: A New Season is Almost Here

The Israeli Opera/Photo courtesy of the Israeli Opera

The Israeli Opera is ready to launch the 20-21 season with exciting new productions and premieres! The new season has been planned with the pandemic in mind, to ensure the health and safety of the audience members and the opera workers. Towards that goal, the six new productions are shorter, intended to be performed without an intermission, and with a smaller number of participants onstage. They are just waiting for the government’s decision that live performances with an audience can take place once more.

Initially, the vast opera stage itself will be the performance venue, and an audience of 200 will be seated onstage, with adherence to physical distance. A new production of Gaetano Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore directed by Ido Ricklin takes the story in a different direction: behind the scenes at the opera. Adina is a much-admired opera singer, Nemorino is a shy, unlucky tenor just starting out in his career, and the entire opera plays out in the time between performances. The principal performers will be Hila Baggio, Oded Reich, and the American tenor Anthony Webb. Italian-American composer Gian Carlo Menotti’s The Medium will be performed at the Israeli Opera for the first time, directed by Shirit Lee Weiss and under the musical direction of Yael Keret. The dramatic opera centers on a woman who earns a living by conducting seances, and her daughter, who is in love with a mute young man. The principal roles will be performed by Shay Bloch and Tal Ganor.

As the season continues, hopefully health guidelines will allow increasing the audience numbers, and four additional productions are planned:

Bellini’s Romeo and Juliet, directed by Hanan Snir and conducted by Yuval Zorn.

Rossini’s L’italiana in Algeri, directed by Ido Ricklin and conducted by Dan Ettinger.

Mothers – a new opera composed by David Sebba, that looks at the stories of Genesis from the perspective of the women.  Directed by Shirit Lee Weiss, the opera is a co-production with Gesher Theatre.

Hanoch Levin at the opera – five Israeli composers set the songs and sketches of Hanoch Levin to music for the singers of the Israeli opera. Ido Rosenberg will direct an evening of Hanoch Levin’s works, with music composed by Yossi Ben Nun, David Sebba, Yonatan Cnaan, Yonatan Keret and Roni Reshef.

Performance dates will be announced once there is government permission for performances.