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'Tosca' and 'CarminaBurana'Unveiled at Masada
   2015-06-12 13:11:35    CRIENGLISH.com      Web Editor: Xu

Bulgarian soprano Svetla Vassileva (L) sings 'Vissid'arte' in 'Tosca' during a full dress rehearsal with spectators at Masada, Israel on Tuesday, June 2, 2015. [Photo: CRIENGLISH.com / Zhang Jin]

By CRI Jerusalem Correspondent Zhang Jin

Anchor: The fifth Israeli Opera Festival kicked off last week. At the historical site of Masada, two different-styled opera productions are on show. CRI's Xu Fei has more.


Reporter: At the foot of the Masada Mountain, beneath the stars, thousands of spectators are enchanted by beautiful opera music.

This year, Italian composer Giacomo Puccini's tragic love story 'Tosca' and German composer Carl Orff's scenic cantata 'CarminaBurana' take turns to entertain the audience.

Hanna Munitz is the General Director of Israeli Opera company who initiated the idea of the festival.

"This is what we aim for, to make it a real festival, like more than one project every year, so that people can come to this area, which is a mythical area, historical, beautiful as you could tell, and they can come and see more than just one opera at a time, and hopefully in the future we will be able to do more than that."

The World Heritage Site Masadain southern Israel was the refuge of the last survivors of the Jewish revolt, who chose death rather than slavery when the Roman besiegers broke through their defenses in 73 A.D.

Daniel Oren, the conductor of 'Tosca', says the history of Masada and the story of 'Tosca' perfectly match each other.

"It's a big emotion to be in Masada. The people here fought till the end and they took the decision to suicide themselves. And Tosca is a woman who is ready to sacrifice everything she has for her love, till the end. That's the parallel between 'Tosca' and Masada I think."

Unlike 'Tosca', 'CarminaBurana', which is based on the homonymous medieval collection of poems and dramatic texts, doesn't have a complete storyline. Therefore, artists use abundant dances, as well as colorful pictures and set elements to develop the show.

Michal Znaniecki is the director of 'CarminaBurana'.

"We are trying to make a very spectacular way, using this kind of music and telling the free story. We have fireworks, we have horses, everything that we can do in the desert that we can't do in the theatre, and good quality of dancers, and the coorgraphy, we have a lot of projections, and you will see the structure of 'Tosca' absolutely different way of being in the desert, for the audience just having one evening of spiritual opera, and one evening of entertainment."

Like past years, the festival attracts artists from different countries. Argentinian tenor Gustavo Porta who plays Cavaradossi in 'Tosca', hopes the audience can enjoy the performances.

"Fantastic. It's beautiful. People here stay in the middle of the desert and listen to classic music, with the Masada Mountain, with the Dead Sea, and the energy especially. For me it's important in this two, three hours, people are completely outside your personal life, relax, listen to the music, and the music arrives into your heart. It means complete free."

And for the audience, listening to opera at Masada is a special experience.

"I heard about this for many years and I wanted to come here, and this year we succeeded. It's fantastic. This is an incredible experience."
"The atmosphere in Masada is very powerful. It's more special."
"The whole set up in the stage is beautiful. The music is wonderful. We come every year. It's nice to see so many people coming and liking this kind of culture."

The opera festival at Masada will last till June 13. And at the end of June, an opera festival will be held in Jerusalem, featuring Italian composer Gaetano Donizetti's comic opera 'L'elisird'amore'.

For CRI, I'm Xu Fei.

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