Over 55,000 people – Israelis and tourists – enjoyed the critically-acclaimed 2011 Israeli Opera Festival in Masada and Jerusalem, which featured a spectacular production of Aida, conducted by Maestro Daniel Oren, at the foot of Mount Masada and the Israeli premiere of Verdi’s Jerusalem, performed against the backdrop of the Old City walls in Jerusalem.

The final “curtain” may have only just fallen – but preparations and ticket sales are well underway for the 2012 Israeli Opera Festival at the lowest point on earth. Next year will feature a spectacular mega-production of George Bizet’s Carmen, a colorful and much-loved opera in which the free spirited gypsy Carmen sings about freedom as she falls in  love with the soldier José and then with the toreador Escamillo.

Once again, a cast of hundreds will take to the massive, specially-erected stage on the desert floor near to the Dead Sea, with the majestic backdrop of Mount Masada. Fiery Spanish dances and seductive arias will give this huge celebration its special flavor in a spectacle that will attract opera lovers from around the world.

In addition, there will be a gala opera concert on Monday 11 June, featuring two of today’s greatest opera stars – tenor Roberto Alagna and mezzo soprano Elina Garance – accompanied by the Israeli Opera Orchestra conducted by Marcello Montadelli. The concert will include arias and duets from popular operas including Aida, Carmen, Werther, Otello, La Cenerentola, Anna Bolena and others.

On Friday, 8 June, renowned pianist Fazil Say will perform together with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, London in a gala concert featuring Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue and Ravel’s concerto in G.

Packages that include hotel, opera tickets and transfers are available for tourists at www.carmen-at-masada.com.

More information about the Opera Festival: http://www.opera-masada.com/en/

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