Tel-Aviv Celebrates 20th Anniversary of Annual “Opera in the Park” tradition with a special production of Madame Butterfly

On August 3rd, the Municipality of Tel Aviv-Yafo, in collaboration with the Israeli Opera, will continue the tradition of free opera productions at Ganne Yehushua Park with a special production of the beloved opera, Madame Butterfly. Produced by renowned Italian composer Giacomo Puccini, Madame Butterfly is among the greatest operas of all time. In accordance with long-standing tradition, the event will be moderated by the mayor of Tel Aviv-Yafo, Ron Huldai.

Ron Huldai, Mayor of Tel Aviv-Yafo: “Opera in the Park,”a 20-year Tel-Aviv tradition, that allows tens of thousands of local and international opera lovers to experience the beauty and magic of the opera beneath the starry sky in an accessible way. I created the tradition inspired by the belief that every person in the country deserves the opportunity to enjoy art, and opera in particular. I am immensely proud that this event attracts a diverse audience every year, drawing in everyone from avid fans of the opera to first timers. This year, theatregoers will undergo an emotional and artistic journey as they enjoy the timeless beauty of one of the most renowned operatic masterpieces ever composed. I implore everyone to come and enjoy the show with us this year!”

Every year since its inception 20 years ago, thousands of people of all ages have flocked to Ganne Yehushua to enjoy “Opera in the Park” and take in the artistry and storytelling of the opera free of charge. Madame Butterfly, composed by Giacomo Puccini and based on the short story by John Luther Long, is considered to be one of the most famous operas of all time. The reputation and name of Madame Butterfly precede it, and not only among die-hard lovers of the opera. Several of the arias featured in the opera have become well-known in general popular culture.

Madame Butterfly details the tragic tale of Cio Cio San, a young Japanese girl who falls in love with an American naval officer named Pinkerton, with devastating consequences. After they marry, Pinkerton leaves Japan, leaving her destitute, alone, and pregnant with his child. Upon his return to Japan after three years of absence, she discovers that he has married an American woman, and the couple wants to adopt her child. She chooses to preserve her dignity and take her own life, allowing her son to be left with his father and father’s wife.

The opera will be conducted by Dan Ettinger, the musical director of the Israeli Opera. It will be directed by Gadi Schecter, who has directed previous iterations of “Opera in the Park.” Much of the talented cast hails from the Israeli Opera, including soprano singer Alla Vasilevitsky in the titular role, baritone Oded Reich in the role of Sharpless, mezzo-soprano Shay Bloch, and tenor Joseph Dennis. The opera will also feature dancers. The Israeli Opera Choir will be accompanied by the Israeli Rishon LeZion Symphony Orchestra.
Madame Butterfly in Ganne Yehushua Park

Thursday | August 3rd, 2023 | Doors open: 7:00 | Show starts: 8:30

Conductor: Dan Ettinger
Director: Gadi Schecter
Set and Costume Designer: Niv Manor
Lightning Designer: Eyal Levy Sharon
Choreographer: Kim Gordon
Video Designer: Yoav Cohen
Sound Designer: Yuval Zilberstein

Cast: Madame Butterfly: Alla Vasilevitsky
Lt. Pinkerton: Joseph Dennis
Sharpless: Oded Reich
Suzuki: Shay Bloch
Goro: Eitan Drori
Keith Pinkerton: Gal Kohav
The Bonze: Yair Polishook
Imperial Commissioner: Shahaf Regev
Dolore: Eli Nachmani

The Israeli Opera Choir Conducted by Itai Berkovitch

The Opera Orchestra: The Israeli Symphony Orchestra Rishon LeZion
Translation Subtitle: Israel Yuval
Photo Credit: Yossi Zavkar

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