Tosca at Masada

There are times that you just have to leave Jerusalem

in order to see something special.

A performance of Tosca at Masada

is really something to see.

Operas are usually about

Tosca stage

 the stars and their voices,

orchestra close up

the music,

Tosca at Masada

and the actors on stage.

 Giacomo Puccini’s opera Tosca,

produced by the Israel Opera Company,

view of stage

is being performed at Masada in the desert.

Tosca at Masada

The seating is constructed in the desert sand,

and stands stories high.

metal structure at Tosca

The support pipes inside are amazing.

It is hard to show just how big the stage is.

opera stage

Stage left, there are stairs.

Tosca at Masada stage view

Do you see them now?

stage  for Tosca

They are under that giant statue.

Masada opera

The stars have a hard time hearing the music

since the stage is so large,

and use special microphones.

view of food and Dead Sea at opera at Masada

From the top of the seating area

there is a view of the Dead Sea overlooking the vast food court

Masada view from opera

and the huge parking areas for buses.

large lights for Opera

These are not jobs for those with fear of heights.

During the day workers have to be careful of the heat.

Operas are usually filled with drama.

Tosca, set in Rome in the year 1800,

 is full of

opera Tosca

intrigue,

opera singers on stage

murder,

Floria Tosca on stage

and torture.

Floria Tosca, a celebrated singer, did not have an easy life.

Alter boys in Tosca

But this stage is also filled with young faces,

and beautiful music,

Daniel Oren conducts at Masada

led by talented Israeli conductor Daniel Oren.

Masada orchestra

At this dress rehearsal, he repeatedly interrupted

and sang as he conducted the precise way

 he wanted this masterpiece to be staged.

The Italian lyrics of this tragic opera

are translated into Hebrew and English.

The production is big and beautiful.

But at the end of the day,

it is all makeup and make believe.

opera dressing room

This “tortured” actor can smile in his dressing room,

while the audience winds their way back home,

slowly on the road along the Dead Sea.

More than a show, it is an experience.

After Hail on Passover, What Next?

Hail in April,

in Jerusalem, Israel?

Not only was there a hail storm as the holidays ended,

April hail storm in Jerusalem

but this was the scene the next day also.

It looked and felt like winter, not spring.

scene of Jerusalem String Bridge during hail storom

The city looked black and white,

Hail stones from April storm

as 4 mm hail stones fell.

But now,

the Passover things are put away,

and visitors have returned home.

The Happy Passover signs on buses have changed,

bus sign in Hebrew

to wish Jerusalem riders “have a good trip.”

 The skies have cleared

Street near Kikar Safra

and people have returned to the streets,

two Muslim Girls walking in Jerusalem

 some of which are lined with flowers.

Pres and Mrs Rivlin

Two hundred and fifty invited guests associated with OneFamily

filled the main room

at Beit Hanasi, the Israeli President’s Home,

with President Reuven and First Lady Nechama Rivlin,

Tastes of Life

to launch a new cookbook.

“Tastes of Life” features foods that mothers made for their

children who were victims of terror.

Each mother shares not only a recipe,

but memories of their loved ones that are gone.

Very different,

but still another way to remember a lost loved one,

St Lousi French Hospital Jerusalem Israel

a new Healing Garden was dedicated by a New York family

in the Hosptial Saint Louis Francais.

In the sunshine, supporters of Kashouvot,

an organization advancing Pastoral Care,

heard the story of Randie Malinsky z”l

who passed away in October

after losing a battle with cancer.

Now hospice patients and families can sit in the garden,

French Hosptial Jerusalem

to talk or watch the light rail and the rest of the world go by.

The “French Hospital” was built in the mid-19th century

and stands next to the Notre Dame,

across from the Old City Walls, near New Gate.

It boasts the only strictly kosher nunnery in world.

Also this week for all to see,

car flag for Yom Haatzmaut

the first Israeli flags are flying from car windows.

Flags over Jerusalem Israel streets

And the large trucks have gone around hanging Jerusalem,

Blue and white flag

and large Israeli flags over the Jerusalem, Israel streets.

The radio is playing sad, slow music,

as soon it will be Yom Hashoah,

Holocaust Remembrance Day,

and the beginning of another busy holiday season.

Shabbat Shalom from Jerusalem

Beware:

Heavy traffic and long lines near car wash locations.

 In much of Israel this week,

image of Knesset in sandstorm

a sandstorm was so heavy it was hard to see,

and breathing was difficult.

It was not a pretty picture.

Then, cold, strong winds came and blew and blew.

It only rained a little in Jerusalem, Israel,

enough to leave mud covering everything, especially cars.

Finally,

image Jerusalem Israel clear cay

the sky cleared,

the sun came out,

time to admire the flowers again.

image Shabbos

שבת שלום