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.

Shabbat Shalom

Oh,  it was hot this week!

Dome of the Book Israel Museum

But as always the dome of the

Shrine of the Book at the Israel Museum looked cool.

So glad it has cooled off before Shabbat,

wishing all

שבת שלום

Shabbat Shalom.

More than Jerusalem Heat

Everyone is talking about the weather,

the hot, hot weather.

It has been beastly,

outside of science museum

like this monster perched outside the Bloomfield Science Museum

even before the intense heat arrived.

science museum

On Monday, there was a special event for children

who had no school on the day after Shavuot.

special riding bikes

These unusual riding machines are outside the museum.

Science and motion can be fascinating,

and while for some it is a learning experience,

for others,

it is a living experience.

ALEH is a very special school for children with severe disabilities.

The annual ALEH March was Monday afternoon.

I love Aleh

Teachers, students, volunteers and ALEH families

all walked across the Jerusalem String Bridge.

Aleh school releases balloons on Chord bridge

In the middle of the walk the group released green and purple balloons,

made noise and held banners for cars to honk.

march aleh school

Walkers, special wheel chairs and flags,

all marching forward – to make each day count.

And as with most Jerusalem facilities,

Arab women

ALEH serves both Muslim and Jewish children, religious and secular.

The holidays are over,

but things are not quieting down,

and even in the mid-day sun tourists were out.

New signs have been posted,

festival Jerusalem

for the Israel Festival’s

sign in Hebrew

varied programs.

Festival season has begun.

sign in Jerusalem

For other new events

sign for festival Jerusalem

and festivals we will have to wait and see.

But next week is the Jerusalem Light Festival,

Jerusalem light festival

and this big ad was up in Gan Sacher, Sacher Park.

I sure hope it cools off when we walk around the Old City.

It will be interesting to see what new light pieces

the international festival can come up with this year,

 and how many thousands of people will attend.

Jerusalem Day Celebrations

The date has passed.

Most flags are removed.

Commentators have spun stories with their biases.

The main stream media focused on a small group.

However,

Yom Yerushalayim, Jerusalem Day,

Hebrew sign for Jerusalem Day

celebrations in Jerusalem, Israel,

are always like no where else in the world.

Flag fro Jerusalem hanging on Jerusalem Day

Today Jerusalem has a flag,

image new pin Jerusalem

and an official pin.

tower of David on Jerusalem Day

The ancient Tower of David,

is always impressive.

Jerusalem mayor welcomes  people on Jerusalem Daty

In the morning of Yom Yerushalayim,

Mayor Nir Barkat and his wife Beverly

greeted the public inside the gardens.

Music in Tower of David on Yom Yerushalayim

While a live orchestra played music

vistiors sitting and listening to music Tower of DAvid

and visitors sat and enjoyed their program.

family tours in Yemin Moshe on Jerusalem Day

Hundreds of families took tours of Yemin Moshe.

March starting on Jerusalem Dayt

Thousands of young people gathered in Gan Sacher,

Sacher Park to march with Israeli flags to the Old City,

to the Kotel, the Western Wall.

crowd at Kings Hotel on Yom Yerushalayim

Tens of thousands of people, singing, dancing, and

celebrating the reunification of Jerusalem in 1967.

Hebrew sign for Jerusalem day

This year other events were planned,

as this one for families at the new First Station.

There were prayer services,

and official invitation only ceremonies.

A free concert was held at Kikar Safra, Government Square.

Once again the annual “White Night” celebration

blasted until 4 am from Gan Sacher.

I do not appreciate that one!

In schools and kindergartens there were special programs,

Jerusalem Day nursery school child with bubbles

with art projects songs, and even bubbles.

The main stream media missed hundreds of thousands

of people who were not news worthy.

For those who find  Jerusalem Day objectionable,

please remember,

in 1965,

no Jews were in the Old City.

Under control of Jordan from 1948 – 1967,

no Jews could enter ANY of the gates.

Jerusalem Old City Walls

In 1965,

this was as close to the Kotel, the Western Wall,

 American Jewish tourists could get.

Photos were taken from across No Man’s Land,

safe from Jordanian sniper shots.

Yom Yerushalayim should be appreciated every day.

 Our friends have posted on a bench by their home,

a short passage from the Prophet Zechariah,

on his vision for the future,

Verse in Hebrew about children playing on the streets of Jerusalem

Jerusalem will be full of boys and girls

celebrating in her streets.

And that is what was really happening

on Yom Yerushalayim,

on the real Jerusalem streets.