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Music in Jerusalem's Sultan Pool
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Music in Jerusalem's Sultan Pool

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  • 1. Page 1 of 2Music in Jerusalem: The ancient Sultans Pool put to RECENT ENTRIESglorious use. Opera at the Salzburg Summer FestivalBy Dr. Irving Spitz on August 23, 2011 12:17 PM | Comments | Of the three new productions, one was outstanding, one academic and the third traditionalThe 2011 Salzburg Festival featured six full… By Dr. Irving Spitz The Israel Philharmonic Orchestra: Celebrating 75 Years of Music Making This year is the 75th anniversary of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra (IPO), originally known as the Palestine Philharmonic Orchestra and… By Dr. Irving Spitz Jerusalems Season of Culture: An innovative approach spanning the worlds of music, dance, poetry andNowadays many outdoor cultural events in Jerusalem take place in the Sultans philosophy This year saw the inauguration of the firstPool. In biblical times, this area was known as the Hinnon valley. It was here Jerusalem Season of Culture. One of the highlythat Menasseh, the biblical king offered child sacrifices. Subsequently, the acclaimed events of this…Romans converted the valley into a water reservoir by constructing a wall across By Dr. Irving Spitzit to the south. This was later repaired in the 16th century by the OttomanTurks, hence its name, Sultans Pool. In more modern times, this area was partof a dangerous no-man?s land forming the border between Israel and theHashemite Kingdom of Jordan.Today, the Sultans Pool has been magnificently restored. On one side of thevalley, rise the walls of the old city of Jerusalem, which were also built by theOttomans. On the other side are the first buildings constructed in the 1860swhen the Jewish population began to move out of the old city. The ambienceof this magical place is unique. This was complemented by the lighting effectswith intermittent illumination of the old city walls.One of the main events of the recent Jerusalem Opera Festival, organized bythe Israel Opera, which was held at this venue, was an evening devoted topopular arias. The program consisted of excerpts from the operas of Verdi,Puccini, Rossini, Mascagni and Cilea. It was performed by soloists and theArena di Verona Orchestra, under the baton of Italian conductor, GiulianoCarella. Since this orchestra plays at Veronas open air annual opera festival,the musicians were accustomed to this type of venue.
  • 2. Page 2 of 2The concert began with a rather pedantic performance of Rossinis overture toWilliam Tell. It took a little time to adjust to the sound. The orchestra had tocompete with the wind as well as the traffic on the surrounding eastern andsouthern roads. The real drama began with the soloists. Pride of place went toItalian tenor Stefano Secco whose Nessun dorma (None shall sleep) fromTurandot, was perhaps the real highlight of the evening. Both the sopranoSvetla Vassileva and mezzo soprano Mariana Pentcheva hailed from Bulgaria. Mariana Pentcheva was best in Acuzenas aria Stride la vampa (The flames areroaring) from Il Trovatore and Svetla Vassileva rended Butterflys aria Un beldi vedremo (One fine day) exquisitely. Brazilian bass, Luiz-Octavio Fariacaptured the subtle nuances of Don Basilios aria La calunnia (Slander) fromthe Barber of Seville.At the conclusion of the concert, the enthusiastic audience clamored for more. Tenor and soprano obliged, perhaps not unexpectedly with the Brindisi (Toast)from La Traviata to the audiences great delight.Illustration: The setting of the operatic gala by the Arena di Verona Orchestrain Jerusalems Sultans Pool (courtesy, Yossi Zveker) Education Update, Inc. All material is copyrighted and may not be printed without express consent of the publisher. © 2010.

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