July 17, 2009

Opera Celebrates Tel Aviv’s centennial

Tens of thousands of Israelis attended the performance of one of the world's leading opera companies as part of Tel Aviv's centennial celebration.

Milan's La Scala opera company performed Verdi's Requiem at the Hayarkon Park Thursday night,

More than 200 members of the La Scala company participated in the performance conducted by Daniel Barenboim and directed by Franco Zeffirelli, organizers said.

Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai told reporters Tel Aviv has emphasized arts and culture since its founding. The country's first opera house was built in 1923, Huldai said. Thursday's performance is confirmation Tel Aviv is on the global cultural map, he said.

Earlier in the week, the opera company performed Aida.

Tel Aviv was founded in 1909 and expanded rapidly with the waves of immigration to the city in the 1920s and 1930s. Today the city is considered the business and cultural center of Israel.