Photo Credit: Courtesy of Tel Aviv municipality
Madame Butterfly in Hayarkon Park, August 3, 2023..

If you’ve become used to associating Tel Aviv, Israel’s most NYC-like metropolitan center, with unruly demonstrations in an ever-growing social and political rift, Thursday night in the Yarkon Park in north Tel Aviv offered something truly different.

Some 20,000 Tel-Avivians watched Giacomo Puccini’s “Madame Butterfly,” one of the most popular operas of all time, as part of the City’s Opera in the Park series, currently in its 20th year.

Madame Butterfly in Hayarkon Park, August 3, 2023.. / Courtesy of Tel Aviv municipality

Mayor Ron Huldai, who is normally associated with the massive campaign to thwart the government’s judicial reform, this time spoke to the huge audience about music and love and betrayal.

According to the English National Opera, “Madame Butterfly is one of opera’s most enduring tales of unrequited love. Puccini’s poignant score follows the tragic tale of Cio Cio San, a young Japanese girl who falls in love with American naval officer Pinkerton, with devastating consequences.”

It has become a much anticipated and beloved Tel-Aviv summer tradition, a free cultural event under the night sky for the whole family to enjoy in the city’s premier park.

More than 150 artists appeared on stage in this giant production, including the soloists of the Israeli Opera, the Israeli Opera Choir, and the Rishon LeZion Israel Symphony Orchestra. The event was directed by musical director Dan Ettinger and the Yarkon Park house director Gadi Schechter

Hayarkon Park during the day. / Miriam Alster/Flash90

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