Do you like theater? Opera? Ballet & dance? Classical music?
All of the above? None of the above?
Okay. Enough with the quiz. If you are looking for some culture my Israel culture page might be useful.
Disclaimer: Since I’m very far from being an expert on cultural issues I will only give you the raw data about the most important cultural institutions in the country.
But one thing I can tell you upfront is that - even though you can find theater, music and dance companies in all areas of the country - Tel Aviv is definitely the cultural center of Israel.
With that said, let's take a look at the main Israeli cultural landmarks and institutions:
Israel has several important theaters and many more fringe theaters. The most respected and well known theater is the HABIMA and this is a well-known and respected part of the Israel culture and artistic scene.
The name Habima simply means "the stage". This theater was actually formed in Moscow in 1918 as a Jewish theater, but later on established itself in Tel Aviv, and in 1958 it became the national theater of the country. In the early days of the Habima Theater its artistic philosophy developed to include movement and sound, in other words, abandoning the purely realistic approach.
There are many dance groups in Israel ranging from classical ballet to ultra-modern dance style. The most honored dance company in Israel is BatSheva. The group was founded by the legendary American dancer Martha Graham (she is considered the Picasso of modern dance), and her friend, the Baroness Bat Sheva De Rothschild.
Since I know very little about modern dance I will let the following video show you what kind of a dance group BatSheva is:
Yes, there is opera in Israel! Opera was actually in Tel Aviv since the 1920’s - before the state of Israel came into existence.
The Israeli opera enjoys rave critical reviews from around the world, and has an average of 8 productions per season. The opera is mixed Israeli and international singers but the productions are all sung in the original language with Hebrew and English subtitles.
The Israel Philharmonic Orchestra in Tel Aviv is the leading orchestra in Israel. It is one of the most important building blocks of the Israel culture.
The Philharmonic tours overseas frequently and hosted some of the world’s greatest conductors. The late Leonard Bernstein maintained close relationship with the orchestra and in 1988 received the title of Laureate conductor. World famous conductor Zubin Mehta has been the music director for over 3 decades now.
The orchestra mainly performs works by Beethoven, Mozart, Brahms and Mendelssohn. A few famous Israeli singers have also collaborated successfully with the Israeli Philharmonic.
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