Posts Tagged ‘Dead Sea’

Four things to do with your spare change

May 5, 2011

A port of your own: Now it’s possible
If you’ve ever thought of using your spare cash to buy a port, now’s your chance. The port of Eilat is up for grabs, according to the daily Ha’aretz. But you’ll have to act quickly. APM Terminals, an international container-terminal operating company based in The Hague, Netherlands, has shown interest. APM already operates the port in neighboring Aqaba, which is a major conduit between Asia, Africa, and Europe, and also the port in Port Said.

But you’ll have to get used to free lunches for the stevedores
Three years ago the port of Ashdod introduced free meals (for two) as a reward for stevedores who unloaded more than 250 containers per shift. The incentive turned out to be increasingly popular, and last year it cost the port more than $1 million, according to Ha’aretz.

But now the Treasury has refused to authorize this expenditure, which is not part of the labor agreement, and the free lunches are on hold. In response, the stevedores have slowed their unloading to 80 to 100 containers per shift.

At the Old City walls they’ll be kicking and tossing
In his zeal to make Jerusalem a center of culture and sports, Mayor Nir Barkat is bringing the beach to the mountains. Today and tomorrow city is hosting the 2011 Corona FootVolley World Cup—on a beach-style playing field in front of the Old City walls, near the Tower of David. FootVolley, first played in Brazil, combines beach volleyball and soccer. Place your bets now.

On March 25 the city hosted its first marathon and in June it will host its first outdoor opera performance.

And they’ll be skinny-dipping to save the Dead Sea
American artist Spencer Tunick hopes to reveal the bare facts about the environmental degradation of the Dead Sea by photographing a large number of nude people floating on its waters, Karin Kloosterman reports in Green Prophet, the online magazine covering environment new in the Middle East. Tunick is known for his installations that involve large numbers of nude people.

The idea of nudes in the Dead Sea is not entirely novel. In 2004 Israeli installation artist Sigalit Landau created a video of herself floating nude in the Dead Sea with 500 watermelons, coiled in a tight spiral that unwinds slowly. The video is exhibited at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem.

Tunick, working with his Israeli partner Ari Fruchter, is trying to raise $60,000 so he can carry out his project at the end of the year. According to Fruchter, thousands have already volunteered to strip to save the Dead Sea.

Text copyright 2011 by Esther Hecht. No part of the text may be used without written permission of the author.

The opera is coming to Jerusalem!

February 21, 2011

The Tower of David Museum and citadel is one of the historic sites where concerts will be performed during the opera festival in Jerusalem.

Opera lovers now have a good reason to visit Jerusalem. Of all the historical sites where opera festivals take place in summer, Jerusalem may be the best, with its backdrop of the Old City walls and its many dramatic venues. This summer opera is coming to Jerusalem for a five-day festival, June 2 to 6, that will include the Israeli premiere of Verdi’s Jerusalem.

The orchestra of the Arena di Verona, Italy’s leading summer opera festival, will open the festival under the baton of Italian conductor Giuliano Carella with a gala opera concert—Verdi, Puccini, and Rossini arias and duets—in the open-air Sultan’s Pool.

A semi-staged production of Verdi’s Jerusalem with special lighting effects will be performed at the same site on the last night of the festival. David Stern, music director of the Tel Aviv-based New Israel Opera, is to lead the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, the New Israel Opera chorus, and international and Israeli soloists.

The opera, in four acts, is set during the crusades to the Holy Land. It opens in France, moves to the city of Ramle, and finally reaches Jerusalem where the Crusaders are about to capture the city. Of course, there is a ridiculously complicated love story, with suspenseful twists, mistaken identities, and murder plots, as in other Verdi operas.

Between these two major musical events, 30 chamber and vocal concerts will take place in dramatic historic settings, including the Tower of David Museum, the Dormition Abbey, and the Sisters of Zion Church in Ein Kerem.
And while the opera festival takes place in Jerusalem, Verdi’s Aïda and his Requiem will be performed at the foot of Masada, near the Dead Sea.

It will be a summer to remember.

Text and photo copyright 2011 by Esther Hecht. No part of the text or photos may be used without written permission of the author.