Verdi’s Rigoletto Highlights Italian Cultural Evening in Jerusalem
The annual Jerusalem Opera Festival, held last week at Sultan’s Pool, was co-sponsored this year by the Italian Embassy in Israel, which marked the occasion with a cocktail reception adjacent to the venue prior to the June 29 performance of Rigoletto, by Giuseppe Verdi.
Guest were greeted by Ambassador Francesco Maria Talo, who introduced Italy’s Agriculture Minister Maurizio Martina, currently on a working visit to the country. Minister Martina recognized Israel’s recent participation in Expo Milano and praised the ongoing relationship between Italy and Israel in the area of agritechnology,
Luciano Tommasi Head of Startup Initiatives and Business Incubator ENEL , , a gold sponsor of the evening, announced its initiative of investing in Israeli hi-tech start-up companies, known for their innovation.
A table showcasing quality imported Italian foodstuffs was on display, in conjunction with food market organized by the Italian Trade Agency and the Sheraton Hotel in Tel Aviv. Other tables distributed samples of their products: Ferrero sweets, Pellegrino beverages, Aperol spirits, and wines and cheese of Lombardy
The reception was catered by nearby kosher restaurant Eucalyptus, founded by Chef Moshe Basson, the doyen of Biblical cuisine in Israel. Chef Basson, who is a leader of Europe’s “slow food” movement, has a close culinary relationship with Italy: he is a cavaliere della repubblica -- a recipient of Italy’s Order of Merit; and he just returned from judging a vegan competition in that country.
Following the reception, guests attended the Israel Opera Company’s opening performance of this year’s Jerusalem Opera Festival, where they were welcomed by Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat. The stirring rendition of Rigoletto featured bravura performances by Boris Statsenko in the role of Rigoletto, Salvatore Cordella in the role of the duke, and Hila Fahima in the role of Gilda.
Photo by Yossi Zwecker