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Culture 

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Drama in the Desert - 20 June 2014 
Even the grandest opera house would be hard-pressed to rival the foot of the Masada mountain fortress as a dramatic setting for Giuseppe Verdi's great work "La Traviata".

The opera was performed here during a festival complete with flames and fireworks, creating a dizzying spectacle against the backdrop of the bare sandstone escarpment. 
ISRAEL/
RTR3T8SI 
June 11, 2014 
A general view shows part of the set-up where Giuseppe Verdi's opera "La Traviata" will be performed... 
Masada, Israel 
A general view shows part of the set-up where Verdi's opera "La Traviata" will be performed at the foothill... 
A general view shows part of the set-up where Giuseppe Verdi's opera "La Traviata" will be performed at the foothill of Masada, an ancient Jewish mountaintop fortress near the Dead Sea in southeast Israel June 10, 2014. The opera will be performed during the fourth annual Israeli Opera Festival from June 12 until June 17. The festival is Israel's largest cultural production, with a cast of 700 performers and musicians, and 50,000 people are expected to visit the show, according to the Israeli tourism ministry. Picture taken June 10, 2014. REUTERS/Amir Cohen (ISRAEL - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT) 
ISRAEL/
RTR3T8VQ 
June 11, 2014 
Performers walk towards the stage at the start of a dress rehearsal of Giuseppe Verdi's opera "La Traviata"... 
Masada, Israel 
Performers walk towards stage at start of dress rehearsal of Verdi's opera "La Traviata" at foothill... 
Performers walk towards the stage at the start of a dress rehearsal of Giuseppe Verdi's opera "La Traviata" at the foothill of Masada, an ancient Jewish mountaintop fortress near the Dead Sea in southeast Israel June 10, 2014. The opera will be performed during the fourth annual Israeli Opera Festival from June 12 until June 17. The festival is Israel's largest cultural production, with a cast of 700 performers and musicians, and 50 000 people are expected to visit the show, according to the Israeli tourism ministry. Picture taken June 10, 2014. REUTERS/Amir Cohen (ISRAEL - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT) 
ISRAEL/
RTR3T92G 
June 11, 2014 
Cast members rest backstage during a dress rehearsal of Giuseppe Verdi's opera "La Traviata" at the foothill... 
Masada, Israel 
Cast members rest backstage during dress rehearsal of Verdi's opera "La Traviata" at foothill of Masada,... 
Cast members rest backstage during a dress rehearsal of Giuseppe Verdi's opera "La Traviata" at the foothill of Masada, an ancient Jewish mountaintop fortress near the Dead Sea in southeast Israel June 10, 2014. The opera will be performed during the fourth annual Israeli Opera Festival from June 12 until June 17. The festival is Israel's largest cultural production, with a cast of 700 performers and musicians, and 50 000 people are expected to visit the show, according to the Israeli tourism ministry. Picture taken June 10, 2014. REUTERS/Amir Cohen (ISRAEL - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT) 
ISRAEL-OPERA/
RTR3U2F7 
June 16, 2014 
A general view shows the stage before a dress rehearsal for Giuseppe Verdi's opera "La Traviata" at the... 
Masada, Israel 
General view shows the stage before a dress rehearsal for Giuseppe Verdi's opera "La Traviata" at the... 
A general view shows the stage before a dress rehearsal for Giuseppe Verdi's opera "La Traviata" at the foot of Masada June 10, 2014. A spectacular performance of La Traviata is the focus of the 2014 Masada Opera Festival at the arena on the shores of the Dead Sea. Built by King Herod as a winter palace between 37-31 BC, Masada is a UNESCO World Heritage site and has been a source of archaeological fascination. The ambitious opera festival is being held there for the fourth time in five years. Picture taken June 10, 2014. REUTERS/Amir Cohen (ISRAEL - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT TRAVEL) 
ISRAEL/
RTR3T8VF 
June 11, 2014 
A worker carries a prop as he sets up the stage before the start of a dress rehearsal of Giuseppe Verdi's... 
Masada, Israel 
A worker carries a prop as he sets up the stage before the start of a dress rehearsal of Giuseppe Verdi's... 
A worker carries a prop as he sets up the stage before the start of a dress rehearsal of Giuseppe Verdi's opera "La Traviata" at the foothill of Masada, an ancient Jewish mountaintop fortress near the Dead Sea in southeast Israel June 10, 2014. The opera will be performed during the fourth annual Israeli Opera Festival from June 12 until June 17. The festival is Israel's largest cultural production, with a cast of 700 performers and musicians, and 50 000 people are expected to visit the show, according to the Israeli tourism ministry. Picture taken June 10, 2014. REUTERS/Amir Cohen (ISRAEL - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT) 
ISRAEL/
RTR3T8X3 
June 11, 2014 
A performer is reflected in the mirror as she has her make-up applied before a dress rehearsal of Giuseppe... 
Masada, Israel 
A performer is reflected in mirror as she has make-up applied before dress rehearsal of Verdi's opera... 
A performer is reflected in the mirror as she has her make-up applied before a dress rehearsal of Giuseppe Verdi's opera "La Traviata" at the foothill of Masada, an ancient Jewish mountaintop fortress near the Dead Sea in southeast Israel June 10, 2014. The opera will be performed during the fourth annual Israeli Opera Festival from June 12 until June 17. The festival is Israel's largest cultural production, with a cast of 700 performers and musicians, and 50 000 people are expected to visit the show, according to the Israeli tourism ministry. Picture taken June 10, 2014. REUTERS/Amir Cohen (ISRAEL - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT) 
ISRAEL/
RTR3T8VS 
June 11, 2014 
Performers walk towards the stage at the start of a dress rehearsal of Giuseppe Verdi's opera "La Traviata"... 
Masada, Israel 
Performers walk towards stage at the start of dress rehearsal of Verdi's opera "La Traviata" at foothill... 
Performers walk towards the stage at the start of a dress rehearsal of Giuseppe Verdi's opera "La Traviata" at the foothill of Masada, an ancient Jewish mountaintop fortress near the Dead Sea in southeast Israel June 10, 2014. The opera will be performed during the fourth annual Israeli Opera Festival from June 12 until June 17. The festival is Israel's largest cultural production, with a cast of 700 performers and musicians, and 50 000 people are expected to visit the show, according to the Israeli tourism ministry. Picture taken June 10, 2014. REUTERS/Amir Cohen (ISRAEL - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT) 
ISRAEL/
RTR3T8XZ 
June 11, 2014 
A performer makes her way to the stage at the start of a dress rehearsal of Giuseppe Verdi's opera "La... 
Masada, Israel 
A performer makes her way to stage at start of dress rehearsal of Verdi's opera "La Traviata" at foothill... 
A performer makes her way to the stage at the start of a dress rehearsal of Giuseppe Verdi's opera "La Traviata" at the foothill of Masada, an ancient Jewish mountaintop fortress near the Dead Sea in southeast Israel June 10, 2014. The opera will be performed during the fourth annual Israeli Opera Festival from June 12 until June 17. The festival is Israel's largest cultural production, with a cast of 700 performers and musicians, and 50 000 people are expected to visit the show, according to the Israeli tourism ministry. Picture taken June 10, 2014. REUTERS/Amir Cohen (ISRAEL - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT) 
ISRAEL/
RTR3T8YX 
June 11, 2014 
Conductor Daniel Oren directs the orchestra during a dress rehearsal of Giuseppe Verdi's opera "La Traviata"... 
Masada, Israel 
Conductor Daniel Oren directs orchestra during dress rehearsal of Verdi's opera "La Traviata" at foothill... 
Conductor Daniel Oren directs the orchestra during a dress rehearsal of Giuseppe Verdi's opera "La Traviata" at the foothill of Masada, an ancient Jewish mountaintop fortress near the Dead Sea in southeast Israel June 10, 2014. The opera will be performed during the fourth annual Israeli Opera Festival from June 12 until June 17. The festival is Israel's largest cultural production, with a cast of 700 performers and musicians, and 50 000 people are expected to visit the show, according to the Israeli tourism ministry. Picture taken June 10, 2014. REUTERS/Amir Cohen (ISRAEL - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT) 
ISRAEL/
RTR3T90B 
June 11, 2014 
A performer acts on stage during a dress rehearsal of Giuseppe Verdi's opera "La Traviata" at the foothill... 
Masada, Israel 
A performer acts on stage during dress rehearsal of Verdi's opera "La Traviata" at foothill of Masada,... 
A performer acts on stage during a dress rehearsal of Giuseppe Verdi's opera "La Traviata" at the foothill of Masada, an ancient Jewish mountaintop fortress near the Dead Sea in southeast Israel June 10, 2014. The opera will be performed during the fourth annual Israeli Opera Festival from June 12 until June 17. The festival is Israel's largest cultural production, with a cast of 700 performers and musicians, and 50,000 people are expected to visit the show, according to the Israeli tourism ministry. Picture taken June 10, 2014. REUTERS/Amir Cohen (ISRAEL - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY) 
ISRAEL/
RTR3T93B 
June 11, 2014 
Cast members wait backstage in between acts during a dress rehearsal of Giuseppe Verdi's opera "La Traviata"... 
Masada, Israel 
Cast members wait backstage in between acts during dress rehearsal of Verdi's opera "La Traviata" at... 
Cast members wait backstage in between acts during a dress rehearsal of Giuseppe Verdi's opera "La Traviata" at the foothill of Masada, an ancient Jewish mountaintop fortress near the Dead Sea in southeast Israel June 10, 2014. The opera will be performed during the fourth annual Israeli Opera Festival from June 12 until June 17. The festival is Israel's largest cultural production, with a cast of 700 performers and musicians, and 50 000 people are expected to visit the show, according to the Israeli tourism ministry. Picture taken June 10, 2014. REUTERS/Amir Cohen (ISRAEL - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT) 
ISRAEL/
RTR3T90S 
June 11, 2014 
Performers acts on stage during a dress rehearsal of Giuseppe Verdi's opera "La Traviata" at the foothill... 
Masada, Israel 
Performers acts on stage during dress rehearsal of Giuseppe Verdi's opera "La Traviata" at foothill of... 
Performers acts on stage during a dress rehearsal of Giuseppe Verdi's opera "La Traviata" at the foothill of Masada, an ancient Jewish mountaintop fortress near the Dead Sea in southeast Israel June 10, 2014. The opera will be performed during the fourth annual Israeli Opera Festival from June 12 until June 17. The festival is Israel's largest cultural production, with a cast of 700 performers and musicians, and 50 000 people are expected to visit the show, according to the Israeli tourism ministry. Picture taken June 10, 2014. REUTERS/Amir Cohen (ISRAEL - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT) 
ISRAEL-OPERA/
RTR3U2NH 
June 16, 2014 
Soloist Shiri Hershkovitz (R) performs during a dress rehearsal for Giuseppe Verdi's opera "La Traviata"... 
Masada, Israel 
Soloist Hershkovitz performs during a dress rehearsal for Giuseppe Verdi's opera "La Traviata" at the... 
Soloist Shiri Hershkovitz (R) performs during a dress rehearsal for Giuseppe Verdi's opera "La Traviata" at the foot of Masada June 11, 2014. A spectacular performance of La Traviata is the focus of the 2014 Masada Opera Festival at the arena on the shores of the Dead Sea. Built by King Herod as a winter palace between 37-31 BC, Masada is a UNESCO World Heritage site and has been a source of archaeological fascination. The ambitious opera festival is being held there for the fourth time in five years. Picture taken June 11, 2014. REUTERS/Amir Cohen (ISRAEL - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT) 
ISRAEL/
RTR3T93O 
June 11, 2014 
A performer is silhouetted on the stage during a dress rehearsal of Giuseppe Verdi's opera "La Traviata"... 
Masada, Israel 
A performer is silhouetted on stage during dress rehearsal of Verdi's opera "La Traviata" at foothill... 
A performer is silhouetted on the stage during a dress rehearsal of Giuseppe Verdi's opera "La Traviata" at the foothill of Masada, an ancient Jewish mountaintop fortress near the Dead Sea in southeast Israel June 10, 2014. The opera will be performed during the fourth annual Israeli Opera Festival from June 12 until June 17. The festival is Israel's largest cultural production, with a cast of 700 performers and musicians, and 50 000 people are expected to visit the show, according to the Israeli tourism ministry. Picture taken June 10, 2014. REUTERS/Amir Cohen (ISRAEL - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY) 
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