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What New York is for the West, Tel Aviv is for the East: the city that never sleeps. Tel Aviv boasts a rich cultural and artistic life, boosted by ethnic diversity and rich history. This year’s summer calendar consists of an eclectic mix of events, ranging from ballet performances to photography exhibitions, from music concerts to contemporary circus. Read our guide to Tel Aviv’s unforgettable events this summer.
Photography | Nature Global, Nature Local
Until 25 August
An exceptional exhibition, co-organised by the Natural History Museum in London and the BBC, where local and international views on nature are displayed hand in hand. Nature Global, Nature Local 100 photographs that were carefully chosen from the over 48,000 entries. This year, the global section focuses on the dynamism of nature, while the local subdivision (Photo of Nature #2) showcases the works of Israeli artists in different categories. This fascinating wildlife photography exhibition duo receives international attention and attracts the most visitors to its annual venue, the Eretz Israel Museum in Tel Aviv. This is the second time Tel Aviv has hosted this prestigious, internationally renowned photo exhibition, where the winning entries of the Wildlife Photographer of the Year contest are displayed.
Art | Solo exhibition by Bryan Lewis Saunder
From 10 July
Mika Gallery, one of the freshest contemporary gems on Tel Aviv’s art scene, has recently announced its upcoming summer exhibition, which is solo show of Bryan Lewis Saunders; an unquestionably pioneering, yet highly controversial artist. We Do not Need Another Doctor, Can We Run Our Own Tests is a unique and provocative display of Saunders’ works, who gained global attention from his self-portraits created under the influence of different types of drugs. Although art saved his life, Saunders suffered mild brain damage during his experiments in the search for the essential self. Since 1995, the artist has created over 8,000 self-portraits and has become a prominent figure of today’s art world.
Bryan Lewis Saunders, Mika Gallery, Tel Aviv, Israel, + 972 3 952 5830
Music | International Opera Workshop
1 – 26 July
The 28th International Opera Workshop is a unique, four week summer event in old Jaffa with multifaceted objectives. Since its inception in 1987, the annual, internationally acclaimed workshop aims to succour emerging talents, promote young local singers, act as a cultural diplomacy tool and bring the genre of opera closer to the public. The workshop coaches 80 promising internationally diverse talents, and will be led this year by the Metropolitan Opera’s vocal coach Joan Dornemann. The programme offers a wide range of fully staged operatic productions, concerts and master classes, in which well-established names merge with the rising singers-to-be new generation. The nights line up scenes from the greatest operas, sections from Broadway repertoires, and much more before the closing gala festival that takes place at The Israeli Opera on 26 July.
International Opera Workshop, Israel Conservatory Tel Aviv, Israel, + 972 03 546 052
Art | Pictures of Anything
Until 2 August
Pictures of Anything is a solo exhibition of the exceptional artist Vik Muniz, whose artistic conceit is to seek ways to create a picture from anything. The artist’s uniqueness derives from the unusual materials that he uses as tools, such as diamonds, sugar, chocolate syrup or dirt. The Brazil-born, Brooklyn-based sculptor and photographer is a pioneering figure in the creation of the groundbreaking New Photography Image. His creations usually line up in series, such as the Pictures of Chocolate, Pictures of Dust, Pictures of Earth and Pictures of Garbage. His 25 years of work is now on display at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, offering an in-depth and comprehensive view on Muniz’s photographic reproductions.
Pictures of Anything, Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Tel Aviv, Israel, + 972 3 6077020
Music | International Concerts in Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv’s status as one of the best summer cities to visit is cemented by the line up of international concerts taking place in the city. Starting with the legendary Paul Anka on 7 July, followed by American group Brian Jonestown Massacre, who perform on 15 July. The concert series continues in August with the veteran rock band Kansas, who, as part of their forty-year anniversary, take the stage on for a night. On 6 August the eleven-Grammy nominee thrash rocker band, Megadeth brings its applauded hits to the city’s rock enthusiasts. By the end of the month the genre lightens by American indie-rocker Kurt Vile on the 12th. On the 20th Lana del Rey’s gloomy melodies are expected to attract a full house event, while for a night, still to be announced, will be loud by Sinead O’Connor, Irish singer’s recognized ‘Nothing Compares 2 U’.
Concerts take place at various venues in Tel Aviv
Culture | Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition
7 June – 23 August
If you’ve ever wondered how a room on the Titanic really looked, or craved a first-hand experience of what it might have felt like to travel in 1912 on the world’s largest boat, then Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition is for you. This interactive travel exhibition, stopping in Tel Aviv for the summer months, faithfully reconstructs both rooms and over 200 conserved artifacts on display, while the recordings of personal stories ensure the exhibition’s primary aim that is to show the human side of the Titanic tragedy. Guided tours or a five-course Titanic dinner augment the unique experience, making visitors feel like one of the travellers who sailed away 102 years ago.
Dance | MadriDanza
28 July – 1 August
MadriDanza is an annual, week-long mini-festival that showcases the best of Spanish contemporary and flamenco dance in cooperation with the Madrid dance community. This year’s festival brings the energetic and dramatic modern flamenco dance closer to Tel Aviv’s enthusiastic audience. Two young and acclaimed choreographers ensure unforgettable evenings in the midst of the summer. First, Manuel Linan’s Sinergia, where tradition and modernity meets clear technique and deep feeling, then Eduardo Guerrero, whose show, titled Return, richly influenced by diverse culture and religion, promise an exciting, creative and powerful evening. All the performances will be accompanied with orchestra and singers, guaranteeing a fully-fledged passionate Spanish summer event.
MadriDanza, Suzanne Dellal Center, Tel Aviv, Israel, +972 3 510 5656
Circus | Cirque du Soleil
6 – 21 August
The renowned circus spectacle, formed in 1986, takes to the stage in Israel for the second time. After their brilliant success in 2012 with the debut show of Alegria, which attracted over 100,000 people, this year Cirque du Soleil is presenting their celebrated, multifaceted performance of the Quidam. The show that debuted in 1996 in Montreal presents the challenges of our contemporary life through the story of Zoé, who, in order to find meaning in her life, finds her escape in her imagination that leads her to self-realisation. All this is stunningly displayed through breathtaking acrobatic elements, fascinating light and soundtrack shows, set in a fantastic stage scenery; all the features that made Cirque du Soleil unique and unmatchable around the globe are now awaiting the audience in Tel Aviv.
Cirque du Soleil, Yad Eliyahu Arena, Tel Aviv, Israel, +972 3 537 6376
Music | Richard Clayderman
Richard Clayderman, the acclaimed French pianist who initiated new styles in romantic pop music and who composed over 1,300 melodies, is returning to Israel. The artist is a celebrated and recurrent performer in the country; therefore tickets must be booked well in advance. This year Clayderman brings the best of his works to the remarkable Tel Aviv’ Performing Arts Center, where Ballade pour Adeline and Don’t Cry for Me Argentina are definitely on the schedule.
Richard Clayderman, Tel Aviv’s Performing Arts Center, Tel Aviv, Israel , +972 3 692 7777
By Virág Gulyás