Letters from Lightstone: Sites and Sounds of Israel, Part 13

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Follow ZoomerMedia’s Marilyn Lightstone as she travels to Israel this summer to bring you first-hand coverage of this culturally-rich country. In this dispatch, she sends a letter to her friend Jean Stilwell.

Dear Jean,

Everyone who listens to you (and Mike Duncan) on Good Day GTA on classical 96.3fm knows that you are an opera singer as well as a radio host.

That’s why I had you uppermost in mind when I was given a behind-the-scenes visit to the Opera House here in Tel Aviv.

Though not an opera singer myself, it was still something of a trip down memory lane as it reminded me so much of the large theatres in which I used to perform years ago.


I was with the group of journalists from Canada, the US, Britain, Australia, Spain, Italy, Poland, Australia and Portugal with whom I have been sharing sights, meals and performances during this past week, but I wonder how many of them were experiencing the same wave of nostalgia as I.

Of the pictures that accompany this post, there are two that are especially meaningful for me. The first is the one featuring the corset, obligatory for SO many period costumes (and you know what THAT means), and the second is of the piano in the “coaching” room. Seventy per cent of the Israeli Opera’s budget comes from their patrons and subscribers who number an amazing 18,000!

I found this figure to be most appropriate. For Jews, the number 18 also means “Life!” And anything associated with it is good luck…

More to come…


Marilyn Lightstone is the host of the nightly radio series Nocturne on the New Classical 96.3 (a ZoomerMedia property).