More than 83,000 travelers from around the world arrived in Israel this month for the kick-off of Madonna's MDNA World Tour 2012 in Tel Aviv and several performances of Bizet's Carmen at Masada as part of the third annual Masada Opera Festival, the Israel Ministry of Tourism reports.
Madonna's fourth concert in Israel consisted of a massive stage, state-of-the-art lighting rigs and 22 dancers in a one-off performance at Ramat Gan Stadium near Tel Aviv. The Masada Opera Festival, which included several performances of Bizet's Carmen and various musical concerts at the foot of Masada, featured a specially crafted opera village and a cast of world-renowned opera vocalists, more than 400 soloists, choir members, actors, dancers and performers.
Said Haim Gutin, Israel Commissioner for Tourism, North and South America, "This attests to Israel's commitment to the arts and its growing reputation as a world-class tourism destination."
Israel will host a diverse selection of concert performances by international artists through summer 2012, including Guns N' Roses (July 3), Chris Cornell (July 16 & 17), Red Hot Chili Peppers (September 10) and Lenny Kravitz (October 6), among others.