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Dead Sea fortress in Israel to be the set for 'Carmen'

Menahem Kahana / AFP - Getty Images

Actresses walk towards a special stage set up against the backdrop of the ancient hilltop fortress of Masada, in southern Israel, for a full dress rehearsal of George Bizet's opera "Carmen" on June 6. Israeli maestro Daniel Oron will conduct the Israeli opera orchestra and chorus with lead roles being sung by international opera singers.

Menahem Kahana / AFP - Getty Images

Actresses put on makeup before the start of a full dress rehearsal of George Bizet's opera "Carmen" to be performed on a special stage set up against the backdrop of the ancient hilltop fortress of Masada, southern Israel, on June 6, 2012.

This is the third major opera to be staged at the site of the Judean fortress, but possibly the first to feature Flamenco dancers from Spain, donkeys, horses and sheep.

Masada is a UNESCO world heritage site and natural fortress overlooking the Dead Sea. Constructed by Herod the Great, a was the last stand of Jewish patriots in the face of the Roman army in 73 A.D. The Roman siege works surrounding the plateau are the most complete in the world.

More about the festival on their website (warning: music starts when page loads)