The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra has canceled a concert tour in Israel that was to have been a centerpiece of Israel’s 40th anniversary celebrations.
A spokesman for the orchestra confirmed the move Thursday, explaining that the orchestra “had to review our undertaking to the 125 musicians because contractual payments had not been honored.”
But there seemed to be unspoken political implications.
The orchestra was to have played in a performance of Verdi’s opera “Nabucco,” which concerns King Nebuchadnezzar and the Jewish return from exile in Babylon.
The opera ends with the immortal “March of the Hebrew Slaves,” which was to have been sung in Hebrew by a choir of several hundred British singers.
The performance was scheduled to be held at the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem, a symbolic celebration of the “return to Zion.” Unless alternative arrangements are made, the cancellation will doubtlessly be seen as a gesture of protest against Israel’s handling of three months of Palestinian unrest in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.