TEL AVIV (AFP) - US pop icon Madonna will on Thursday launch her hotly-anticipated MDNA world tour with a show in Tel Aviv, kicking off a roadtrip of more than 80 countries in what will be her longest-ever stint on the road.
Announced in February, the tour — Madonna’s first first since her wildly successful “Sticky and Sweet” outing in 2008 and 2009 — will move from Israel to Abu Dhabi and on to Europe and the Americas.
It is expected to draw to a close in early 2013 in Australia where the singer has not performed in more than 20 years.
Kicking off her latest tour in Israel was a natural choice for the Catholic-born singer who over the last decade has become deeply involved in the Jewish mystical tradition of Kabbalah, which has brought her to the Jewish state on a number of public and private visits. She last performed in Israel in 2009 during her “Sticky and Sweet” tour, when she met Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and visited the Western Wall in the Old City of Jerusalem, the holiest site where Jews are allowed to pray.
Thursday evening’s show at the Ramat Gan stadium, which has a capacity of 35,000, was completely sold out but a day ahead of the performance, the singer briefly met with members of the Palestinian-Israeli Peace NGO Forum and handed them 600 tickets.