Opera su, opera giu!

Despite the heat wave that has struck Tel Aviv, its nonchalant inhabitants keep enjoying their lives.

On these days there are two major opera productions in the city, both by the same wonderful composer, namely, Puccini: Madama Batterfly, beautifully staged in the Israeli opera – with a fine cast, under the baton of Daniel Oren, who perfectly knows how to squeeze a tear from the audience, and later Turandot in a concert performance in the Philharmonic under Zubin Mehta.

But in between these two larger than life productions true music lovers find refuge at “Sadna”.

“Sadna” is a Hebrew for “workshop”, but insiders just know that “Sadna” is the Summer Program of the International Vocal Arts Institute. Young and aspiring singers from Israel and abroad come to hone their art under the guidance of leading singers, stage directors, opera coaches. Founded 31 years ago, it was for a long time headed by the fiery Joan Dorneman of Metropolitan Opera.

This year this is Israeli soprano singer and much sought after vocal teacher Sharon Rostorf Zamir, who serves as its Artistic director. The program features master classes, concerts as well as mini opera productions and culminates in a gala concert.

This is a lovely event – young singers are talented, fresh, sincere and full of energy and desire to succeed.

The course is almost over – tonight you still have a chance to enjoy L’enfant et les sortilèges: Fantaisie lyrique en deux parties (The Child and the Spells: A Lyric Fantasy in Two Parts) – a one act opera by Maurice Ravel at the Israel Conservatory in Tel Aviv. The gala concert takes place Saturday night at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art (at 21:00).

Attached are visual musings of the Tel Aviv gawker (who by chance serves as the workshop photographer).


Sharon Rostorf Zamir – a versatile opera singer, a sensitive art songs (lieder) performer, and a caring tutor, who knows it all.


L’enfant et les sortilèges:

2a3aA beautiful production – not to be missed! Tonight at 20:30 at Shtriker 19 in Tel Aviv.

Chen Reiss, arguably the most successful Israeli soprano singer, conducts a master class. Top professional, tactful, warm, witty. And then she sings a few phrases and you immediately realize that there still is a difference between a gifted aspiring student and an international star, who carries you away with the hypnotizing beauty of her vocal instrument.

In the Garden of Beaumarchais – a concert program

Susanna and la Contessa, a fragment from Le nozze di Figaro

Il Barbiere di Seviglia:

7bFigaro settles it all for Almaviva

7cand Rosina

8aDon Basilio explains to his friend Don Bartolo that after all slander is a wonderful thing. But why Israel Today newspaper? It publishes only truth. Only “Pravda”.

8bRosina as a victim of domestic violence? A tad too much, but again, without innovative approaches opera is dead.

9aPoor Rosina. Slander sort of works. But only temporary.

10aThis is a true happy end. Rosina and Almaviva are finally together.

11aStudents of the “Sadna”

13A photo from the gala 2016 – a promising Israeli alto singer Zlata Hershberg.

Photos by Maxim Reider

About the Author
Maxim Reider is a trilingual Israeli journalist, translator and photographer. Born in Saint Petersburg, Russia, he has been making Tel Aviv his home since 1989. Author Photo by Ernest Aranov.
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