The Four Sopranos by Friends of Israel Opera
What fun, as is usual when young singers perform together in any environment and this was no exception. Four Sopranos, each different and each one showing us an incredible range and repertoire was a real treat.
Tal Bergman has performed in London before and has just finished her crossover role as Cosette in Les Miserables. Shaked Strul has a voice of real substance with a deeper sound. Yael Levita is a high soprano, who gave us a wonderfully funny performance as Queen of the Night. Nour Darwish provided a deep impressive velvety soprano and is currently pursuing a Fulbright scholarship in the USA. She was the outstanding Cleopatra at the Israeli Opera’s performance of Gulio Cesare in Egitto last year, having stepped into the role at incredibly short notice, just three days before the premiere.
All the singers were supported by David Sebba, who is the Music Director of the Meitar Studio and the Artistic Director of the Israeli Opera, Michael Ajzenstadt, was the supremely qualified Moderator.
It was a varied programme with some classical opera pieces, as well as Tal Bergman’s impressive aria ‘What a Movie’ from Leonard Bernstein’s opera ‘Trouble in Tahiti’. It was Leonard Bernstein himself who performed at the opening of the same venue – the home of Sir Sidney and Lady Lipworth – in their opening concert nearly 40 years ago!
However, perhaps the most interesting part of the evening was listening to the delightful voice of Nour Darwish singing a selection of Arabic songs from her village in an incredibly appealing and haunting style. This was a rare treat and shows that one of the key aims of the Israeli Opera, which is to develop community productions to reach out to new groups in Israel, particularly minority groups of Arabs, Druze and Christians, is beginning to work.
The comradery of the singers throughout the evening shone through and swept the audience away. Jeremy Corbyn, take note!