The Jerusalem Opera, a new initiative that had a successful gala concert at the
Gerard Behar Center last March, presents its first fully staged production:
Masters and Servants, a fantasy based on some of Mozart’s
“Originally we planned to open our theater with Don Giovanni, but
due to changes in the schedule of Denis Sedov – the internationally acclaimed
bass singer who will perform the title role – the rehearsal period was too
short, so we decided to push Figaro to April 2013.
Also, the Meshushalaim
Festival – a popular Jerusalem event – has decided to adopt us, so we created a
new family-oriented production that suits its framework perfectly. It does not
require any previous knowledge of Mozart’s music. It is rather short, and
although it is sung in original languages – that is, in German and Italian – it
has Hebrew subtitles running above the stage,” says Julia Pevzner, the artistic
director of the new company. She staged the new play and also wrote the new
piece, compiling fragments from Mozart’s popular operas Le Nozze di Figaro, Cosi
Fan Tutte, La Finta Giardiniera, Die Zauberflöte and Don
“Mozart was the first freelance composer in the history of
music,” explains Pevzner. “He left the position of court composer because his
freedom was precious to him – and he paid for that decisive step. He absolutely
did not want to be a servant, and that is where the title of the show, Masters
and Servants, comes from.”
Speaking of the libretto, Pevzner says that
singer/actor Adi Cesare – another Israeli singer with a solid international
career – reads Beaumarchais’s comedy La Folle Journée ou Le Mariage de Figaro,
then starts a romantic affair, which turns into his opera Cosi Fan Tutte and
ends up with Don Giovanni.
“In this play, I partly used Mozart’s letters
to his father and his friends, and the rest I just invented,” admits the
multitalented Pevzner with a smile. She adds, “I did my best to make this piece
user-friendly. I believe that if opera is well prepared and well performed,
anybody can enjoy it, even if it is his or her first encounter with the genre.
And yes, the speaking parts are in Hebrew.”
Among the performers are
Lilia Gretsova, Olga Senderskaya, Claudia Roick, tenor Adi Cesare, and Italian
baritone Gabriele Ribis, who will sing on opening night and then be replaced by
Israeli Yair Polishook.
Omer Arieli, the music director of the new opera
company, will lead the orchestra, which consists mainly of the Jerusalem
Symphony Orchestra, with a few additional musicians.
Servants, a fantasy based on Mozart’s operas, will be performed at Gerard Behar
Center in Jerusalem on December 6 at 8 p.m. and December 14 & 21 at
11:30 a.m. For reservations, call (02)-623-7000.