"Today, in the age of reality shows, I have decided to create a reality show of
our own, that of the opera world,” says multi-talented artist David Sebba, who
will present his new show Divas
at the Upper Galilee Voice of Music
“The audience is very familiar with the glistening aspect of
the opera world, the one they see on stage. But that world is very
artificial. Just think of a noble count who, after being lethally stabbed with a
huge dagger by a villain, starts singing instead of dying and doesn’t
stop. But there is another side to opera – the one behind the stage, with
solfege lessons, a double cast, colleagues who behave not so collegially on
stage, opera critics and what not. And there is also the pressure of daily life,
when a singer comes from her home and kids and has to immediately forget her
family problems and become someone else. So we are going to present to the
public both facets of the opera world,” he says.
Quite often, such
parodies are created and performed by the artists, which have never found their
place in the opera world. But this is not the case, stresses Sebba. The
titular divas are two Israeli singers with successful local and international
careers – Keren Hadar and Hila Baggio.
“They will sing arias from popular
operas,” says Sebba, who also participates in the show as piano accompanist,
singer and actor. “The show is staged by Shirit Lee Weiss,” he says, “a very
successful director of the younger generation.” Sebba takes on several roles in
the show, one of which is the music critic.
“This critic is seen through
the eyes of a singer who comes on stage, and the first person she notices in the
concert hall is the music critic. She sings her musical phrase, and she sees
that he immediately writes his own phrase, and that is how it goes on,” he
Sebba is a very serious musician. He is a conductor who has
led all the Israeli orchestras, as well as orchestras abroad; he is a singer, a
pianist, he teaches at the Jerusalem Music Academy, he has translated several
opera librettos into Hebrew and heads the Young Artists Program at the Israeli
That said, when you look at him, you somehow know that if he is
not smiling, his face can brighten up in a moment. He thinks he has come to the
world of musical parody because he takes his life’s work as a musician so
“There is a lot of wisdom in humor,” he says, “and quite often
this world is so artificial, so false, that you have a strong urge to make fun
Sebba is also a composer. His new piece, which is part of the
show, is about an overbearing voice teacher who doesn’t give her students
a chance to open their mouths and sing.
When asked how he has managed to
be successful in several fields, Sebba says that at first he was rather
frightened by the scope of his musical interests.
“Some people told me,
‘It can’t continue like this; you have to make your choice and concentrate on
something specific.’ But I think that is wrong. Nowadays, we live in an
interdisciplinary world. The borders between the arts and specializations are
very unclear. And I always say, don’t try to fit yourself into an existing
framework but create a framework that suits you.”
Divas will be performed
on July 31 at 9 p.m. at the Upper Galilee Voice of Music Festival. For more
information and reservations, call (04) 681-6640.
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