Concert Review: Winter Bells Gala Concert
A familiar acoustic environment assisted the conductor and orchestral ensemble in providing volume-appropriate accompaniment to the singers.
LOCAL RA’ANANA resident and baritone Colin Schacha Photo: Courtesy of Colin Schachat
Ra’anana seems an unlikely venue for the staging of an international-standard
gala concert, but that is exactly what the audience who filled the Mishhkan
Music Center Auditorium were treated to on Monday night. The sometimes maverick
Ra’anana Symphonette Orchestra produced an accurate and musically tight
performance. The experience and authority of Dudi Sebba, who navigated the
breadth and depth of a musically and stylistically diverse program, was clearly
evident. A familiar acoustic environment assisted the conductor and orchestral
ensemble in providing volume-appropriate accompaniment to the
While the audience responded rapturously to most of the items
performed, there are clearly certain aspects of the vocal performance which
warrant special mention. The young South African tenor Given Nkosi, whose
beautiful lyric tenor has been heard on numerous occasions in performance as
soloist with the New Israel Opera (most recently in the lead role as the Duke in
Rigoletto), was impressive throughout, notwithstanding imperfect intonation in
the first half.
His sustained high B-flat at the end of “Nessun Dorma,”
which may have not pleased the purists, had the desired effect, producing
sustained applause and appreciation.
Local soprano Yael Levita continues
to impress and develop both as a soprano and actress. She selected perfect
vehicles to express her talents and particularly excelled with Adele’s principal
aria from Johann Strauss Jr.’s Die Fledermaus and the Doll Aria from Offenbach’s
Tales of Hoffman.
Experienced local tenor Yotam Cohen’s performance was
predictably solid and reliable, with wonderful musicality and impressive vocal
control evident in “Una Furtiva Lagrima” from Domizetti’s L’Elisir d’amore.
Local Ra’anana resident and baritone Colin Schachat demonstrated versatility in
choosing lighter repertoire as solo items (Managing particularly admirably with
Rossini’s linguistically challenging “La Danza”), but excelled in the two
tenor/baritone duets “E Lui desso infante” and “Au fond du temple saint” from
Verdi’s Don Carlo and Bizet’s Pearl Fishers respectively. His powerful vocal
resonance and correct textual context were impressive.
from Verdi’s La Traviata as a final item and encore literally brought the
audience to its feet and provided an end to a memorable concert and an
unforgettable introduction to the pleasures of classical music.