Bringing ‘Alice’ to a new generation

In its praiseworthy ongoing effort to nurture a new generation of opera goers in this country.

By MAXIM REIDER
July 13, 2010 21:28
2 minute read.
REWORKED FOR the big stage. Hila Fahima and Gabrie

Alice 311. (photo credit: Yossi Zwecker)

 
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In its praiseworthy ongoing effort to nurture a new generation of opera goers in this country, which does not have an ages long operatic tradition, Israeli Opera is for the first time offering a summer subscription for kids and for the entire family.

It includes three fully staged operas in Hebrew, presented on the theater’s major stage by the young Opera soloists, accompanied by an instrumental ensemble. The largest production, the world premiere of “Alice in Wonderland,” written by David Sebba and staged by Moshe Kepten, is facilitated with the vital financial support by Bank Hapoalim.

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“One day I entered the office of Hannah Munitz (the opera’s CEO), and said that I wanted to write an opera for kids,” recollects the multitalented Sebba, who is a singer, pianist, conductor, librettist and translator. “I assumed she’d dismiss the idea with a friendly ironic smile, but instead Hannah said three words: Alice in Wonderland.”

Kepten, for whom this will be a first sortie into the opera world, admits that despite his reasonable experience staging kids’ shows, this project still presents a true challenge: “They are ultimately sincere, and it’s impossible to cheat them,” he says wryly.

But both the vocal fragments and sketches of stage characters presented at a press conference at the opera house earlier this week suggest that the creators of the new show have nothing much to worry about.

Two other pieces in the package are Mozart’s “The Magic Flute” in Ehud Manor’s famous translation, and Rossini’s “Cinderella” (translated by Sebba). Both are staged by the young and successful opera director Niv Hoffman.

Both have been running at Israeli Opera in the adapted versions for years, but they have been reworked for the big stage. Members of the Ra’anana Symphonette and Kibbutz Chamber Orchestra accompany the shows, and Sebba conducts.



Niv Manor, Bambi Freedman, Dana Tzarfati, Franklin Tavares and Uvi Bossi created the props and the costumes for the new productions.

The shows will be preceded by behind-the-stage tours and meetings with the production participants.

“The Magic Flute” runs July 15-17; “Cinderella” July 23-25 and “Alice in Wonderland” will be presented six times in Tel Aviv between August 12 and 18, with an additional show in Jerusalem August 22.

For more details see the site www.israel-opera.co.il For reservations call (03) 6927777

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