Sweeter than wine

The Ra’anana Symphonette presents a special concert of love arias and wine.

July 26, 2012 12:41
2 minute read.
Francesco Demuro

Francesco Demuro. (photo credit: IMG Artists)


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Tu Be’Av, the festival of love, will be celebrated at the Ra’anana’s Amphipark with a summer concert featuring the Ra’anana Symphonette and world-renowned Italian tenor Francesco Demuro. But love is not the only theme of this special evening. It is complemented by its eternal companions, wine and music.

This will not only be the Israeli debut of the Italian megastar but also a minifestival hosted by one of Israel’s leading wine specialists Yair Haidu. It is a double celebration, marking 30 years of the wineries in the Golan and 20 years of the Ra’anana Symphonette, which was founded as a result of the mass influx of highly trained classical musicians from the former Soviet Union in the early 1990s.

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Wine, cheese, stories but, above, all music. Soloists of the Israeli Opera will also perform with the famed tenor in a program featuring popular operatic classics.

Born in 1978 in Sardinia, Demuro made his major operatic debut in 2004 as Rodolfo in Verdi’s Luisa Miller. Since then, he appears on the world’s best stages, such as La Scala and the Metropolitan Opera.

“It was the artistic director of the Symphonette, Omer Meir Wellber, who helped bring him to Israel because Demuro appears under his baton in several programs,” explains the orchestra’s CEO and founder Orit Fogel.

More than 20 years ago Fogel, seeing crowds of unemployed Russian-born musicians, decided to create an orchestra that would serve as a home for “people who are not made for anything else but playing music,” as Fogel puts it.

Since then, the Ra’anana Symphonette has found a niche of its own in the crowded world of Israeli classical and performs in its upscale home town and around the country.

This year, the Symphonette’s varied program features both traditional and less obvious programs.

Russian-born, Australia-based Alexander Gavriliuk, winner of the 2005 Arthur Rubinstein Master Piano Competition, will return to Israel to perform Rachmaninoff’s Second Piano Concerto under Wellber’s baton in the season opener next fall.

The Symphonette’s next concert features another Russian-born musician, virtuoso violinist cum conductor Sergey Krylov. After his successful performance with the orchestra in the 2011-12 season, he will return with a beautiful program that includes pieces by Schubert, Mozart and Sarasate and will allow him to showcase the different facets of his talent.

The Russian conquest of Ra’anana will continue in the next program, featuring France-based Israeli trumpet and flugelhorn player Sergei Nakariakov, together with his pianist sister Vera Okhotnikova. Nakariakov is a phenomenal musician who plays as naturally as other people breathe.

Some of the other programs are the End of the Year concert of The Best of Musical Theatre Hits from all times, performed by the soloists of the Israeli Opera’s Meitar Opera Studio and conducted by the multitalented David Sebba; a mini-production of Donizetti’s comic opera Don Pasquale, performed by young vocalists; and an evening where Wellber will perform not only as a conductor but also a pianist.

For reservations, call *9066.

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