A Baroque Abu Ghosh

In a not so distant past, Polishook – who is very active on the local vocal and operatic stage, together with his friends – was a member of the Israeli Bach Soloists ensemble.

By MAXIM REIDER
June 6, 2019 22:59
2 minute read.
A Baroque Abu Ghosh

THE ORPHEUS Opera Ensemble. (Maria Rosenblatt). (photo credit: MARIA ROSENBLATT)

Orpheus, a Baroque opera by Telemann, will be performed by the Orpheus Opera Ensemble on June 8 as a part of the Abu Ghosh Vocal Music Festival.
“This is our first project, and we are thrilled,” says Israeli bass singer/conductor Yair Polishook, who is the artistic director and co-founder of the new ensemble.

In a not so distant past, Polishook – who is very active on the local vocal and operatic stage, together with his friends – was a member of the Israeli Bach Soloists ensemble, which does not exist anymore. “For all of us as musicians, this was an important period in our careers, and only because our work was based on historic research of wonderful Bach’s cantatas,” Polishook said.

“But singing in an ensemble of soloists gives you more freedom of expression, and although musicians still have to listen to their partners, you don’t need to downplay your personality and as a result the overall performance is far richer. We all missed that time, so when I suggested to my friends to reunite in a chamber Baroque opera ensemble, they eagerly agreed. Beyond the sheer pleasure of music making, I offered them payment. We made a fund-raising campaign by selling tickets for the future performance, and also heavy donors joined this enterprise. The audience gave us their trust – it was so moving and gave us strength to continue.”

Chamber Baroque opera is only rarely performed in Israel. “And it’s a pity,” says Polishook, “because there is a huge and largely unknown repertoire.”

“There is special a magic about Baroque music, it’s like a fairy tale,” he continued. “It is beautiful and speaks to one and all. As for Telemann’s Orpheus, not only the music is well writ and depicts the scenes and the characters’ feelings in a heart rending way, but so is the libretto, in which the composer had changed the classical story.”

Orpheus, by Telemann, was first performed by the ensemble of the same name last October to great reception. “It was staged by Sheerit Lee Weiss, while in Abu Ghosh we present its concert version, so it will be to the music to express the entire drama,” concludes Polishook.

The ensemble – which features young and successful Israeli vocalists Daniela Skorka, Hadas Faran, Tal Ganor, Eitan Drori, Oded Reich and Pnini Gruber – accompanied by a chamber ensemble, will perform Orpheus under baton of Yair Polishook at 11:30 a.m. in Kiryat Yearim Church in Abu Ghosh.

For the complete festival program and reservations please visit the site http://www.agfestival.co.il


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