(photo credit: ASSAF KLIGER)
‘There was this wonderful pianist, Irina, at the Opera Studio, who once interrupted the lesson, turned to me and asked if I knew what the most important thing in our life was. ‘Contact’, she said. It’s all about contact,’” recounts acclaimed soprano Dana Marbach, who will perform with the Ramat Gan Choir at the Abu Ghosh Vocal Music Festival.
“Since then, those words have guided me as a singer,” continues the young Israeli vocalist, “because we are here to share, to stir emotions, to trigger the listeners’ response. After living abroad for many years, I am so happy to be back home and to perform in Abu Ghosh in front of my audience, my people.”
Marbach will sing the soprano solos in Fauré’s Requiem and Schubert’s Missa and Salve Regina.
“I have been fond of Fauré’s piece childhood – it is both transparent and intense. While Schubert’s pieces include many ensembles, which for me means doing good things together with good people. Actually, that is one of the reasons I am in this profession,” she says.
The 53rd Abu Ghosh Shavuot Festival takes place May 18 to 20. The program highlights include Leonard Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms and fragments from West Side Story, to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the composer’s birth; music by Mendelssohn; spirituals; arias by Bach; Bachiana Brasileira No. 5 by Villa- Lobos; Mozart’s Great Mass in C Minor and more. Some of the finest Israeli vocalists and instrumentalists will participate.
Marbach, who is currently based in Berlin and performs throughout Europe, says she has been singing her whole life, and it always came naturally.
She first performed in a New Israeli Opera production when she was 18.
She recounts, “Both singers who were cast for a minor role of the shepherd in Puccini’s Tosca got sick just one day before the premiere. Naomi Faran, the conductor of the Moran Children’s Choir, of which I was a member, gave the theater my name. I strongly believe in destiny. Later, there were more occasions that pushed me forward. My first opera audition took place when I was 20. It was for the prominent Italian conductor Daniele Ferro. He listened to my performance and didn’t say anything. Six months later he contacted me from Palermo asking whether I would like to come and replace a singer with whom he was not very happy. Just imagine – a music academy student, and I was on stage with such world-renowned singers as Jose van Dam!” After graduating from the Jerusalem Music Academy and the Israeli Opera Studio, Marbach decided to try her luck in Europe, where she acquired a master’s degree in art song studies in Hamburg. She says that she enjoys singing “whatever is written well,” but she has a special place in her heart for Baroque music and lieder (art songs).
“Baroque vocal fireworks are very challenging for a performer, yet their finesse is very attractive, while lieder, those two-minute emotionally charged stories, are like mental food for me,” she says.
Art photography is another of Marbach’s passions. Her photos are intense and quite abstract. Color, light and textures rather than people and places are the central features. Over the years, her photography has become more sophisticated and rich, the composition less obvious and more daring.
“Photography provides me with both concentration and relaxation. I somehow feel that it is similar to my singing, and they complete each other.”
The Abu Ghosh Festival takes place May 18 to 20. For details and tickets, call *6226 or go to www.agfestival.co.il/concerts/shavuot2018.