A woman of valor

Netta Barzilai’s journey to stardom defied musical convention, social norms, and Israel’s discontents.

May 30, 2018 13:23
Netta Barzilai performs after winning the Grand Final of Eurovision Song Contest 2018 at the Altice

Netta Barzilai performs after winning the Grand Final of Eurovision Song Contest 2018 at the Altice Arena hall in Lisbon, Portugal, on May 12. (photo credit: PEDRO NUNES/REUTERS)


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MUSIC IS the shorthand of emotion, said Leo Tolstoy, in what best sums up what happened Saturday night, May 12, between Lisbon and Tel Aviv.

Out in the Portuguese capital, 25-yearold Netta Barzilai and her unorthodox performance of “Toy” swept the packed Altice Arena’s 15,000 pop fans off their feet and another 200 million television viewers worldwide, with a musically inventive march of charisma, courage, and crusade.


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