Soprano Anastasia Klevan .
(photo credit: PR)
‘Back in the days when I considered becoming a singer, I decided to work as an usher at the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. I wanted to listen to as much music as possible,” recalls soprano Anastasia Klevan. “I not only listened but also looked at the faces of the musicians and their instruments, and I felt as if they were my friends. At that time, I never thought that one day I would sing with this wonderful orchestra!” On December 20 and 22, Klevan and other soloists will participate in a concert performance of Carmen, Bizet’s timeless masterpiece. She will sing the role of Frasquita. Israeli and international soloists, as well as the Gary Bertini Choir and flamenco dancer Ornili Azoulay, will also participate.
“I have already sung with the Philharmonic, but this is the first time I will sing under the baton of Zubin Mehta. And it was Mehta who suggested that I sing this role, while I always thought that my voice did not suit it,” she says.
Mehta heard Klevan this summer when she was asked to replace an American singer for the rehearsal period before the IPO’s international tour.
“He asked me to prepare the role of Frasquita for the coming production. That was during the war with Gaza, with sirens interrupting the rehearsals. But Mehta stayed calm and just asked the musicians to go down to the shelter, and when it was over they simply continued the rehearsal.
Singing on stage of the Israel Philharmonic, from within the orchestra, is bliss: The sound is so rich, it washes over you and envelops you!” she says.
Klevan is a singer who is in demand.
She performs with the Israeli Opera and local orchestras and participates in special productions and classical recitals, as well as singing contemporary music. But her way into the world of opera was rather unusual.
Born into a family of painters in the cosmopolitan city of Lviv in the western Ukraine, famous for its rich cultural tradition, she immigrated to Israel with her parents when she was 11.
“I studied design and already at 17 worked as a theater stage designer, but I felt that I wanted to be on stage. And I would sing all the time, no matter what I was doing. My mother, who is the muse of the family, suggested that I check my voice. It turned out that I had a vocal instrument that was worth developing,” she recounts.
Thus at the age of 20 she entered the music academy, never having studied music before.
“There are singers who say that due to their career they can’t raise children because they travel a lot and don’t have a real home. But I think it is a question of choice. I couldn’t imagine my life without the dearest people ever,” says Klevan, who is the mother of two boys aged four and one.
“Granted, combining an artistic career with family life is very difficult, but I have a wonderful husband, who helps me a lot,” she says. “A senior programmer in an important hi-tech company, he is the only reasonable person in my mostly artistic surrounding. But he is a creative personality and always supports me.”
The concert performance of ‘Carmen’ takes place on December 20 in Tel Aviv and December 22 in Haifa. More concerts are scheduled for March. For reservations, call 1-700-703-030.