THOUGH ONCE one of the most popular tenors in Israel, Yevgeni Shapovalov is unlikely to be seen on an Israeli stage for quite some time. Shapovalov left the country four months ago without announcing any future plans; it was initially thought that he had an overseas singing engagement. He often went abroad on his own or with Felix Livshitz and Vladislav Goray - the two other tenors who were part of the Three Tenors from Israel group, formed in 2005. Shapovalov, 41, though not Jewish, included many songs from Jewish liturgy in his repertoire, as well as Yiddish favorites. He appeared with the Israeli Opera and on numerous television programs, in solo concerts and with Shlomit Aharon (the former lead singer of Hakol Over Habibi). He was occasionally billed as the Israeli Pavarotti. But about a year ago, his popularity began to wane and he got into a lot of debt. He also got into trouble with the income tax authorities, and there was no choice other than to leave - if he wanted to remain out of prison. Yediot Aharonot's Danny Spector eventually tracked him down in Moscow, where he answered a re-routed American phone number. Shapovalov borrowed heavily from friends in Israel and is still unable to repay the loans; he said that he would not be coming back any time soon because he feared arrest - and he did not want his children to see him handcuffed.
ACTRESSES, SINGERS, fashion designers, parliamentarians, journalists, novelists and others were among the admired, influential and inspiring women photographed by a group of young women exploring their creative potential. A three-day exhibition of the photographs went on view last Thursday as part of the Bat Yam Young Women's Festival. Fifty women of pre-army age were chosen to participate in a multi-disciplined arts workshop run by Yael Shavit, who is the art director of the Creating Culture group. Some of the participants were told to photograph the women who inspired them. In most cases, the subjects of the photographs were shown with female members of their families - sometimes their daughters, sometimes their mothers and sometimes their mothers and their daughters. Among the personalities chosen were Castro co-CEO Etti Rotter; MK and former education minister Yuli Tamir; former MK Nadia Hilu; actress Keren Mor; singer and songwriter Leah Shabat; journalists Lihi Lapid, Orli Vilnai, Dana Weiss and Oshrat Kotler; MK, model and television personality Anastasia Michaeli; MK and former tourism minister Ruhama Avraham-Balila; and jewelry and fashion designer Michal Negrin. Considering their lack of professional experience, the young photographers did very well.
THE SUMMER camp season is approaching and various organizations and individuals are dreaming up new ways of attracting youngsters to their activities. Would-be actors and actresses will probably flock to the summer camp being run by actress and television personality Hani Nachmias, in which she will teach them the rudiments of stagecraft. Nachmias will be conducting her drama camp in Rehovot.
SOME PEOPLE put their careers above everything. Actress Shira Vilenski puts family first, and for this reason missed out on becoming the presenter of fashion designer Rina Sagi's new collection. Vilenski was one of several possible choices that included Becky Griffin and Lucy Davidovich. However, on the day that Vilenski was supposed to meet with Sagi, she failed to show up. She was babysitting for her sick infant nephew, which was not a good enough excuse for Sagi. Though Vilenski will not head up the new campaign, her conscience as a doting aunt is clear.
ACTRESS RUBY Porat, who is on her second season of Until the Wedding, is trying to quit smoking. She has enrolled in a course designed to help her get used to the idea of not smoking without going cold turkey. She was given a plastic cigarette containing a very small dose of nicotine. But old habits die hard, and Porat is walking around with her mouth clenched around the plastic.
TO ADD a little spice to his radio show Didi Locali, which is broadcast daily on FM 103 at 2 p.m., Didi Harari is giving a spot to numerologist Anat Zanzuri. Based on their numerological charts, Zanzuri counsels people in all walks of life and on every kind of personal concern. She has appeared on Channel 10's A Mystic Time and also runs an Internet forum. Listeners to Didi Locali are invited to send faxes to the studio, and based on information contained in the faxes, two listeners will be chosen each time for live broadcasts.
AGE CATCHES up with everyone, including the seemingly ageless Riki Gal, who is marking her 40th anniversary as a professional performer - and her 59th birthday - with a new concert tour. One of the secrets to her ever-youthful appearance is the energy she gets from her audiences.