A feast for the ears

The Choral Fantasy, a musical event taking place for first time in Jerusalem, is an ideal way to start the season.

Choral Fantasy (photo credit: Lilach Peled Charny)
Choral Fantasy
(photo credit: Lilach Peled Charny)
‘There is not enough music in Jerusalem, especially on weekends,” says Haggi Goren, the producer of Choral Fantasy, a musical event that will take place for the first time in Jerusalem on November 1 – 3.
Some 300 singers, 14 ensembles, both vocal and instrumental, and many other musicians will participate in the event, which will take place mainly in the YMCA building, which is traditionally associated with exquisite musical activities.
Stanley Sperber is the artistic advisor of this exciting new festival.
Goren says that the lack of musical events on weekends in Jerusalem led to the idea of this event: “In addition to the YMCA concert hall, which seats 600, other smaller venues, both indoor and outdoor, will host various musical events during the three days of the festival,” he says.
“In creating the concerts, we took into consideration not only the different venues but also the bells, the sounds of the city, that will accompany the performances, especially the outdoor events, which are free of charge,” he explains.
Among the participants of the Choral Fantasy are the Tel Aviv Soloists, the Collegium Singers, Barrocade, the Jerusalem Baroque Orchestra, the Gary Bertini Israeli Chamber Choir, the New Vocal Ensemble, the Meggido and the Music Academy Choir.
The Tel Aviv Soloists Ensemble opens the festival with a program that features pieces by Mendelssohn, Mozart, Haydn and Yehezkel Brown.
Other highlights include a concert by the Jerusalem Music Academy Choir under the baton of Stanley Sperber entitled “Tears in Heaven,” featuring music from spirituals to the hits of The Beatles.
The New Vocal Ensemble will present an a cappella program of vocal pieces ranging from the Renaissance to songs of Naomi Shemer, while the Barrocade, one of Israel’s foremost Baroque ensembles, together with the Gary Bertini Chamber Choir under Ronen Borschevsky, will perform pieces by Bach, Purcell and Vivaldi.
A very interesting program of the closing concert includes the Gloria by Puccini, as well as a motet by 16thcentury English composer Thomas Tallis for 40 voices, which will be performed for the first time in Israel.
More than 300 singers will perform in this concert, among them most of the ensembles participating in the event.
A lighter concert will treat the audience to hits from musicals, as well as songs from the repertoire of the popular Israeli team Kaveret.
“It’s impossible to overestimate the tourist potential of Jerusalem,” says Goren, which is why audiences will be able to take special walking tours on Saturday as part of the festival’s program. The tours will be led by experienced local guides, with the YMCA as the starting point. Some of the tours include short concerts in the Scottish and the Messiah churches and at the Tzidkiyahu Cave.
For a detailed program and tickets: www.ymca-fantasy.com or (09) 894-5947.