One woman, one stage

Adina Feldman celebrates life and womanhood through the music of legendary female vocalists.

Adina Feldman 88 224 (photo credit: Yorai Feldman)
Adina Feldman 88 224
(photo credit: Yorai Feldman)
Sitting backstage after the gig, a faint sheen still lingers on Adina Feldman's forehead, a subtle reminder of the thrill of performing her one-woman show "A Collage of Women's Voices," a mere ten minutes ago. The bustle of packing up gear is interrupted by the repeated embraces and soft words of friends, fans and family as the Givatayim Theater empties. Surrounded by equipment, make-up bags and bottles of water, the New York-born and bred performer is keen to talk about her life's loves - her family, Israel and of course, her music. In a distinctive New York City drawl unhampered by 17 years living in Israel, Adina sings a collection of classic songs from the greats - Ella Fitzgerald, Carly Simon, Carole King and Barbara Streisand among them. "There are so many great female artists," she says. "I love their stories and learning all about them, [but] I also love coming from my place and being able to share my stories, things that have touched me and made me write." Her simple lyrics and strong melodies laden with emotion are reminiscent of her influences, Carole King and Barbara Streisand. "I was very influenced by them, growing up in the 70s. I loved their style - they said it simply, but said it. [Carole] King had a very easy way about her music, it wasn't too deep or complex," she says. "A Collage of Women's Voices" is her third production and one that is closest to her heart. "I feel like I've got it all, and that's the whole thing about this show", she says. A celebration of her life and the greatness of womanhood, Feldman had International Women's Day in mind when creating it. "When I did this show I guess I just wanted to make people aware of what women go through in trying to do it all, because it is a balancing act - that's the name of the game." Although she doesn't consider the show to be a feminist statement, she says her music celebrates "the great things about being a woman. I guess there is some feminism behind it," she says, "but I think instead of 'go women go women, give us our equal rights,' it's more about the greatness of being a woman. The greatness of being a woman," she repeats emphatically, "that's really where I'm at right now," she laughs. Brought up in a liberal Jewish home in New York, Feldman says her father, a Conservative Rabbi and her mother, a teacher, social worker and musician influenced her conception of a woman's role. "My dad believed that women should participate in the service, which was pretty radical then, and my mom always worked. When I grew up, mothers didn't necessarily work, and when I made aliya, I saw most mothers work, that was something I remember I loved about Israel." She lives in Har Adar with her husband, Yorai, and three sons, Assaf, Alon and Ittai, and she says they have been the inspiration for her writing. "There are two songs on the new disc for my sons, and one for my husband," she says, as Ittai, 12 struggles to dismantle a microphone stand. "You did so well tonight Mom," he says. "They're very, very proud," Adina says, smiling, "but my little one, Ittai, gets very nervous, he really wants me to succeed. He's so cute," she whispers. It becomes clear that her family is the most important part of her life. The track on her disc, "You'll Grow" was written for her eldest son, Assaf, 19, she explains onstage. "Every Israeli mother knows that they go from barmitzvah boy to soldier too soon," she says, to applause. Her lifelong love of musical theater has led to lead roles in West Side Story, A Chorus Line and Les Miserables, and she now teaches dance and vocal performance at Hebrew University and at Hed College of Music and Sound in Tel Aviv. "I really only went back to performing about seven years ago, and I've been doing it slowly and at my own pace," she explains. "I have no problem with being over 40 and doing this, I feel really ready. "If at age 20 or 30 I was offered a great Broadway career - I mean who knows? You can't go back and you can't regret. I'm a mother, I'm happily married for 25 years, and I get to do what I love, which is great." Adina Feldman's disc "Here You Are" is available on and