Where music meets art – David D’Or at the IPO

“My voice is called a counter tenor and surely is a gift from heaven,” says D’Or in his trademark humble tone.

DAVID D’OR: ‘Creativity through art and music are my vehicles for connection’ (photo credit: OHAD ROMANO)
DAVID D’OR: ‘Creativity through art and music are my vehicles for connection’
(photo credit: OHAD ROMANO)
Internationally acclaimed singer David D’Or can try to explain his amazing vocal range, but no explanation can do it justice.
Vocalists come in all shapes and sizes, he says, and, regardless of their physical size, their voices usually fit into a specific range on the vocal spectrum (from low bass-baritone to high soprano). His voice, he humbly concedes, can descend to the depths of low baritone and fly to high soprano tones in an instant.
“My voice is called a counter tenor and surely is a gift from heaven,” says D’Or in his trademark humble tone.
On October 24, D’Or will star with the Israel Philharmonic in Tel Aviv in a program that is a fusion of classical, popular, traditional and religious music. Three-time winner of Israel Singer of the Year; Eurovision semi-finalist; and creator of nine albums which have gone Platinum, D’Or believes music is a basic tool for connection, an essential component of life.
“Creativity through art and music are my vehicles for connection,” he says. “I believe in a colorful palette in both art and music.”
He does that not only by excelling in music but in his side career as an artist. This spring, D’Or opened a new exhibition of his richly hued paintings at Horace Richter Gallery in Jaffa, and points out paintings are a further extension of music combined with his passion for color.
Finding his way in the world of art and music has been a process for D’Or. He served in the IDF Entertainment Corps, and explains, at that time, he used his baritone voice exclusively because he did not know he had other options. After the army, he auditioned for a role at the Habima Theater as a singing actor.
“The director was from [the Republic of] Georgia,” D’Or relates, “and he lined us up to sing. ‘Can you sing higher?’ he said to each candidate. One by one they dropped out until I was the only one left.”
“You are a counter-tenor,” shouted the director, “which is very rare and just what I need for the role.
However, with a voice like that, what are you doing here? After the show, go and study.”
So D’Or enrolled in the Jerusalem Academy of Music and learned how to use his voice, studied the technique of music theory and composition, and explored his four-octave vocal capabilities.
“MY FIRST songs were from the era of Bach, Handel and Purcell, who knew how to write for the counter-tenor voice. Then I branched out to popular, folk and religious music, and a whole new world opened up.
“Zubin Mehta heard me sing in recital at the Jerusalem Academy and asked me to perform Carmina Burana with the IPO. This was another step in using and perfecting my counter-tenor voice. It was a great pleasure.
“In ‘91 mainstream music, no one sang like that. My father was a little embarrassed at first, but he got to like it. He realized that if my vocal ability to span octaves comes from an honest place, from the heart, people will understand. I was privileged to study how to use my voice correctly, which is from my chest. Now it is easy and natural for me to use more than one voice within a song.”
After his father died, D’Or went to a variety of synagogues to say the kaddish mourner’s pray for the first year, and became familiar with Ashkenazi, Sephardi and Yemenite liturgy.
“I started to sing, arrange and update the background of this treasure of music and include it in my repertoire.
I also began incorporating these influences in my own compositions, and found I could connect, combine and say a variety of things in a gentle and meaningful way.”
D’Or strongly believes music is an educational tool, to be used gently and express opinions out of love. “Perhaps my opinion is not yours,” he says wistfully, “but it is said in truth and from my heart. To have the opportunity to say something personal about society and express my opinion gently is important for me.
“There are emotions such as hatred, envy, control that I feel are vital to be dealt with and I use in my songs. On the other hand, it is also important for me to express feelings of love, thankfulness, the need to protect my home, my family, my child, my environment, and the world we share.
“The world is not black and white. We are all different colors, and I cannot define you. Please do not define me.”
D’Or says that this is why his concert with the IPO will have a fusion songs, encompassing genres from classical to popular and opera to Broadway.
“I look forward and am excited about singing with the IPO. I love this orchestra. For me it is coming home while singing music which is language of the world.
For ticket information, phone *3766.