The opera “L’Italienne d’Alger” arrives in Tel Aviv

Opera song

“It’s a gem, a kind of sitcom, a situation musical,” said Yuval Zorn, enthusiastically describing L’Italiana in Algieri (The Italian Girl in Algiers), an entertaining opera by Gioachino Rossini that he will direct. this month. for the Israel Opera.

Zorn, one of the most prominent Israeli conductors of his generation, has an impressive international career and has collaborated in the past with the Israel Opera,

Born in 1976 in Jerusalem, Zorn is a graduate of the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance in piano and conducting, and a former student of the National Opera Studio in London. First a pianist, he quickly felt drawn to conducting.

“Or, better yet, it’s the management that attracted me,” he said. Jerusalem post. “It just goes up to you, you know.”

Zorn, who is particularly active in the fields of opera and contemporary music, went on to explain that there are two things for him that are most interesting to music: “the narrative in musical forms.” They are perfectly amalgamated in the lyrical genre, ”he declared. “It has to do with the very essence of music – and that’s what attracts me as a magnet. And also – a desire to bring people together, to organize big projects.

Zorn said that from his youth he was “fortunate and privileged to work under some of the greatest maestros of our time, and I have tried to learn from them.” The versatile Antonio Pappano, who has always been “the most hard-working guy in the room and by his commitment won over his collaborators, impressed me with his ability to see the essence of music; Kirill Petrenko, a man of integrity and humility, who has been nicknamed “Buddha” for his phenomenal ability to concentrate. In fact, concentration is a working tool, which helps it to make the orchestra sound the way it really wants; and Ivan Fischer, a musician with unbridled imagination and creativity, always on the lookout for a new interpretation. All based on his vast knowledge.

This is a purely Israeli production, sung almost entirely by an Israeli cast, directed and staged by Israelis, with Israelis designing the stage, lighting and costumes.

The story is simple: a young Italian arrives in Algiers, where she is kidnapped and presented to the local sovereign. The sovereign wants to abandon his wife and marry the beautiful Italian, which “generates many funny situations”.

Zorn explained that the story isn’t just about romance.

“Rossini raises questions that are still topical for us, such as the differences between cultures, the encounter between East and West. In his twin opera Le Turc en Italie, Rossini once again evokes the same identity issues: who are the Italians?

Yet Zorn stressed that it is above all a very entertaining opera.

“Rossini’s greatness lies in his ability to write funny music. Not only is the situation funny, but the music itself is funny. And yes, he was a genius. He knew how to write funny music, tell a funny story through hilarious music. True, this is a clearly recognizable musical language that was very much his own, but at the same time he was aware of the music of his time and quoted it freely. He was a sort of musical juggler. At rehearsals, we die of laughter.

Zorn said the Israel Opera has good reason to be proud of being able to present this “most demanding virtuoso opera almost entirely with local talent. These young singers appear on important international stages, but they were all raised and fed here. It says a lot about the local lyric culture.

Zorn had nothing but praise for “the fantastic director Ido Ricklin. For me,” he said, “it is a pleasure and an honor to cooperate with such an entertaining and creative collaborator. let’s go hand in hand throughout the production, the compatibility between what is happening on stage and in the pit is the most important.

Performances take place July 7-16 at the Tel Aviv Performing Arts Center, home of the Israel Opera. To reserve, call (03) 692-7777 or go to