Posts Tagged "Yiddish"

Divas on the Danube…

Three Yiddish Divas Dazzle Vienna

The Whirlwind Tour!

Three Yiddish Divas in Vienna

We arrived on Thursday, rehearsed early Friday, then performed on Saturday night to a sold-out crowd at Vienna’s magnificent Konzerthaus, Berio-Saal.  It was all part of the Juddischer Kulturherbst 2010.

Lovingly subtitled: Humor – Weisheiten (Wisdom) – Musik. “Oj, s’is gut!” indeed, it was very, very good.   The festival presenters wined us and dined us… and the entire experience was sumptuous and grand!

600 Year old buildings and me...

If you’ve never been to Vienna, it is certainly one of Europe’s most beautiful cities.  Walking through the 1st district, every step is a complication of medieval architecture, Imperial opulence and contemporary 21st Century commercialism.  Mind boggling ~ thought-provoking ~ really expensive!  Whoa!  Vienna’s history is also a complex realm, especially in dealing with the causes and aftermath of the occupation.  As artists performing in a Yiddish festival, it was not lost on any of us that this is an ongoing dilemma.

Vienna's Konzerthaus

But Vienna’s revitalized Jewish community is alive, diverse and thriving.  We attended Shabbos services at the Stadtempel on Judenstrasse, the largest congregation in Vienna – a city known for it’s a capella choral mastery.  I didn’t know what to expect, but as we walked through the doors, the 19th Century hall echoed with the voices of an eight-man choir chanting the service with moving emotion.   My great grandparents were born into this Austrian musical tradition, and I can’t help but think my own family’s love of a capella Barbershop singing was inspired by this legacy.  It’s a thought, right?

Auf vider zehen, Wien… until we meet again!

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A Concert with Lorin Sklamberg

Performing with Lorin Sklamberg at the YIVO Heritage Dinner

On April 26th, I had the opportunity to perform at the 9th Annual YIVO Heritage Dinner in New York City.   As always, working with Lorin Sklamberg is just a dream… We sang a wide range of songs, including the Barry Sisters’ “Prost un Pushet” (Plain and Simple) ,  “Regnboygn” (Rainbow) from Kids & Yiddish and The Klezmatics’ version of Chava Alberstein’s “Di Krenitse” (The Well).

After 15 months on the road with Fiddler on the Roof, it was a pleasure to take my day off to sing those beautiful Yiddish words on the stage with one of my favorite collaborators.  Our program, “Harts un Soul” has been patiently waiting for us to put voice to it again, and what better place than the Institute for Jewish research.

And the next day, I was back in Washington, DC at the National Theatre with Fiddler.  Harvey’s back in the show, and as usual, we’re getting rave reviews and selling out.  So what could be bad?

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