Israel Vocal Arts

Best Kept Secret in Town

Israel Vocal Arts Institute in Tel Aviv can best be described as “opera,
netto!”. When Billy and Yemmi Strum took on the monumental task of establishing
IVAI on a volunteer basis over 10 years ago, their goal was to bring music
and culture to the masses. Opera in particular is viewed as an elitist art
— especially when the price of tickets is considered. The Strums, no strangers
to the arts, envisioned master classes in opera that would achieve at least
two goals: to train the future stars of international opera companies, and
to popularize opera by opening the doors wide.

Under the direction of Joan Dornemann
of the Metropolitan Opera of New York, faculty members include Maria Cleva
of the Covent Garden Opera House, Dunn Mignon and Martin Isepp of the Metropolitan
Opera of New York, Ljuba Kazarnovsky of the Metropolitan Opera and Kirov
Opera and Diana Soviero of La Scala, Milan. The 100 Israeli and foreign students
are interviewed and auditioned by Ms. Dornemann in New York or Israel.

The Year 2000 Season opens on July
9th at the Levine Music Center in Jaffa, and ends on August 5th with a gala
performance at the Tel Aviv Center for the Performing Arts.

“A program like this reminds you
of all the marvelous things happening in this country. The city (Tel Aviv)
is behind us. They administer ticket sales and donate a significant part of
the space,” says Strum.

The City of Tel Aviv realizes the
important connection with the Metropolitan Opera. Joan Dornemann returns
every year, with her team of pianists and conductors. They return because
they have a good audience, and they have a wonderful time in Israel.

Ms. Dornemann, together with her team,
produces nine operas in the six-week long session. That is no easy feat.
It involves daily rehearsals and master classes that are open to the public,
Master classes will include works from the Barber of Seville, Ariadne auf
Naxos, L’impression de Pelleas, The Rape of Lucretia, Consul, and Lakme.

The programs are
innovative. “We have built a tremendous audience that waits for the tickets
to go on sale”, says Bill Strum. “The series is such as success, that tickets
tend to sell out the first week they go on sale. In addition to the operas,
and the master classes, the group puts on an evening of Broadway musicals.”

The entire program is sponsored by
private donations, the City of Tel Aviv, ticket sales and a gala. The organization
does not have any salaried staff or an office. Even their gala is orchestrated
through donations.

Help a young star rise by attending
one of the 26 sessions or the gala evening – if you can still get tickets.

Tickets are popularly priced at 30
NIS for master classes and 50-70 NIS for performances.

Hadran Ticket

90 Ibn Givirol St., Tel Aviv

Tel: 03-527-9449

Fax: 03-524-5839


Levin Music Center

10 Shearit Yisrael St.


Tel: 03-682-8393

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