Bad luck produces a new star

June 13, 2012 by J-Wire
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Shula Endrey-Walder was one of many Australians who attended a performance of Bizet’s opera “Carmen” at Masada on the weekend…she reports for J-Wire.

Carmen at Masada

On Sunday night, several thousand opera-lovers were transported from all over Israel by bus to the foot of Masada to hear and see Bizet’s opera Carmen. It was an outstanding experience: both the singing and the music performed by the renowned Rishon Le Zion Symphony Orchesrta, under the artistic direction of Michael Eizenstraat, and add to that the dancing and colorful costumes, the majestic scenery and the seating arrangements allowing the audience clear viewing of 500 singers & dancers on stage including children,horses & donkeys.

The dramatic story of Carmen is well known as are its several very melodic solo pieces. However there was drama being played out off stage too.
The internationally acclaimed Spanish mezzo-soprano Ms Nancy Pubiola Harrerra starring as Carmen sang at the opening night’s Thursday performance beautifully but after the interval the audience learned that her voice was suffering unduly from the wind, sand and heat of the region and that her understudy, the Italian Anna Malwazzi , who has sung at all the leading opera houses in Europe was to sing instead. But Anna Malwazzi tripped on her way to the stage injuring herself and was unable to perform.
In the wings of the stage stood the second understudy, the 27-yr-old  Israeli Na’ama Goldberg who assumed the lead role and wowed the audience with her ability, maturity and superb voice at her debut performance in the role. The musical reviews in all newspapers were outstanding and her dream, as she later said had miraculously come true ! Of course she is now a “known” mezzo soprano.

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