Women Singing for Peace
In February 2005 the Israeli Center for Vocal Music at Beit Yitzhak formed the backdrop to a unique project: an encounter through singing between young women from different cultural backgrounds and an open dialog between participants.
Prominent girls’ choirs from four different countries attended:
• Turkey - Orfeon Chamber Choir, conductor: Elnara Karimova
• France - Quatuor Féminin de Paris, conductor: Jean-Marie Puissant
• Slovenia - Akademski Pevski zbor Tone Tomsic, conductor: Urs’a Lah
• Israel - Moran Choir, conductor: Naomi Faran
The initiative, organization and implementation of the project resulted from a collaboration between the Israeli Center for Vocal Music under Naomi Faran’s direction, the Moran Choir and Topaz (an international organization for the promotion of children and youth). The project had the support of the EU and the Israeli Foreign Ministry and included workshops for the study of works for joint performance and a joint concert program, visits to various sites around Israel, a performance at the Knesset during a session of the Education Committee and the Committee for the Promotion of Women’s Status, meetings with Israeli and Palestinian women of prominent professional and cultural status and concert performances around the country.
Coming together through and for the act of singing, the young singers brought a message of peace as a group to the Israeli public. International and local media provided widespread coverage of the event, contributing further to the mission of promoting peace through singing.
Performances were in five different languages, bridging cultural and linguistic gaps and further reinforcing ties between the performers. As a result, the choir conductors involved decided to continue the Women Singing for Peace project in other EU countries, with the Israeli Center for Vocal Music and its director Naomi Faran heading the program. In 2007 Women Singing for Peace was held in Slovenia.
And the Rat Laughed – an original chamber opera
Scored for 8 solo singers, the Moran Choir and the Israel Chamber Orchestra.
Music: Ella Milch-Sheriff
Libretto: Nava Semel and Ella Milch-Sheriff
The subject matter of the opera And the Rat Laughed is the Holocaust. It is based on Nava Semel’s book, a sad childhood tale told through layers of memory and consciousness. The storyline moves through a time axis from World War II to the year 2099.
The choral sections of the opera were composed specifically for the Moran Choir, which has been singing it since the debut performance. The opera met with very favorable reviews and has been staged at the Cameri Theater for five consecutive years. In 2007 it was performed in Warsaw in the presence of senior state representatives, and in 2008 it formed part of a prestigious international festival in Romania