International Opera Summer Program in Tel-Aviv 2006

The International Opera Program/Workshop will soon be here for another year.

And hopefully this time Joan Dornemann, the wonderful organizer and moving force behind the program and the International Vocal Arts Institute, will manage to finish everything without getting sick like last time.

The organization on the local side, at least as far as arranging a program and selling tickets, is sorely lacking. The website of the program had the general dates for the Israeli program published for quite a while now (Though I think the page with details on the people involved is somewhat more recent). But the exact list of shows, and prices, has just been sent to people who are on the regular subscriber’s list to receive it.

Together with a notice that sales only begin on the 22nd. Coupled with the policy of providing tickets by order of the receipt of faxes, I’m not sure if they mean that order faxes sent from now to the 22nd will be discarded, or just that they won’t be handled until the 22nd but will then get priority.

And this is pretty close for something starting on July 10th. Very close.

A few weeks ago I even called the agency responsible of selling the tickets, asking if they know when will they have details and be selling tickets. They didn’t have a clue what I was talking about. They guy I was talking to actually told me that they don’t sell tickets to the Opera, and that I’ll have to contact the Israeli Opera directly for that.

I had to explain to him that this program isn’t related to the Israeli Opera, and that his company was responsible for selling tickets to it for the last few years, and according to what I know is also responsible this year.

He checked with a superior, who apparently didn’t have a clue what I was talking about either since the reply I received was a half-coherent explanation that it’s really too early for something starting as far away as July 10th.

Another issue I have with the technical aspects of the program are the increasing ticket prices. They didn’t raise them from last year, and yes, these are still cheap prices for opera around here. But it’s still not the token payment it was in the early years, but real ticket price like for other types of shows.

Not a problem for people wanting to sample one or two evenings, but cause for serious reconsideration for anyone who might have otherwise wanted to go to about everything. It also makes it harder to convince people who aren’t sure if they like opera to come and try.

Still, as long as they manage to sell out most evenings, I suppose I don’t have a real case. It’s not realistic to expect people on the administrative side to put more effort into making the same, or less, money.

And I have no complaints at all on anyone involved in the artistic side. They’ve done an excellent work so far, and will probably continue to do so.

One thing that I do regret, though hard to say if it’s creative or administrative, is that there are only two weeks of master-classes. Their aria concerts, and operas, are nice, but the heart of the program are IMNSHO the master-classes.

Not that I have much to do about that either. And since it seems they’re still having a hard time convincing people to come to Israel, as Joan passes about half of the classes herself (Not that I’m complaining, she’s brilliant. It’s just that it’s hard work, so seems to indicate lack of additional people to take more evenings off her hands), that’s probably not going to change.

Anyway, now comes the part of deciding what do I want to go to beyond the master-classes (To all of which I want to go, but will settle on less for lack of willing partners), and of trying to get friends and family to accompany me.

Should be fun.

2 Responses to “International Opera Summer Program in Tel-Aviv 2006”

  1. Judith Brooks says:

    Have just spent a delightfull Friday at a master class but would have appreciated some background notes about the “master ” and the student participants as well as just a list of names and country of origin so that I could follow their future progress.

  2. Post author comments:

    This Friday, the 21st?
    The one passing the class was Lucy Arner.
    The singers were:

    • Angela Pihot, a Soprano from Moldova.
    • Alon Harari, a Counter Tenor from Israel.
    • Rachel Korninsky, a Soprano from Israel.
    • Rodrigo Garciarroyo, a Tenor from Mexico (Maybe Garcia-Royo. They had it like that in the English version, but broke it into two words in the Hebrew version).
    • Anita Watson, a Soprano from Australia.

    On all the master-classes there is a stand near the main entrance with pages containing these details, in both Hebrew and English.

    I’ll be writing my own notes on all the master-classes in the series I’ve been to this year, which will include a little more info such as the arias they sang, general impressions, and some of the points raised by the “master”. But I probably won’t get to it before mid next-week, and it will be a few more days to go through all the series to this Friday. But the above is the list of names and countries, plus a link to Lucy’s website that contains her biography. So that should give you what you asked for.

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