Monday, May 23, 2016

The 49th Abu Gosh Vocal Music Festival to take place early June 2016

The 49th Abu Gosh Vocal Music Festival, under the direction of Hanna Zur, will take place from June 10th to 12th 2016. Concerts will take place at the Church of the Ark of the Covenant, on the hill of Kiryat Yearim (appropriately called the Town of Forests), and in the Crusader Church Crypt that nestles among mature pine trees of a magical garden in the lower area of Abu Gosh.

The Shevuot (Feast of Weeks) Festival will host the Oreya Choir from the Ukraine. Established in 1986, and directed by Alexander Vatsek, the prize-winning chamber choir of 32 voices will perform two concerts at the festival (10.6.’16, 11.6.’16), offering a wide range of music from Renaissance and Baroque to spirituals and modern works, as well as folk songs from the Ukraine and Moravia. Needing no introduction to Israeli- and Abu Gosh audiences, Ensemble Barrocade and the Israeli Vocal Ensemble, conducted by IVE director Yuval Benozer and with as host of very fine Israeli soloists, will collaborate to perform concerts of works by Händel, Mozart, Mendelssohn, Vivaldi, Marcello and Torelli (10.6.’16, 11.6.’16). Another festive event will be the performance of W.A.Mozart’s formidable (and incomplete) Great Mass in C-minor K 427; Hanna Zur herself will conduct soloists, the Ramat Gan Chamber Choir and players of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra (11.6.’16). “Dvorak-Brahms-Jobim-Villa Lobos” (12.6.’16) – a concert of the very excellent Gary Bertini Choir (Ronen Borshevsky-conductor, Svetlana Kostova-soprano/pianist) will present music of composers who have taken inspiration from folk song repertoire. Conducted by Ron Zarhi and joined by the Upper Galilee Choir, a fine line-up of soloists will perform Purcell’s “Dido and Aeneas” (12.6.’16); Keren Hadar will sing the role of the ill-fated Dido. It has become a tradition for up-and-coming young opera singers of the Meitar Opera Studio (Israeli Opera) to perform with their musical director conductor/arranger David Sebba at Abu Gosh festivals; in “Black Soul Voices (12.6.’16), they will present music of Kurt Weill and Gershwin, also a selection of gospel songs and spirituals.

In the intimate setting of the Crypt, “Voice and Flute with Yossi Arnheim” (11.6.’16) will feature Revital Raviv-soprano, Yossi Arnheim-flute and Irit Rob-piano in works of classical composers and Israeli composer David Zehavi. In “Amazing Grace – the most beautiful prayers” (10.6.’16) Irit Rob will also accompany alto Sigal Haviv in some of classical repertoire’s best-loved arias, a spiritual and Sasha Argov’s “In the Beginning”.

A treat for jazz fans in this Abu Gosh Festival will be an appearance of the virtuosic, sophisticated and international-touring Avishai Cohen Trio (Cohen-double bass/composer/singer, Omri Mor-piano, Itamar Doari-percussion). Not to be missed! “Tomash’s Blues” (11.6.’16), featuring two dynamic and multi-talented artists – actor/singer/musician Tomer Sharon and author/guitarist Yair Yona – will offer hearty entertainment in a program that will include some American evergreens as well as the cream of Israeli song repertoire. And for those of us inclined to indulge in a little sentimentality, soprano Hadas Faran Asia and guitarist Eyal Leber will gently walk us down memory lane in “Hallelujah – A Tribute to Leonard Cohen” (10.6.’16).

For festival-goers there to enjoy the outdoors, the Jerusalem Hills views and the pleasurable and relaxed holiday atmosphere, the Abu Gosh Vocal Music Festival offers informal outdoor concerts in five locations around the Kiryat Yearim Church, some excellent craft stalls and an opportunity to picnic and meet friends.

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