Friday, February 24, 2017

"Schmozart" - a musical clown show at the 2017 Eilat Chamber Music Festival

Avigail Gurtler Har-Tuv, Fyodor Makarov (photo:Maxim Reider)
Having great difficulties in getting up in the morning, Mozart is writhing under a blanket, losing his pillow, even falling off the stage in his morning stupor. A very different event to all the others at the 2017 Eilat Chamber Music Festival, “Schmozart” (Concert No.9, February 3rd) a show featuring Israeli actor and clown Fyodor Makarov as Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, was attended by at least as many adults as children. Staged by the Eilat Chamber Music Festival, it was produced by Losha Gavrielov. Makarov and Gavrielov, both born in the former Soviet Union, share a similar background in the world of clowning.

An imaginative take on Mozart’s life, the storyline is based on Mozart’s poor financial state…in fact, due to his inability to pay the electricity bill, the lights on stage actually go out. Baritone Robson Bueno Tavares (Brazil/Germany) takes the role of Mozart’s dissatisfied landlord. To put his finances in order, Mozart comes up with the idea of opening a school for singers. Along comes soprano Roxana Mihai (Romania/Germany). She is immediately infatuated with Mozart but her sentiments are not reciprocated. Mozart, however, falls in love with another student to the school – (Israeli soprano) Avigail Gurtler Har-Tuv, whose stage personality and coloratura added flair to the performance - but she is more than demonstrative in her rejection of him. Mozart arrives at his wedding, hoping to marry Gurtler Har-Tuv, but ends up marrying Mihai.
Throughout the show, the three singers, participants in the Vienna-Tel Aviv Connection (a five-day intensive seminar for singers tutored by Sylvia Greenberg, Rosemarie Danziger and David Aronson), gave outstanding performances of arias from Mozart operas, the Red Sea Music Center Chamber Orchestra (conductor: Leonid Rozenberg) delighted festival-goers with hearty Mozart overtures and we heard an international ensemble of instrumentalists, with Israeli pianist Michael Zertsekel joining the instrumentalists and also performing solo. So, accompanying the droll story, the audience was presented with a rich selection of Mozart works. And Fyodor Makarov’s skilful, imaginative and entertaining clowning presented Mozart as an optimistic and appealing character, if not thoroughly na├»ve! 

Photo: Maxim Reider

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