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<<  -- 3 --  Malcolm Miller    CULTURAL FLOWERING


MM -- Many of your principals and conductors are international artists: do you have a policy regarding using Israeli singers and a training programme?

HM -- Our summer course is immensely popular -- for five weeks during the summer a coach and singers from the Metropolitan Opera, New York come and give masterclasses and opera workshops, coach singers and musician, and these are attended by large audiences as well as our singers. In addition we have a young singers' programme for a year, for those who have graduated from the Academies and are not yet fully professional. This year we have eight singers and they are given understudy and cover roles in our main productions. Some of the chorus also have the chance to understudy. The chorus includes many Russian immigrants who have had much experience in various Russian opera houses, sometimes even as soloists, which is the reason the chorus is of such a high quality.

MM -- Certainly they were most impressive in Norma. What are the NIO's plans for the future?

HM -- Our next season is very exciting with a new production of Monteverdi's Poppea, using early instruments, with some international performers as well as specialist players from Israel. The conductor is Harry Bickett and director David Alden, who also produces a new production of Janácek's Kat'a Kabanova. There is also a new production of Carmen. And next year we are beginning a new departure, and that is to include operetta and musicals in every season, something I have always wanted to encourage. We shall present a new production of Johann Strauss' Die Fledermaus as well as My Fair Lady, again with the aim of appealing to as wide a variety of tastes as possible.

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Copyright © 12 April 2001 Malcolm Miller, London, UK





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