Press Acclaim

OPERA CANADA - Fall 1994

”David Alden's production of Les Contes d'Hoffmann was a thrilling experience. It was a visually striking production... Buki Shiff's ravishing costumes were stunning and the overall level of the production exemplary.”

OPERA NEWS - March 18, 1995

”This was a bold Faust full of ideas that made one think.”

THE NEW YORK TIMES - October 26, 1995

”Construction of the $50 million opera house for the New Israeli Opera was at least in part an act of defiance against other pressures and a proud assertion of cultural ambition.”

SUNDAY TELEGRAPH - October 28, 1995

”There is no doubt that Israel has built itself an opera house of international quality, and several of its singers - like the tenor Gabi Sadeh and the mezzo Hadar Halevi - would not disgrace any stage on earth.”

OPERA - October 1995

”The première [of Josef]... confirmed that operas can and should be commissioned from Israeli composers... Josef was a statement that represents Israeli art at its best.”

OPERA NEWS - December 9, 1995

”The première of Joseph Tal's Josef, commissioned by New Israeli Opera for its tenth anniversary, was the most exciting opera event seen here for decades... Stage director David Alden and designers Paul Steinberg (sets) and Gabriel Berry (costumes) created a magical production... Superb cast... Accolades also to Gary Bertini, who led the orchestra, choir and soloists with precision and conviction.”

OPERA - January 1996

”Fresh Pasquale, The New Israeli Opera's restaging (by Nicolette Molnar) of Patrick Mason's Don Pasquale... was outstanding. Molnar had an excellent team of soloists. Sharon Rostorf... made hilarious use of her voice and body language.”

THE MONITOR - February 13, 1997

”Israeli Opera elevates rare Shostakovitch Lady Macbeth.”

OPERA NEWS - July 1997

”For his debut with the New Israeli Opera, British director David Pountney, with designer Stefanos Lazaridis, brought an intelligent interpretation to bear in a moving Rigoletto. “

OPERA NOW - July/August 1997

”Ensconced in their glamorously modern Performing Arts Centre opera house, the New Israeli Opera has much to be proud of. With a vividly international cast, striking designs by Stefanos Lazaridis and superb lighting by Paul Pyant, their new David Pountney production of Rigoletto is no exception... All in all, it is a stunning production.”
(Jessica Duchen)

OPERA NEWS - spring 1998

La Cenerentola at the New Israeli Opera was an operatic fest, beginning with a superb cast. Vivica Genaux was all one could ask for in the title role. The men in the opera chorus were excellent... the orchestra played with sparkling, boisterous brilliance.”
(Jehoash Hirshberg)

OPERA NEWS - November 2000

Dear Son of Mine… this moving chamber opera was lifted into the universal emotions of mourning and yearning for love. Director Shirly Low and designer Eytan Levy created a powerful, realistic Drama… The excellent cast was lead by American bass Monte Jaffe, a powerful singing actor… Edna prochnik displayed a rich, wide-ranging drmatic mezzo as Rachel; Merav Barnea a superb, high dramatic soprano as Debbie… Yossi Aridan, a tenor that projected well… Led by conductor Aviv Ron, who fully identified with the score, the Raanana Simphonette played with commitment and accuracy.”
(Jehoash Hirshberg)

OPERA NOW - November/December 2000

”This was the first fully staged performance of Elektra in Israel and the New Israeli Opera deserves praise for choosing the work… Asher Fisch conducted with zest and sweep, a big lush interpretation that suited the venue… Very good performances from all the singers…”
(Francis Muzzo)

ITÄ-SAVO - July 26, 2000

L’elisir d’amore by the New Israeli Opera Is a musically strong and Funny Performance…The Israelis get such huge applause that the singers are just jumping up and down on the stage. Thanks to Omri Nitza’s good work the story is easily understood. His direction brings new, clarifying elements to the story... L’elisir d’amore is a delicious snack spiced with Israeli humor.”

(Riitta-Leena Lempinen)

AAMULEHTI - July 26, 2000

“This production (L’elisir d’amore) is filled with joy of life and humor... The orchestra conducted by Asher Fisch is of high quality.”

(Rainer Palas)


“Iresistable love poition... L’elisir d’amore by the Israelis is filled with joy of life. The audience in the Olavinlinna castle…welcomed this comedy with open arms and huge applause… The director has good ideas and even some brilliant ones. Something funny is always happening on the stage. This is excatly what a buffa opera calls for.”

(Jan Granberg)

ITÄ-SAVO - July 29, 2000

“Enchantingly Awesome Elektra… Right after the last notes of the music people started screaming bravo. The applause were huge. The New Israeli Opera has shown what they can do by choosing this very demanding opera. This production reveals the maturity of the young opera house. The Israelis don’t let you down here- Elektra is very impressive... The orchestra shows its true colors... Asher Fisch has a perfect command of the orchestra and the music, which is technically very demanding… All in all the orchestra’s interpretation is magnificent… NIO’s Elektra is a powerful experience. Visual effects and inventiveness are the strengths of this performance… A big thank you goes to Asher Fisch for his musical confidence and maturity.”

(Riitta-Leena Lempinen)


Elektra is something truly amazing. Rarely performed and very difficult to perform, this opera is a real challenge. The NIO has succeeded in getting soloists who are very good for this work. Zchau was inspiring; she has a huge voice, which radiates throughout… Sharir’s set is one of the best and most wonderful ever seen in the castle and Yerushalmi’s work was simple with no exaggeration yet very theatrical.
The New Israeli Opera deserves a great thank you for this Elektra. I don’t think it could have been better!”

(Lisamaija Hautsalo)

SAVON SANOMAT - July 29, 2000

“…Sharir’s set is perfect for the castle; it’s very simple yet brilliant at the same time and the blood on the walls looks like it’s actually dripping. The costumes are timeless and Yerushalmi’s direction goes very well with the set. She does not opt at providing the audience with solutions, rather she demands the audience to think… Musically this was a brilliant Elektra. Fisch works hard with the orchestra and gets good results presenting a lot of drama in the music.”

(Jussi Karpansalo)

A Journey to the End of the Millenium

FORWARD-June 24th, 2005

"The opera is a postmodernist opera seamlessly fusing chorus, aria, duets, and even voice quartets in intense passionate outpourings of desire, fury, outrage and battles between the parties"

(Seth Wolitz)

HA'ARETZ- May 27th, 2005 

"…a dizzying journey that ranges from a musical and from Ashkenazi prayers, to Sephardic melodies, to jazz, to Puccini and Alben Berg, to Baroque and Romantic styles, to music for film soundtracks. Asher Fish and the orchestra played it beautifully, and raised the musical invention to the appropriate performance level"

(Noam Ben Ze'ev)

The Child Dreams

THE JERUSALEM POST- January 20th, 2010

"The opening, not by the orchestra as commonly done, but by an unaccompanied women's nonet, was an ingenious idea, creating a dreamy emotional atmosphere right from the start"

(Ury Epstein)

Pique Dame

Boris Kudlicka's designs and Felice Ross's lighting offered an evocative setting. Ira Bertman (Lisa) led a winning cast with ever growing emotional involvement.

Opera MAgazine

Naubucco at Masada


"The performances were Hollywood meets Herod—a musical extravaganza performed on a vast stage under the starry desert sky"


"A specially constructed stage, three times the size of its counterpart in the opera house in Tel Aviv accommodated the Hanging Gardens of Babylon and various pyrotechnical displays, with a total audience of close to 40,000 eavesdropping on history"

(William Littler)

OPERA TODAY- June 8th 2010

"The exuberance that Oren brought to the production was an obvious inspiration to everyone on stage and to members of the Israel Symphony Orchestra Rishon Le Zion, pit band of the company back home in Tel Aviv. It carried over to the audience as well, leaving them in a state of animated excitement when the performance ended at 1 a.m."

(Wes Blomster)



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