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Pagliacci & Shitz

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Ruggiero Leoncavallo

New production


Libretto: the composer


Inbal Pinto creates amazing characters full with sorrow and joy in a story about the thin borderline between imagination and reality in opera.


Conductor Asher Fisch
Director, Designer & Choreographer Inbal Pinto
Lighting Designer Yoann Tivoli




Canio Martin Muehle
  Luis Chapa
Nedda Alla Vasilevitsky
  Elisa Cho
Tonio Ionut Pascu
  Hansung Yoo
Silvio Dmytro Kalmuchin
  Julien van Mellaerts 
Beppe Eitan Drori
  William Wallace 


The Israeli Opera Chorus

Chorus Master: Ethan Schmeisser


The Opera Orchestra - The Israel Symphony Orchestra Rishon LeZion


Sung in Italian

English and Hebrew Surtitles
Translation: Israel Ouval


Yoni Rechter

From the repertoire


Libretto: Hanoch Levin edited by Mulli Melzer


The Israeli opera based on the well known play by Hanoch Levin returns to the stage with Schprechzi,Cherches and Chips   

Conductor Asher Fisch
Director Ido Ricklin
Set Designer Alexander Lisyanski
Costume Designer Oren Dar
Lighting Designer Avi Yona Bueno (Bambi)



Schprechzi Yael Levita
  Moran Abouloff
Zecha Ira Bertman
  Tali Ketzef
Pepches Noah Briger
  Yuri KIssin
Cherches Oded Reich
  Yair Polishook


The Opera Orchestra - The Israel Symphony Orchestra Rishon LeZion


Sung in Hebrew

English and Hebrew Subtitles


Pagliacci - Synopsis


Tonio announces that the author wanted to revive the traditional customs of the commedia dell’arte, but the difference is that they are trying to show ‘a slice of life’, and the people you see onstage are flesh and blood.


Act I

Crowds welcome a troupe of actors arriving to town. Canio, the head of the troupe, invites everyone to come to their show at 11 that evening. Canio and Beppe head to the tavern for a drink, leaving Tonio alone with Nedda, Canio’s wife. She muses on the fierceness of his jealousy and dreams of her freedom. Not until her song is finished does she notice Tonio watching her. Clumsily he tries to declare his love for her, but she mocks him. When he tries to kiss her, she hits him. Screaming revenge, Tonio leaves her as Silvio, Nedda’s lover, appears. As they talk lovingly, Tonio sneaks in and overhears Nedda and Silvio’s plan to elope that night after the show. Tonio goes to fetch Canio.

When Canio returns, he threatens Nedda to reveal to him her lover’s name, but she refuses and Beppe has to restrain Canio, reminding him they have a show to perform. Left alone, Canio muses bitterly about the hard life of the clown who has to hide his pain behind his makeup.

Act II

The audience arrives, and the play begins. Harlequin (Beppe) serenades his beloved Colombina (Nedda), who knows that her husband Pagliaccio (Canio) will not return home until late. Taddeo (Tonio) appears and declares his love for her. Harlequin arrives, throws Taddeo out and the lovers sit down to eat. Taddeo returns to warn them that Pagliaccio is coming. Pagliaccio (Canio) comes in right on time to hear Colombina say to Harlequin the same words he heard Nedda tell her lover earlier that afternoon. Canio is unable to remain in character, and insists of finding out the name of Nedda’s lover. She improvises, trying to keep the play going, but Canio cries out he is not Pagliaccio any more. When she refuses once again to reveal her lover’s name, the jealously–mad Canio stabs her. As Silvio rushes from the audience, Canio stabs him as well. La commedia e finita.

Schitz - Synopsis

Businessman Fefechts Schitz and his wife Tsesha eat well, but the aging couple are impatient to see their grownup daughter Schprachtzi get married and give them grandchildren. For her part, the daughter wants to get rid of her parents as expediently as possible, and longs to find a husband herself, a man upon whom she will be able to hang her life. Against the backdrop of rocketing meat prices Schprachtzi goes out to try her luck once more and meets Tcharchess, a former officer and tyro businessman. After making inquiries into the state of Fefechts’ business (“Two trucks and half a shovel dozer”), the potential bridegroom enters into crude bargaining with the father of the bride, and they reach agreement on the marriage terms. Fefechts sums up the haggling thus: “Romanian thief, I’ll turn you into a Persian rug”.

The intrigues begin immediately: Tcharchess schemes to get rid of the elderly couple, first the father and then the mother, in order to inherit their assets quickly, whereas they, with their daughter’s help, seek to deceive Tcharchess, and play one against the other. In this war of loyalties and interests Schprachtzi shifts from the old people’s camp to that of the young. The real war bursts into their life in the middle of the wedding. Tcharchess is called up for reserve service, “leaving a wife on the home front” to hoard food for emergencies. The war ends with a great victory: Tcharchess comes home, embarks on entrepreneurship, and within a short time realizes his ruthless capitalist “vision” by becoming a successful earthmoving contractor, rapidly overtaking his father-in-law Fefechts.

Schprachtzi becomes pregnant, and while her mother Tsesha hopes to become a happy grandmother, Schprachtzi mainly promises her lots of cleaning, washing, and so forth. The young couple enlists the mother to increase pressure on Fefechts. And indeed, the father, in the wake of a burst of gluttony, suffers a heart attack that almost totally paralyzes him. Tcharchess, who is deeply embroiled in loans and is keen to increase his credit, attempts to asphyxiate Fefechts in bed with a pillow in order to speed up the inheritance, but another war foils his plot. Tcharchess is called up again.

This time it is a different war that exacts the full price: Tcharchess is killed ,and when the despairing Schprachtzi, with Tcharchess' son in her womb, discovers how much she really loves her husband and realizes that she will have to start everything afresh, we return to the opening situation: they are preparing to eat and are grumbling about the price of meat. Towards the end of the opera, the ghost of the dead Tcharchess appears in the Schitz home – begs them to at least allow him to remain a sad memory. Fefechts, who is now completely paralyzed, miraculously gets to his feet and reassumes command of the family. He “accedes” to leaving the dead Tcharchess under the table to pick up scraps, and in a Churchillian speech announces that now he, Fefechts, will take the business in hand: “I shall go on in the earth, in the water, in the air, / I’ll double the capital… / I’ll double the wars… / I’m counting on the dead,

building on the dead, / the dead, the dead, the dead…” And before they all sit down at the table – for what remains apart from eating – Tsesha summarizes the affair: "If I didn't know we were living history, / I wouldn't be able to hold on."

Mulli Melzer

Back Stage Secrets

Back Stage Secrets at the Opera
Many Opportunities to Widen your Opera Experience


Do you want to know more about the opera you are about to attend? Do you want to find out some back stage secrets? Do you want to meet the artists after the performance? The Israeli Opera enables you to widen your opera experience with a variety of pre performance and post-performance events. 


Towards Opening
On Saturday morning before the premiere, the creators of the production and several of the soloists gather to discuss the opera, the production, their own career and today’s opera world. This is a unique opportunity to learn as much as possible about the production and meet the director, conductor, designers and some of the participating soloists. Musical excerpts from the opera illustrate the discussion. Towards Opening takes place before some of each season’s productions.

Pre Performance Lecture
One hour before each opera performance there is a 30-minute introductory lecture in the auditorium (in Hebrew). Opera staffers present the opera and the production and enable the audience to get some extra information a short time before attending the performances. Admission is free for ticket holders. 


Pre Performance Back Stage Tours
What happens backstage before the audience even thinks of getting dressed for the performance? What do the singers do? The conductor? The Technical teams? How does everyone prepare for the performance? A unique opportunity to taste a little bit of the back stage excitement before the curtain ascends/ A concerted half hour tour in places that are not usually open to the general public. Tours begin 90 minute before the performance begins and last 30 minutes. Tickets are 25NIS and can be booked in advance (tickets for each tour are limited). Tours take place on several evenings in each production. Details can be found at the Israeli opera’s website. Tours from groups both in Hebrew and in English can be booked in advance (sarah@israelopera.org.il )

Opera Talkback
The curtain has just descended on the final scene of the opera. The hour is late. Nut the experience was riveting. This is the time to meet several of the performers. Come to listen and to speak. Ask questions. Meet the artists. A once in a lifetime opportunity to meet the artists who have just excited you on the stage. Opera Talkbacks takes place on the second level of the Opera House foyer and last around 30 minutes. Admission free. Opera Talkback takes place on several evenings in each production. Details can be found at the Israeli opera’s website. 





Towards Opening

20 June 2020



28 June 2020


Opening lecture

Before every show

An hour before every show

Back Stage Tours

30 June & 1,2,5, July 2020

16:30 / 18:30

Opera Talkback

 1,2,6,8 July 2020

After the show 

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Selection of topics for printing

Pagliacci - Synopsis
Schitz - Synopsis
Back Stage Secrets
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