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Influence: Jewish , Mediterranean
Influence: Jewish , Mediterranean
Influence: Jewish , Mediterranean
Influence: Jewish , Mediterranean
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The AMERICAN SEPHARDI MUSIC FESTIVAL presents the 2nd Edition (Session 1) on October 4th, 7th, and 8th 2018 The 2nd Edition of the AMERICAN SEPHARDI MUSIC FESTIVAL Session 1 October 4th, 7th, and 8th 2018   Sophisticated Sephardi Sounds at 2nd American Sephardi Music Festival Featuring Yemen Blues, Laura Bello, NY Andalus Ensemble, and Renowned Turkish Pianist Renan Koen!   Dynamic and diverse performances by world-class artists will be heard at the second American Sephardi Music Festival (ASMF)! World music sensation Yemen Blues is part of the start-studded line-up, including the Granada-born Ladino singer Lara Bello, Pantam player and multi-instrumentalist Adam Maalouf, and the NY Andalus Ensemble, which conjures anew the cosmopolitanism of Córdoba.   The Festival is being headline by Renan Koen, a Sephardi classical pianist who is coming from Turkey to perform three distinct repertoires of Sephardic and original Holocaust music. Her ensemble is composed of some of the finest Turkish musicians.   ASMF is being presented by The American Sephardi Federation on October 4th at the Kehila Kedosha Janina Synagogue and Museum (280 Broome Street, New York City), as well as on the 7th and 8th of October at The Center for the Jewish History (15 W 16th Street, New York City).     « Last year’s first edition of the festival was a smash hit with some of the greats of Sephardi music : Gerard Edery, Francoise Atlan, Itamar Borochov. This year, I decided to divide the festival into several sessions in order to keep the experience of this unique festival all year long! This first session stars amazing artists such as Renan Koen (coming all the way from Turkey!), Adam Maalouf, the New York Andalus Ensemble, Lara Bello, and Yemen Blues. This large variety from the ancient to the modern, showcases perfectly the diversity of culture throughout the Greater Sephardic diaposra. I am deeply honored to bring this unforgettable experience to you.” said Serero, Artistic Director and Producer of the Festival.     “David is showcasing the vibrant variety of Sephardi sounds, ranging from Andalusian ballads and Ladino love songs to the latest Yemen-Israeli blues fusion. ASF is proud to host this festival for the second edition and hopes it will join the New York Sephardic Film Festival as a major, annual cultural event,” said Jason Guberman-P., Executive Director of the American Sephardi Federation.   The ASMF is a proud partner of the renowned Festival des Andalousies Atlantiques in Essaouira, Morocco.   PROGRAM: October 4th 2018: 8pm: RENAN KOEN & Ensemble - Una Matika de Ruda   October 7th 2018: 4pm: RENAN KOEN & Ensemble - Lost Traces Hidden Memories 6pm: ADAM MAALOUF and the Future Tribe - Where the Ancient meets the Modern 8pm: NEW YORK ANDALUS ENSEMBLE   October 8th 2018: 4pm: LARA BELLO sings Ladinos and Sephardic songs 6pm: RENAN KOEN - Holocaust Remembrance ‘Before Sleep’ 8pm: YEMEN BLUES (duo) (Followed by After Party)   Passes are from $75 to $100 (VIP) Tickets are from $20 to $30 (VIP). Tickets: ASFMusicFestival2018.bpt.me or 1.800.838.3006   About THE ARTISTS : RENAN KOEN - Pianist, Composer, Soprano, Music Therapist October 4th at 8pm, 7th at 4pm and 8th at 6pm. She started her studies in music with the flute in 1979, when the conductor of the Amherst College Choir discovered her talent during his stay in İstanbul for the International Music Festival. She started studying piano in 1983 with the composer Ali Darmar, and the “State Artist” Ayşegül Sarıca. Meanwhile, she received her secondary school degree from the flute studio of “Nazım Acar” at Mimar Sinan University State Conservatory. Between 1985 and 1986, she furthered her studies in piano in Paris with Germaine Mounier. In 1990-1991 she continued her studies in London with the pedagogue Maria Curcio and her assistant Mark Swartzentruber. 1995 brought her prizes in various competitions. She received the fourth prize in the “Chopin Etudes” competition hosted by Mimar Sinan University State Conservatory. She was awarded the second prize for her interpretation of a Cemal Reşit Rey composition entitled “Improvisation” in the competition held in honor of the composer. In that same year, she graduated from the piano studio of Judith Uluğ at Mimar Sinan University State Conservatory.   In 2008, Koen released her solo piano album “Köprüler/Bridges” with the Taxim Edition/Universal Record label.   In 2014 came her second album which centers around the story of her own family. The album is composed of her own compositions inspired by authentic Sephardic folk songs of the Aegean, Middle-East, Anatolia   ;and Synagogue hymns. In this album, Koen's contribution extended also to playing the piano-armonium and singing the soprano part. In this album entitled "Lost Traces, Hidden Memories" Koen collaborated with many eminent musicians. The album was released by Kalan Music Productions.     Renan Koen’s 3. album has   released   in Novermber 24, 2015 which same day with installtion of Theresienstadt Concentration Camp (in November 24 1941) by Kalan Müzik. This project, “Holocaust Remebrance/Before Sleep (composed of cd+dvd+booklet)”, documents the research conducted by Renan Koen into the life-stories, ideals and works of composers who continued to create notwithstanding the prohibitions imposed on them while being imprisoned in the Theresienstadt Concentration Camp during the Second World War. In addition to outstanding samples of their works for piano and chorus, about which information is provided in the booklet, enthusiasts can also lend an ear to real-life stories from the war and interviews with survivors’ families. We extend our thanks and appreciation to the Quincentennial Foundation, Anadolu Kültür, the Kariyo&Ababay Foundation and Dr. Erol Hakanoğlu for their generous support. World Ort Music and the Holocaust website has quoted Renan Koen’s 3. Album "Holocaust Rememberance/Before Sleep” and included it in their citation list.   This treasured website features extensive research both on the music, composers and performers of the Holocaust period; and also other special topics such as Politics&Propaganda, Resistance&Exile, Answers&Memory. It is one of the many valuable creations of World ORT ( www.ort.org ), an organization reputable for promoting the importance of education worldwide, and shares in their   “Education for Life” motto. TICKETS: ASFMusicFestival2018.bpt.me     ADAM MAALOUF and the FUTURE TRIBE - October 7th at 6pm. Where the Ancient meets the Modern. Featuring Andreas Arnold (Flamenco Guitar) and Shelley Thomas (Vocalist). As a specialist in pantam (handpan), cello, & percussion from around the world, Adam's unique interpretation of World Music is channeled through genre-bending compositions for solo and ensembles. "Future Tribe" is an ensemble of global instrumentalists that take listeners somewhere new. The Tribe's music is found where the modern meets the ancient, where the Pantam (or handpan) meets ancient or traditional styles of music from around the globe. Pantam is the name of the "flying saucer" instrument invented in year 2000, and the word stems from the combination of the Pan from Trinidad, and the Ghatam (clay pot drum) from South India. Maalouf's music is presented with a range of traditional musicians playing Indian Tabla, Arabic Vocal, Bansuri Flute, Middle Eastern Percussion, Guitar, Trumpet, Turkish Oud and Nay. TICKETS: AdamMaalouf.bpt.me or 1.800.838.3006   LARA BELLO sings Ladinos and Sephardic songs - October 8th at 4pm.   Lara Bello was born in Granada, Spain and moved to New York in 2009. She studied classical singing and violin at the Royal Conservatory of Granada. At the same time she trained in flamenco and traditional singing and dance with many different teachers in her town. After winning a national prize in Spain as a songwriter, she debuted her first album "Niña Pez" in 2009 and was voted Best Spanish Artist by the World Music Charts Europe in 2010. Her second album "First yellow then purple" introduced her to the US and received high praise from People magazine, NPR, CNN, CCTV- America, etc. In 2014 she produced and wrote all the music for "Shadows of the Pomegranate Tree", a musical theatre show based on Tariq Ali's novel. In 2017 Bello released her latest album "SIKAME" (The soul of the Gold) celebrating the African roots in the western music culture as jazz or flamenco. This album was recommended by The New York Times and NPR. Bello has performed with her music all over the world at many festivals and venues including: Aga Khan Museum (Toronto), Kennedy Center (Washington DC), Beijing Ninegates International Festival (Pekín), Palace of Congress (Granada, Spain), etc. TICKETS: LaraBello.bpt.me or 1.800.838.3006   NEW YORK ANDALUS ENSEMBLE - October 7th at 8pm. Today, a spirit of intercultural exchange rooted in the great city of Córdoba, Spain, is reborn in New York City with the New York Andalus Ensemble, a multiethnic, multifaith group that performs in Arabic, Hebrew, Spanish, and Ladino. Drawing upon repertoire from the ninth century to the 1960s, from al-Andalus and the Maghreb (Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia), the ensemble consists of a large choir and a wide array of traditional and modern acoustic instruments. The large ensemble consists of 15-20 performers, and the smaller Chamber Orchestra consists of 5-10 members. Under the direction of ethnomusicologist and multi-instrumentalist Dr. Samuel R. Torjman Thomas, the New York Andalus Ensemble is dedicated to conjuring anew the cosmopolitanism of Córdoba in the present day. TICKETS: NYAndalusEnsemble.bpt.me     YEMEN BLUES (duo) - October 8th at 8pm (followed by After Party for VIP tickets) In 2010, singer & composer Ravid Kahalani founded the rare combination of top musicians we now call Yemen Blues. From the start, Yemen Blues created an original sound that became a new language in contemporary music. The intense musicians hail from NYC, Uruguay & Tel Aviv. This includes the core members of creation: Rony Iwryn, Itamar Doari & Shanir Blumenkranz. Each member comes from a different background and brings their own sound and arrangements to Ravid's compositions. The result of this amazing group is a powerful energy that mixes Yemenite, West African & Jazz influences and what Ravid likes to call "New Age Culture Music". The mambo and North African rhythms create a joyful and deep foundation, while the vocals remind the listener of ancient Arabic chants mixed with funk & blues. For their first album, the group collaborated with the well-known maestro Omer Avital who served as a musical director & producer. Since then, Yemen Blues keeps magic alive with a constant stream of new songs and their world-renowned exciting live performances! Yemen Blues Duo will include the composer and front man Ravid Kahalani with the phenomenal musician Shanir Blumenkranz that has been arranger and creator in YB since 2012. Together they will present some of Yemen Blues’ songs from both albums in a very detailed & intimate performance that can’t avoid getting intense even in a duo appearance with both Ravid & Shanir stage and musical charisma.     About the Artistic Director/Producer: DAVID SERERO   French opera singer and actor, David Serero has performed over 1,500 concerts worldwide, recorded over 20 albums and played in more than 100 films and TV series. His repertoire ranges from Opera, Musicals, and World Music. He enjoys bringing his Sephardic origins in Classics. Over last seasons, he starred as Shylock and Othello’s title role both adapted in a Sephardi style, Cyrano (Rostand’s Cyrano of Bergerac) and Don Giovanni (Mozart’s opera). Among his various recorded albums, he has released “Sephardi”, an album of Sephardi music and recently « Baritone Opera Arias ». Next engagements with the ASF are Verdi’s Nabucco (May 2019), Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet (June 2019) and Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro (July 2019). www.davidserero.com     About the AMERICAN SEPHARDI FEDERATION : The American Sephardi Federation, based at the landmark Center for Jewish History, preserves and promotes the history, traditions, and rich mosaic culture of Greater Sephardic communities as an integral part of the Jewish experience. ASF hosts high-profile cultural events and exhibitions, produces widely-read online (Sephardi World Weekly, Sephardi Ideas Monthly) and print (The Sephardi Report) publications, supports research, scholarship, and the National Sephardic Library, and represents the Sephardi voice in diplomatic and Jewish communal affairs as a member of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations and World Jewish Congress. Please visit us at www.americansephardi.org .   Like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/americansephardifederation     WHAT: The AMERICAN SEPHARDI MUSIC FESTIVAL WHEN: October 4th, 7th, and 8th 2018 WHERE: ASFMusicFestival2018.bpt.me or 1.800.838.3006     Media Contact: THE CULTURE NEWS: news@theculturenews.com www.theculturenews.com 646.724.3129 more
DON GIOVANNI coming Off-Broadway starring David Serero as Don Giovanni DON GIOVANNI coming Off-Broadway this June starring David Serero as Don Giovanni   DON GIOVANNI, opera by Mozart, will be performed this June at the Center for Jewish History (15 West 16th St. New York NY 10011), starring David Serero as Don Giovanni along with an international cast.   Don Giovanni is perhaps one of the most famous operas of all time, written by Mozart with a libretto by Lorenzo Da Ponte.   This new production will include an international cast of world renowned opera singers: Charles Gray (Leporello), Anna Cley (Donna Elvira), Pablo Veguilla (Don Ottavio), Jennifer Allenby (Donna Anna), Javier Ortiz (Masetto/Commendatore), Yi Wang (Zerlina).   Performances are June 1st (3pm), June 6th (Premiere at 8pm, followed by an After Party), June 8th (3pm), June 11th (8pm), June 14th (Closing night at 8pm, followed by an After Party).   Tickets are $26 and $36 (VIP tickets including gold seating and access to the After Party) can be purchased at  DonGiovanniASF.bpt.me  or 1.800.838.3006. This new production is presented by the American Sephardi Federation.   The CAST: DAVID SERERO  (Don Giovanni) Actor and baritone, David Serero, has received international recognition and critical acclaim from all over the world. At only 36 years old, he has already performed more than 1,200 concerts and performances throughout the world and played in over 100 films and recorded 20 albums. After studying in Paris, New York, St Petersburg (Mariinsky Theater), David has given concerts in Paris at the PARIS OPERA GARNIER, OLYMPIA, EIFFEL TOWER; in New York at the LINCOLN CENTER, CARNEGIE HALL, TIMES SQUARE; in London at the ROYAL COLLEGE OF MUSIC, WEMBLEY STADIUM; and in Moscow at the TCHAIKOVSKY HALL; in Amsterdam at the CONCERTGEBOUW, the BUDAPEST OPERA conducted by PLACIDO DOMINGO and more. He made his sold out WEST END debuts at the Dominion Theatre. He has sung more than 30 lead roles in Opera, Operetta and Musical Theater. In 2012, David Serero performed Don Quixote from MAN OF LA MANCHA in Paris and the title role from the revival of Duke Ellington's only musical: BEGGAR'S HOLIDAY and also starred in the cast album recording. In 2013, David performed with JERMAINE JACKSON in YOU ARE NOT ALONE, a musical written, directed and produced by David Serero. He has also produced and arranged I WISH YOU LOVE an album of Jazz standards for Jermaine Jackson. In December 2013, David shared the cover of Theatre & Performances with Barbra Streisand in London, and made his BROADWAY solo debut at the Snapple Theatre in New York and released his first studio album ALL I CARE ABOUT IS LOVE. In 2014, he released The Broadway Baritone featuring Broadway classics and toured in the UK with a performance on WEST END. During the summer 2014, he recorded the entire love letters's correspondence of NAPOLEON to Josephine and released his new studio album THE CROONER BARITONE, The FRANK SINATRA Classics for the 100th anniversary of Sinatra. In 2015 and 2016, he played Off Broadway the lead roles of SHYLOCK (MERCHANT OF VENICE) and OTHELLO's title role with both critical acclaim. In 2015, he performed two open air concerts on TIMES SQUARE (New York) for BEST OF FRANCE with the presence of the French President Mr Francois Hollande. He released SEPHARDI, an album of Sephardic music in Ladino language and records the title role of RICHARD III in French. In 2016, he releases ALL MY LOVE IS FOR YOU, a Pop Rock album, entirely composed, performed, arranged and produced by himself. He also played NABUCCO (Nabucco) in New York; and the title roles of DON GIOVANNI and RIGOLETTO at the CARNEGIE HALL. In 2017, David entered the prestigious WHO'S WHO AMERICA for demonstrating outstanding achievements in the entertainment world and for the betterment of contemporary society. In the summer 2017, he releases BARITONE OPERA ARIAS, singing opera classics such as Toreador (Carmen) and from operas Tosca, Nozze di Figaro, Fanciulla del West and Barbiere di Siviglia.    On the 2017/2018 season in New York, David Serero starred as CYRANO DE BERGERAC (Rostand), DON GIOVANNI (Mozart), BARABAS (Marlowe's Jew of Malta), and KING LEAR (Jacob Gordin's The YIDDISH KING LEAR).   His next engagements for 2018/2019 in New York are I, NAPOLEON (a one man musical about Napoleon written by David Serero - World Premiere), HERMANN (Queen of Spades - World Premiere), EUGENE ONEGIN's title role, ROMEO (Romeo & Juliet by Shakespeare), BORIS GODUNOV's title role (World Premiere adaptation), CAPTAIN DREYFUS title role (Jacob Gordin's play), FIGARO (Nozze di Figaro by Mozart) and MACBETH's title role by Shakespeare.   In American Television, he has appeared in: The Hunt with John Walsh (CNN), Mysteries at the Museum (Travel Channel), Deadline: Crime with Tamron Hall (NBC), Six Degrees of Murder (Discovery Channel), Checked Out, On The Case with Paula Zhan (Discovery ID), Rabid Beast (Animal Planet TV), Suddenly Rich (TLC TV), Whistleblowers (Spike TV), Blood Feuds - Gangs of New York (Discovery Channel), We Speak NYC (New York TV), Crimes of Fashion (Discovery ID).   In American Films he starred in Alice in America, Tango Shalom, Winter Has No Sun, Most Beautiful Island, Paisanos in Paris, Following Phil, Terminal 5, Sheepshead, Again, Overload Rock or Die, The Redemption, Kingdom of the Alley, Ring Ring, Laundry Day, Capicola, Make it Work, There Will Come Soft Rains, Amarena, When I Sing, Hatikvah.   He starred in several commercials for Sotheby's & eBay, Bank of America, Don Julio Tequila, Khiel's, Volkswagen, BJ's, Pepsi, Mitsubishi Cars and more. Full biography on www.davidserero.com   CHARLES GRAY  (Leporello) Originally from Southern California, baritone Charles Gray made his debut as Plagio with Amore Opera in 2011 in the American Premiere of Mercadante’s I Due Figaro. Other roles with Amore Opera include Masetto in Don Giovanni in 2015, Wagner in Faust, and Morales in last year's Carmen. He has appeared with Vocal Productions NYC as Leporello in Don Giovanni at the Sheen Center and Don Bartolo in Il Barbiere di Siviglia last Fall at the Nagelberg Theatre at Baruch University. He most recently performed the Four Villain roles in Les Contes d'Hoffman with New York Opera Forum this past February. Charles Gray lives in Brooklyn.   ANNA CLEY  (Donna Elvira) French mezzo-soprano, Anna Cley’s operatic credits include Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte, Puccini’s Suor Angelica and Il Tabarro, Mascagni’s Cavalleria Rusticana, Ravel’s L’enfant et les Sortilèges, Rossini’s L’italiana in Algeri, Mussorgsky’s Boris Godunov, and Rubinstein’s The Demon. She has performed in France with the ensemble Opalescences, at the Cortot concert hall in Paris, for the Mairie de Paris, and for the Artenetra festival. She founded her company “Souffle d’Or” to provide a lyrical musical experience to those unfamiliar with this kind of events. In the U.S., Anna has performed with the Commonwealth Lyric Theater in Boston, with the Mendelssohn Glee Club, the Classical Saxophone Project orchestra, the New Asia Chamber Music Society, at Carnegie Hall, and at the Symphony Space in New York. She enjoys contemporary works and collaborated with composers E. Chiriacopol, N. Davoy, World Krystal, and H. Ping Chang, B. Cockerham. In 2016, she had her first CD “Art & Aesthetics” released by Lux Classic, and in collaboration with philosopher Dr. Benedict Beckeld. In March 2018, her first music video “Destinée” came out in which she is the singer, the lead actress, the lyricist, and co-scenarist with movie maker Alec Loin. A multidisciplinary artist, Anna is the muse of designer Minika Ko, for whom she performed on her 3 last runway shows. Cley is dedicated to charitable projects with a focus on children’s wellbeing.   JENNIFER ALLENBY  (Donna Anna) Jennifer Allenby (Soprano) has been seen performing regionally with companies such as Chelsea Opera, Golden Rose Opera and New York Opera Forum. Favorite roles include Susanna (Le nozze di Figaro) at the Bulgarian State Opera of Stara Zagora, Prima Touriere (Suor Angelica) with Chelsea Opera, and Antonia (Les Contes d’Hoffman) with New York Opera Forum.  During the 2016- 2017 season, Ms. Allenby was a member of Opera Pomme Rouge's Young Artist Program where she sang the Sandman (Hansel und Gretel) with their educational outreach program. Ms. Allenby is a first year Master’s Candidate at the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College.   PABLO VEGUILLA  (Don Ottavio) Winner of the 8th Annual Alfonzo Cavaliere Memorial Scholarship, and two time Metropolitan Opera National Council Regional Finalist, Pablo Veguilla made his debut with New York Grand Opera as Fenton in Verdi's Falstaff and has also sung Roberto in Puccini's Le Villi, Rodolfo in Puccini's La Bohème, Marcello in Leoncavallo's La Bohème, Lt. B.F. Pinkerton in Puccini's Madama Butterfly, and the Duke of Mantua in Rigoletto, all with the New York Grand Opera under the baton of Maestro Vincent La Selva.  He has performed numerous roles with such companies as Opera Theater of Saint Louis, Yale Opera, and Houston's Opera in the Heights, Sarasota Opera, Opera Theater of Philadelphia, Capital Opera Sacramento, Viva la Musica, Oper Haupt'nah, Opéra Liberté, and Operafestival di Roma.  Some of Mr. Veguilla's featured roles are Cavaradossi in Puccini's Tosca, Alfredo in Verdi's La Traviata, Nemorino in Donizetti's L'Elisir d'Amore, and Don José in Bizet's Carmen. On the concert stage, Mr. Veguilla has performed as tenor soloist in Verdi's Requiem at Carnegie Hall with New York Grand Opera and at l'UNESCO Paris with the Orchestre Philharmonique International, as the tenor soloist in Beethoven's 9th Symphony, the Mozart Requiem, the Saint-Saëns Christmas Oratorio, the Bach Magnificat, and Händel's Messiah with companies such as the Green Bay Symphony Orchestra, West Valley Opera Theatre, Gulf Coast Symphony Orchestra, Yale Symphony Orchestra, and the Hartford Symphony and Chorale. Mr. Veguilla received his bachelor's degree from Florida State University, his master's from Yale University, and has participated in various Young Artists Programs across the United States as well as in Italy .   JAVIER ORTIZ  (Masetto / Commendatore) Bass-Baritone Javier Ortiz has been engaged as a Resident Artist at Opera North, the Dutch Opera Studio, and Sarasota Opera, and his performed repertoire consists of nearly 30 opera roles and 15 major concert works. He appears regularly with various regional orchestras an opera companies.  Internationally, Javier has portrayed Sarastro in Die Zauberflöte with the Amsterdam Symphony Orchestra, performed in a concert of arias at the famous Concertgebouw, sung at duet for the 25th Anniversary Jubilee of the Netherlands Opera's residence in the Muziektheater, and played the role of Colline in La Boheme at the Rotterdam Opera Days. Recently, Javier toured Mexico with the Chicago Arts Orchestra, sang the Sprecher in The Magic Flute with Connecticut Lyric Opera, and joined Opera Southwest as Narciso in world premiere of the opera Bless Me, Ultima, based on the famous novel.    YI WANG  (Zerlina) Yi Wang, Soprano, reared in a family of musicians, received her bachelor degree in Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing and Master of Music degree in Manhattan School of Music in New York. Ms. Wang is the Winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions Boston District in 2018, she also won the Second prize in the 4th International Competition of Young Opera Singers named after Maxim Mikhailov and the Fourth prize in the International Competition for Performers of Vocal Chamber Music named after Maxim Mikhailov in Russia, as well as a winner of the 2014 Chinese National voice competition of Peafowl Award. Favorite past roles include L'enfant et les sortileges (Princess), conducted by the Metropolitan Opera’s Maestro Pierre Vallet and directed by the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis' James Robinson. As well as La Rondine (Yvette), Cendrillon (spirits) with Manhattan school of music. Carmen (Frasquita) with the Bel canto in Tuscany summer program in Italy. And Ms. Wang will perform role Pamina in The Magic Flute with Barn Opera in 2018 season.   About the AMERICAN SEPHARDI FEDERATION The American Sephardi Federation, a Partner of the landmark Center for Jewish History, proudly preserves and promotes the history, traditions, and rich mosaic culture of Greater Sephardic communities as an integral part of the Jewish experience.   ASF hosts high-profile events (NY Sephardic Jewish Film Festival) and exhibitions, produces widely-read online (Sephardi World Weekly and Sephardi Ideas Monthly) and print (The Sephardi Report) publications, supports research, scholarship, and the National Sephardic Library, and represents the Sephardi voice in diplomatic and Jewish communal affairs as a member of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations and World Jewish Congress.   Media Relations : The Culture News news@theculturenews.com www.theculturenews.com more
FRENCH ACTOR DAVID SERERO TO STAR AS CYRANO DE BERGERAC IN NEW YORK FRENCH ACTOR DAVID SERERO TO STAR AS CYRANO DE BERGERAC IN NEW YORK   French actor and baritone David Serero to star as Cyrano de Bergerac in New York this month.   This will be the first time in theater history that a native French actor, David Serero, will play Cyrano de Bergerac’s title role in America in english language. David Serero, born in Paris, has won large success and critical acclaim on New York stages for the last seasons portraying   iconic roles such as Shylock (Merchant of Venice), Othello’s title role, Barabas (Jew of Malta), King Lear (Yiddish King Lear by Jacob Gordin), Nabucco, Don Giovanni and more.   “This is a dream come true for me. I remember when I was a child and was reciting the verses of Cyrano (in french at that time) in my school. Many years later, I’m honored to bring this amazing play, which is for me the most beautiful love story ever, to the greatest city in the world for Theater and Entertainment: New York” said Serero.   David Serero will be the first French actor to play Cyrano de Bergerac in English in the United States. Originally written in French by Edmond Rostand, the play will be adapted in English by David Serero himself “After reading most of the translations available, I realized that they were all lacking of the French original style of Rostand, deviating more and more from the original one. It became evident for me to write a new adaption closer to the original. As I always do in my shows, I will bring this Classic to modern audiences without losing the eternal modernity of this character and adding my touch of champagne!” added Serero. Besides this fresh take, David Serero will also feature Jazz standards within the play “Cyrano is Jazz! It’s my way to bring both of the French and American cultures together. It’s a marriage that I dearly love, the perfect combination.”   2018 is a perfect year to play Cyrano as it is the 150th anniversary of the playwright Edmond Rostand as well as the 100th of his death. Serero will perform in Paris on June 30th for the official Edmond Rostand 2018 celebration and his anniversary. Thomas Sertillanges, founder of cyranodebergerac.fr and president of Festival Edmond Rostand 2018 welcomes the idea that a French actor plays and adapts this French classic to American audience and thus with Jazz standards.   For the closing performance of Cyrano of April 22nd, David Serero will celebrate his 37th birthday but also his 20th year on stage as an actor and singer.   The cast includes: David Serero (Cyrano), Mary Albert (Roxane), Andrew Erwin (Christian), Cesar Munoz (De Guiche), Gordon Gray (Ragueneau), Bradley Behrmann (Le Bret), Isaac Cruz (Ligniere), Lauren Taylor Berkman (Duenna), Cameron Addicott (Valvert), Elena Du Pisanie, Benjamin Culpepper, Shawn Chang. The production is directed and adapted by David Serero.   Cyrano de Bergerac will play April 12th (3pm), 15th (7pm - Premiere), 17th (8pm), 19th (8pm) and 22nd (7pm - Closing night) at the Center for Jewish History, 15 West 16th Street, New York NY 10011. Presented by the American Sephardi Federation. Tickets: cyranodebergerac.bpt.me or 1.800.838.3006.     About DAVID SERERO Actor and baritone, David Serero, has received international recognition and critical acclaim from all over the world. At only 36 years old, he has already performed more than  1,200 concerts and performances  throughout the world and played in over  100 films and recorded 20 albums . He has given concerts in Paris at the PARIS OPERA GARNIER, OLYMPIA, EIFFEL TOWER; in New York at the LINCOLN CENTER, CARNEGIE HALL, TIMES SQUARE; in London at the ROYAL COLLEGE OF MUSIC, WEMBLEY STADIUM; and in Moscow at the TCHAIKOVSKY HALL; in Amsterdam at the CONCERTGEBOUW, the BUDAPEST OPERA conducted by PLACIDO DOMINGO and more. He made his sold out WEST END debuts at the Dominion Theatre. He has sung more than 30 lead roles in Opera, Operetta and Musical Theater. In 2012, David Serero performed Don Quixote from MAN OF LA MANCHA in Paris and the title role from the revival of Duke Ellington's only musical: BEGGAR'S HOLIDAY and also starred in the cast album recording. In 2013, David performed with JERMAINE JACKSON in YOU ARE NOT ALONE, a musical written, directed and produced by David Serero. He has also produced and arranged I WISH YOU LOVE an album of Jazz standards for Jermaine Jackson. In December 2013, David shared the cover of Theatre & Performances with Barbra Streisand in London, and made his BROADWAY solo debut at the Snapple Theatre in New York and released his first studio album ALL I CARE ABOUT IS LOVE. In 2014, he released The Broadway Baritone featuring Broadway classics and toured in the UK with a performance on WEST END. During the summer 2014, he recorded the entire love letters's correspondence of NAPOLEON to Josephine and released his new studio album THE CROONER BARITONE, The FRANK SINATRA Classics for the 100th anniversary of Sinatra. In 2015 and 2016, he played Off Broadway the lead roles of SHYLOCK (MERCHANT OF VENICE) and OTHELLO's title role with both critical acclaim. In 2015, he performed two open air concerts on TIMES SQUARE (New York) for BEST OF FRANCE with the presence of the French President Mr Francois Hollande. He released SEPHARDI, an album of Sephardic music in Ladino language and records the title role of RICHARD III in French. In 2016, he releases ALL MY LOVE IS FOR YOU, a Pop Rock album, entirely composed, performed, arranged and produced by himself. He also played NABUCCO (Nabucco) in New York; and the title roles of DON GIOVANNI and RIGOLETTO at the CARNEGIE HALL. In 2017, David entered the prestigious  WHO'S WHO AMERICA  for demonstrating outstanding achievements in the entertainment world and for the betterment of contemporary society. In the summer 2017, he releases  BARITONE OPERA ARIAS , singing opera classics such as Toreador (Carmen) and from operas Tosca, Nozze di Figaro, Fanciulla del West and Barbiere di Siviglia.   Among his performances in New York for the season 2017/2018 are title roles of CYRANO DE BERGERAC (Rostand), DON GIOVANNI (Mozart), BARABAS (Marlowe's Jew of Malta), Hermann (World Premiere adaptation of the Queen of Spades) and KING LEAR (Jacob Gordin's The YIDDISH KING LEAR).   In American Television, he has appeared in: The Hunt with John Walsh (CNN), Mysteries at the Museum (Travel Channel), Deadline: Crime with Tamron Hall (NBC), Six Degrees of Murder (Discovery Channel), Checked Out, On The Case with Paula Zhan (Discovery ID), Rabid Beast (Animal Planet TV), Suddenly Rich (TLC TV), Whistleblowers (Spike TV), Blood Feuds - Gangs of New York (Discovery Channel), Pandora’s Box (Discovery ID), We Are New York WANY (New York TV), Quantico (ABC).   In American Films he starred in Alice in America, Tango Shalom, Winter Has No Sun, Most Beautiful Island, Paisanos in Paris, Following Phil, Terminal 5, Sheepshead, Again, Overload Rock or Die, The Redemption, Kingdom of the Alley, Ring Ring, Laundry Day, Capicola, Make it Work, There Will Come Soft Rains, Amarena, When I Sing, Hatikvah.   He starred in several commercials for Sotheby's & eBay, Bank of America, Don Julio Tequila, Khiel's, Volkswagen, BJ's, Pepsi, Mitsubishi Cars and more. Full biography on  www.davidserero.com   Media Contact: The Culture News news@theculturenews.com more
The 21st anniversary edition of the NY Sephardic Jewish Film Festival features compelling stories and evocative documentaries about Iraqi, Syrian, Mexican, Egyptian, Israeli, French, Tunisian, Ethiopian, and Greek communities The 21st anniversary edition of the NY Sephardic Jewish Film Festival features compelling stories and evocative documentaries about Iraqi, Syrian, Mexican, Egyptian, Israeli, French, Tunisian, Ethiopian, and Greek communities   The American Sephardi Federation’s NY Sephardic Jewish Film Festival showcases contemporary voices steeped in the history, traditions, and rich mosaic culture of Greater Sephardic communities. The ten-day Festival features premiere film screenings, intriguing stories, evocative documentaries, Q&As with filmmakers, as well as special honorees and guests. The Pomegranate Awards Ceremony on Opening Night celebrates Sephardi excellence in the arts. Past recipients include Senior Counselor to the King of Morocco André Azoulay, French-Algerian recording legend Enrico Macias, Kuwaiti star and human rights activist Ema Shah, and Morocco-Israeli poet Erez Bitton. Each night of the Festival is a different themed program honoring the rich and diverse communities ASF represents. “For the NYSJFF 21st Edition, we are proud to present poignant and powerful programs, including a number of New York premieres,” said Sara Nodjoumi, Artistic Director of the New York Sephardic Jewish Film Festival.   “From Stars, Konrad Wolf’s classic, cinematic gem on the Greek Holocaust experience, to Cecile Peck’s Brave Miss World about a Moroccan-Israeli beauty contestant’s struggle against sexual violence, these are universal stories that speak to the issues of our time (discrimination, persecution, immigration, resistance) and all time,” Nodjoumi said. NYSJFF Artistic Director Sara Nodjoumi produced The Iran Job, and is a programming alumna of the Tribeca Film Festival, where her latest film, When God Sleeps, premiered earlier this year.  David Serero, the producer of the NYSJFF's star-studded 20th edition, returns to produce this year's Festival. A Moroccan-French opera singer and actor with many credits to his name, Serero previously created and starred in ASF's successful theatrical season (Merchant of Venice, Othello, and Nabucco), and will star in April and June 2018 as Cyrano de Bergerac and Don Giovanni at the ASF. All films and events are taking place at the Center for Jewish History located at 15 West 16th Street. The complete list of selected NYSJFF films with dates, times, as well as pass and ticket information can be found at  www.nysephardifilmfestival.org   Moroccan Opening Night, Monday, March 5th at 7pm. On March 5th 2018 at 7pm, the Annual Pomegranate Awards Ceremony will feature a special performance of Sebt Gnawa, the revival of the seldom summoned Moroccan-Jewish spirits, by Grammy-nominated Innov Gnawa with Sephardi Jazz trumpeter Itamar Borochov. The 21st NY Sephardic Jewish Film Festival will commence with an exclusive cultural experience: the summoning of seldom heard Jewish spirits from the Gnawa repertoire. Gnawa, the traditional, ritual healing music of black communities formed of former soldiers and slaves, who originated in Northern Mali and Mauritanian before being brought to Morocco, has "raw, hypnotic power [that has] fascinated outsiders as diverse as writer/composer Paul Bowles, jazz giant Randy Weston and rock god Jimi Hendrix." Sometimes called "the Moroccan Blues," Gnawa features unique instrumentation "from the lute-like sintir that the Maâlem uses to call the tune, to the metal qarqaba (castinets) with which the kouyos (chorus) keep time and pound out clattering, hypnotic rhythms." Composed of Moroccan expatriates in America, the Grammy-nominated Innov Gnawa is working with Jaffa-born, Brooklyn-based Bukaharian Jazz trumpeter and composer Itamar Borochov to save the Sebt (in Moroccan Darija) or Shabbat spirits from oblivion. "Music is at the heart of the shared Judeo-Muslim Moroccan heritage. To have Itamar, whose played Jazz at Lincoln Center and whose latest album is a Downbeat Editor's Pick, come together with Innov to preserve and revive Sebt Gnawa is a most meaningful tribute to this legacy, and a wonderful way with which to celebrate the Moroccan culture of coexistence at the NY Sephardic Jewish Film Festival," says Jason Guberman, Executive Director of the American Sephardi Federation. The evening will feature a reception of traditional kosher Moroccan cuisine and presentation of the Pomegranate Awards, designed by Baghdad-born artist and ASF Board Member Oded Halahmy.   Tuesday, March 6th at 7pm: The Syrian Sephardic Community THE SYRIAN JEWISH COMMUNITY: OUR JOURNEY THROUGH HISTORY THE JEWS OF SYRIA, 1930-1967 Directed by Lisa Ades Executive Produced by Joseph J. Sitt Documentary Feature, 90 min, USA, 2014, English   From Executive Producer, Joseph J. Sitt, the sixth installment of his multi-part series on the Syrian Sephardi community, is the fascinating story of life in Syria for the Jews who remained there after the massive exodus to the US and other countries in the early 1900s. Weaving together stories of pogroms and fires in Aleppo and Damascus in 1947 and 1948, of repression and heroic escapes as Jews in Syria, Lebanon, and Egypt fled persecution, the mysterious Aleppo Codex (part of which was smuggled to safety in Israel), the courageous Rabbi Abraham Kalmanowitz who helped Syrian boys escape to New York, and the Jewish spy, Elie Cohen, who helped his brothers in Israel win the Six Day War before his capture and execution, this is an incredible film about one of the Jewish People’s oldest and most illustrious communities.   Wednesday, March 7th at 7:00pm: Anti-Semitism in France WHY DO THEY HATE US? Directed by Alexandre Amiel Documentary Feature, 81 min, France, 2016, French with English subtitles NY Premiere Followed by a Panel discussion   In 2015, French and Belgian-born ISIS terrorists massacred civilians in Paris, including at the office of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo and the famed Bataclan Theatre. Motivated by these attacks—the deadliest in France since World War II—and his son’s questions about the murderers, Alexandre Amiel, a French-Moroccan Sephardi filmmaker and veteran reporter, produced a trilogy of documentaries exploring hatred from the perspectives of its primary victims in French society by profiling three representatives: himself, Amelle Chahbi (a comedienne of Moroccan descent), and Lucien Jean-Baptiste (an actor and director who was born in the Caribbean). This NY premiere of the episode relating to anti-Semitism is a must-see in this age of rising religious and racial hatreds, nationalist chauvinism, and violence.   Thursday, March 8th at 7pm: Undying Romance in Mexico - Sephardi-style NORA’S WILL Directed by Mariana Chenillo Narrative Feature, 90 min, Mexico, 2010, Spanish with English subtitles Followed by a Mexican After-Party   When his ex-wife Nora dies right before Passover, José is forced to stay with her body until she can be properly put to rest. He soon realizes he is part of Nora’s plan to bring her family back together for one last Passover feast, leading José to rediscover their undying love for each other. A comedy like no other, and directed by Mariana Chenillo, the first female director to win Mexico’s Best Picture Award.   Saturday, March 10th at 8:30pm: Classic Movie Night: Greek Sephardim in the Holocaust STARS Directed by Konrad Wolf Narrative Feature, 88 min, East Germany / Bulgaria, 1959, German, Bulgarian, Yiddish, and Ladino with English subtitles   A classic film from one of Germany’s greatest filmmakers, Stars won The Special Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival in 1959. The film exquisitely tells the story of a Nazi officer who falls in love with a Greek-Sephardi Jewish girl while escorting Jewish prisoners through Bulgaria to a concentration camp.   Sunday, March 11th at 1:30pm: The Promised Land: Ma’abarot Memories THE ANCESTRAL SIN  Directed by David Deri Documentary Feature, 109 min, Israel, 2017, Hebrew and Darija (Moroccan Arabic) with English subtitles NY Premiere   In the first two decades after the re-establishment of Israel, the director’s family, originally from Morocco, were part of the wave of refugees from Greater Sephardi communities who came to the fledgling Jewish State.   As other immigrants coming to this Promised but poor land, Deri’s family were taken to a “development town,” Yeruham in the Negev Desert, as part of a population disbursement policy that pushed Sephardim to the country’s periphery. This chilling documentary shares personal stories that reveal the price immigrant-families have paid and the price still being paid by Israeli society for the discriminatory policies of its Ashkenazi-dominated early years.   ROCK IN THE RED ZONE  (3:30pm) Directed by Laura Bialis Documentary Feature, 92 min, Israel, 2014, English & Hebrew with English subtitles   Fear and danger are never far for residents of the development town, Sderot, where missiles rain down on civilians routinely from Hamas and other Islamist forces in the nearby Gaza Strip. Despite the almost daily trauma, a community of young artists—Greater Sephardi Jews of mainly Moroccan, Kurdish, and Persian descent—have found an artistic outlet for their anger and hope, creating world-infused music every single day.   Sunday, March 11th at 5:30pm: The Egyptian Experience STARTING OVER AGAIN  Directed by Ruggero Gabbai Documentary Feature, 64 min, USA, 2015, English NY Premiere   Filmed in Paris, Milan, New York, London, Washington, Sydney, Tel Aviv, and Jerusalem, this personal documentary is the story of Egyptian Jews during 1948-1956. Narrated by twenty witnesses, this NY premiere deftly weaves historical events and archival footage, a powerful film about resilience and reinvention.   THE BAND’S VISIT  (7:00pm) Directed by Eran Kolirin Narrative Feature, 87 min, Israel, 2007, Arabic & Hebrew with English subtitles   When a band of eight Egyptian musicians arrive by mistake in a small town in Israel’s Negev Desert, they stop at a restaurant owned by Dina (the late and great ASF Pomegranate Award Honoree, Ronit Elkabetz), who offers them lodging. Now an award-winning Broadway musical, this classic is both a clever, subtle slice-of-life comedy, and poignant cross-cultural exploration.   Monday, March 12th at 7:00pm: Young Professionals Night - A Moroccan Israeli’s #MeToo BRAVE MISS WORLD Directed by Cecilia Peck Documentary Feature, 92 min, USA, 2013, English, Hebrew & Italian with English subtitles Q&A with Filmmaker Preceded by a Happy Hour Weeks before winning the 1998 Miss World pageant, Moroccan-Israeli teen Linor Abargil was held captive and raped by her travel agent while heading home from an Italian modeling assignment. Ten years later, she resolved to confront her past and reach out to other rape survivors. An inspiring story about courage and the universal struggle to stop rampant sexual violence against women.   Tuesday, March 13th at 7pm: SEPHARDI SHORTS PROGRAM THE PIRATE CAPTAIN TOLEDANO Directed by Arnon Shorr Short Narrative, 10 min, USA, 2017, English NY Premiere   On a 16th century ship, a Jewish stowaway who fled the Inquisition wants to become a pirate to avenge Spanish persecution. The captain must decide whether to make him a pirate... or make him walk the plank. An imaginary take on the real history of the Sephardi pirates of the Caribbean.   SARA LEVY COHEN Directed by Zohar Melinik Documentary Short, 13 min, Israel, Ladino & Hebrew with English subtitles NY Premiere   A 96-year old woman has lived in the same apartment for 70 years in Jerusalem. Before immigrating to Israel from Turkey, she sang traditional songs in Ladino, her mother-tongue. While Ladino fades away, it also reveals a story of cultural identity in constant motion.   116 CAMERAS Directed by Davina Pardo Documentary Short, 16 min, USA, English   As the Holocaust survivor community ages, the USC Shoah Foundation has embarked on an ambitious new project to transform survivors into 3D digital projections that will interact with generations to come. Short-listed for a 2018 Academy Award, 116 CAMERAS follows Auschwitz survivor Eva Schloss, as she goes through this unique process and reflects on how her role as a Holocaust speaker has changed over time.  The film's Emmy Award-winning director, Davina Pardo, received ASF's Ronit Elkabetz "Rising Star" Pomegranate Award at the 20th NY Sephardic Jewish Film Festival.   KEEP IT COOL Directed by Na’ama Keha Narrative Short, 17 min, Israel, Hebrew with English subtitles Q&A with Filmmaker   Tomer, a teenage girl, has an unexpected visit by her older brother Uri, who has been injured during his service in the IDF and is now confined to a wheelchair. Uri is aware of his impotence while Tomer is just discovering her own sexuality and womanhood.  An uncomfortable first film from this year’s Ronit Elkabetz “Rising Star” Pomegranate Award Recipient.   Wednesday, March 14th at 7pm: On the Road to Zion TWO ZIONS: THE LIVING LEGACY OF THE QUEEN OF SHEBA & KING SOLOMON Directed by Cheryl Halpern Documentary Feature, 58 min, USA / Ethiopia / Israel, English, Amharic & Hebrew with English subtitles Q&A with filmmaker & subject   “Two Zions” tells the story of people from two seemingly disparate countries who share a bond originating in biblical times. Focusing on the “Zions” of Jerusalem, Israel and Axum, Ethiopia, and the fascinating history that links these holy places, the film focuses on the relationship between King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba.   CLOSING NIGHT:  Thursday, March 15th at 7pm: Tunisia & Iraqi Closing Night JOURNEY FROM TUNISIA Directed by Jonathan Maimon Short Documentary, 30 min, USA, English, Arabic, & Hebrew with English subtitles NY Premiere   What began as a few simple interviews of his Sephardic grandparents turned into an epic and spell-binding documentary about emigration, immigration, upheaval, disappointment, and adaptation. The film features rare archival footage of the Nazi invasion of Tunisia during World War II, as well as the joyous celebration of its liberation by Allied Forces in May 1943. Journey from Tunisia is a film about the upheaval of centuries-old roots for Jews and their Arab neighbors in North Africa, and the creation of new-old roots in Israel.   REMEMBER BAGHDAD Directed by Fiona Murphy Feature Documentary, 69 min, UK / USA, English NY Premiere Q&A with Filmmaker   In this expertly made documentary, using a unique blend of powerful home movies and photos, alongside public source news footage, we meet several storied Baghdadi Jewish families: the Dallals who import tires, the Khalastchis who sell cars, the Shamashes who are property developers and politicians, and the Dangoors who import Coca-Cola - all working in partnerships with their Muslim Iraqi friends and neighbors. The story of Baghdad’s last Jews—from gaiety to revolutions, community celebrations to persecution and public hangings—opens out onto the wider story of the effectual end of Iraq’s Jewish community after 2,500 years.   About  The American Sephardi Federation The American Sephardi Federation, a Partner of the landmark Center for Jewish History, proudly preserves and promotes the history, traditions, and rich mosaic culture of Greater Sephardic communities as an integral part of the Jewish experience. ASF hosts high-profile events and exhibitions, produces widely-read online (Sephardi World Weekly and Sephardi Ideas Monthly) and print (The Sephardi Report) publications, supports research, scholarship (see: ASF’s 2018 Broome & Allen Fellowship and Scholarship Recipients), and the National Sephardic Library & Archives, and represents the Sephardi voice in diplomatic and Jewish communal affairs as a member of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations and World Jewish Congress.     Media Relations: THE CULTURE NEWS news@theculturenews.com 646.724.3129 more
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