Gad Elbaz: An Israeli in Paris

Kudos to Gad Elbaz, the Israeli singer, for lighting up the streets of Paris in song, dance and joy. Mr. Elbaz released his video, Hava Nagila, on March 15, 2015, just over two months after the inglorious attacks against life, free speech and free religion at the Paris office of Charlie Hebdo, the French satirical magazine, and at Hyper Cacher, the kosher supermarket. This is also the same day that Hyper Cacher reopened for business since the attacks.

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Andrea Bocelli talks Las Vegas, Celine Dion and the importance of opera

We sing the masterpiece of art that is inside us (the mirror, for a believer as I am, of the wonder of creation), we celebrate the beauty that we can grow and live every day.” — Andrea Bocelli

Great interview with Andrea Bocelli by Robin Leach in the Las Vegas Sun News:
Q+A: Andrea Bocelli talks Las Vegas, touring, Celine Dion and the importance of opera [Las Vegas Sun News; Dec. 2, 2013].

Master of Voice: Andrea Bocelli

Andrea Bocelli received a Master’s Degree in Vocal Performance on Tuesday, October 22, 2013, from the Giacomo Puccini Conservatory in La Spezia, Italy. His CD/DVD, Love in Portofino, was released the same day. The 55-year-old Italian tenor also has a degree in Law from the University of Pisa.

See Also:
Bocelli Gets Master’s Degree in Vocal Performance [Italy Magazine; October 26, 2013]

Zeffirelli and Bocelli Pay Tribute to Rome

Franco Zeffirelli’s Omaggio a Roma (Tribute to Rome) premieres this week at the 4th Rome International Film Festival.

In the 20-minute film, Monica Bellucci performs the role of Tosca and Andrea Bocelli is featured in the role of Mario Cavaradossi.

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October 16, 2009: Franco Zeffirelli and Andrea Bocelli at press conference for Omaggio a Roma

American movies in the film festival lineup include the Coen brothers’ A Serious Man, Nora Ephron’s Julie & Julia, starring Meryl Streep as Julia Child, and James Ivory’s The City of Your Final Destination.

A Joyous Sound: Hava Nagila, Texas Style

A Canadian friend, the daughter of Holocaust survivors, married to a New Zealander, who now lives in the United States, sent me this video. She describes it as “a hoot, hootenanny style.” The email she forwarded to me with the link included this anonymous comment:

WE CAN CELEBRATE EACH OTHER’S CULTURE, EACH OTHER’S ACHIEVEMENT, NO MATTER IF WE AGREE WITH THE PERSON’S POLITICS OR NOT. WHERE ELSE YOU CAN HAVE AN AFRICAN-AMERICAN PRESIDENT, A LATINA SUPREME COURT JUSTICE, AN AUSTRIAN IMMIGRANT BODY BUILDER FOR GOVERNOR OF CALIFORNIA, OR A TEXAS CHRISTIAN CHURCH SINGING “HAVA NAGILA” WHILE DISPLAYING BOTH THE AMERICAN AND ISRAELI FLAGS? GOD BLESS THE USA.”

Here is the rendition of Hava Nagila by the CUFI Cornerstone Singers, performed at the Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, Texas.

Cornerstone Church was founded in 1975 by Pastor John Hagee. Under his leadership, the congregation has grown from 1,000 members to over 19,000. Pastor Hagee is also the founder of Christians United for Israel (CUFI).

The statement on the CUFI web site reads, in part:

During the Holocaust, too many Christians were silent, and we were left to mourn the slaughter of 6 million Jews. Today, Bible-believing Christians must speak up and stand up for Israel. We must act to do whatever we can to protect Israel’s 6 million Jews from the second Holocaust. We must get it right this time. Our faith demands it. The times require it. Silence is not an option.”