After an Injury, Judaism Helped a Singer Find His Voice

Almost a decade ago, the British classical singer Mark Glanville wrote in Mosaic about visiting Berlin, the city where his mother was born and from which she had fled, about the love of Schubert that she had bequeathed to him, and his Schubert-inspired Jewish-themed song narrative Yiddish Winterreise. In a recent essay, Glanville explains how a vocal injury earlier in his career prompted his turn to creating and performing Jewish music.

I hit a rock singing Iago in Verdi’s Otello for Haddo House Opera, a role I inhabited at the cost of excessive vocal stress, leading to a hemorrhage of the cords and a polyp on my larynx that had to be surgically removed. I had to abandon all future work and learn to sing again.

Judaism became a refuge. I began singing in Westminster Synagogue, first as a member of the congregation, picking up the liturgical melodies along with the Hebrew until, identified as a singer, I was called to sing as hazan from the bimah, accompanied on organ by Harold Lester. Singing the Ne’ilah [closing service] music on Yom Kippur was like discovering Schubert for the first time. I felt deeply connected to the ancient melodies that evoked the history of my people’s suffering (and joy) like nothing else. In Jewish prayer I was able to express the deepest essence of myself. Song had, once again, become art.

Read more at Jewish Chronicle

More about: Classical music, Jewish music, Judaism


Israel Just Sent Iran a Clear Message

Early Friday morning, Israel attacked military installations near the Iranian cities of Isfahan and nearby Natanz, the latter being one of the hubs of the country’s nuclear program. Jerusalem is not taking credit for the attack, and none of the details are too certain, but it seems that the attack involved multiple drones, likely launched from within Iran, as well as one or more missiles fired from Syrian or Iraqi airspace. Strikes on Syrian radar systems shortly beforehand probably helped make the attack possible, and there were reportedly strikes on Iraq as well.

Iran itself is downplaying the attack, but the S-300 air-defense batteries in Isfahan appear to have been destroyed or damaged. This is a sophisticated Russian-made system positioned to protect the Natanz nuclear installation. In other words, Israel has demonstrated that Iran’s best technology can’t protect the country’s skies from the IDF. As Yossi Kuperwasser puts it, the attack, combined with the response to the assault on April 13,

clarified to the Iranians that whereas we [Israelis] are not as vulnerable as they thought, they are more vulnerable than they thought. They have difficulty hitting us, but we have no difficulty hitting them.

Nobody knows exactly how the operation was carried out. . . . It is good that a question mark hovers over . . . what exactly Israel did. Let’s keep them wondering. It is good for deniability and good for keeping the enemy uncertain.

The fact that we chose targets that were in the vicinity of a major nuclear facility but were linked to the Iranian missile and air forces was a good message. It communicated that we can reach other targets as well but, as we don’t want escalation, we chose targets nearby that were involved in the attack against Israel. I think it sends the message that if we want to, we can send a stronger message. Israel is not seeking escalation at the moment.

Read more at Jewish Chronicle

More about: Iran, Israeli Security