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Chazzanut concert delights

The cliche “world class” gets thrown around with willful abandon at the best of times.  However you would be hard pressed to find anybody who attended yesterday’s concert at the Perth Hebrew Congregation not to agree that the description of this event as world class was entirely accurate. 

Three world leading chazzanim,Yitzchak Meir Helfgot and the very gifted Australian father and son chazzanim Shimon and Dov Farkas, provided a stunning demonstration of talent.  With the modest support of the Perth Male Jewish Choir, and a very well balanced program, the entire concert was a delight from start to finish. 

This concert had been hosted in both Sydney and Melbourne with the accompaniment of a philharmonic orchestra.  The Perth version of the concert was supported by a piano duet of Dr Mordechai Sobol and his son Ofir, whose remarkable professionalism in staging and production was most evident. 

The diversity and creativity associated with the production was greatly appreciated.  The quality and skill of all three chazzanim was nothing short of breathtaking.

The Perth Jewish community was extremely fortunate to have been provided with the opportunity to host this event.  One can only imagine the amount of effort that the organisers had to invest in arranging the logistics.  The setting of the program, and coordination of the choir, the sourcing and shifting/tuning of concert pianos, the conversion of the shule, installation of lighting and sound, the printing of programs, advertising, ticketing, and many many other tasks was an extraordinary effort.  The whole evenging was a seamless success.

There was only one negative to consider, which is the apathy associated with the response to this event by the community.  The attendance was at least 150 to 200 people below a full house.  How it is that there were not queues of people on Freedman Rd unable to enter (they still would have heard a great concert!) I cannot understand.   This event had great appeal in a cultural sense to the Perth Jewish community and beyond.  Yet when not supported by the Jewish community itself, it sadly has to be asked whether we are deserving of such events into the future.  The cost of hosting an event of this scale is very significant.  I sincerely hope that the economics associated with the poor attendance do not diminish any future chazzanut concert opportunities that are extended to the Perth Jewish community.  Let’s hope that this was not a “once in a lifetime” event!

The 2010 Music for the Soul concert was the best Jewish musical performance ever to come to Perth and a huge thank you must be extended to all of those people who made the event possible.

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