YEREVAN— Maestro Constantine Orbelian, General Director and Artistic Director of the National Opera and Ballet Theater of Armenia, will be among the featured conductors and artists at the globally renowned Isrotel International Festival of Classical Music, which will be held from January 3 to 6 in Eilat, Israel.
“It is an extraordinary honor to be a part of the Isrotel International Festival of Classical Music, especially given the fact that we’ll be celebrating its 20th anniversary this January,” Orbelian said.
The Isrotel International Festival of Classical Music, also known as the Isrotel Classicameri Festival, is an initiative of the Isrotel Hotel chain in Eilat, and will be held in cooperation with the Raanana Symphonette Orchestra, under the baton of Maestro Omer M. Wellber. On the occasion of its 20th anniversary, the festival will offer a multifaceted program combining beloved classical masterpieces and innovative new music. The festival will host acclaimed soloists, ensembles, and conductors from Italy, Armenia, the United States, Bulgaria, Germany, Spain, Poland, France, Russia and Switzerland.
Representing the Republic of Armenia, Maestro Orbelian will participate in the festival along with a number of Yerevan Opera House soloists, comprising Suzanna Melkonyan, Julietta Aleksnyan, Gevork Hagobyan, Armen Badalian, and Hovhannes Ayvazyan. Other famed artists participating in the festival will include Italian pianist Davide Cabassi, soprano Anna Skibinsky, Russian pianist Tatiana Larionova, duo mandolin from Spain Yaki Reuven and Marie Carmen Simon, Polish folk ensemble Dikanda, Bulgarian Kaval player Theodosii Spassov, conductor Yaron Gottfried, singer and video artist Ofri Brin, and the Sesame band — an Israeli ensemble of Balkan, Gypsy, and Middle Eastern music.
The Isrotel Classicameri Festival is dubbed “Masterpieces of the Classical Repertoire in a Cross-Borders Merging,” reflecting the event’s rich musical and thematic diversity. “A key aspect that sets the festival apart is that it functions as a marvelous platform for showcasing a veritable mosaic of cultures and musical traditions — thus celebrating cross-border synergies and providing audiences with deeply rewarding artistic experiences,” Orbelian said.
The festival will open on January 3 in the grand hall of the Royal Beach Hotel in Eilat, with the participation of Israeli singer Ofri Brin. The program will offer a combination of Brin’s electronic pop and soul music with masterpieces by Sibelius, Holst, and Schubert under the baton of Keren Kagarlitzky.
On the second day of the festival, two major concerts will be held. The first will feature the great young conductor Omer M. Wellber and the award-winning Italian pianist Davide Cabassi, in a program in which Beethoven’s Symphony No. 1 and Shostakovich’s Piano Concerto No. 2 will be performed. The second concert, “The Songs of Naomi Shemer,” will be a nostalgic journey featuring the works of the Israel Prize laureate. Participating in the concert will be Omer M. Wellber (accordion), Michael Anochin (contrabass), Rami Freiman (percussion), and singers Einat Aronstein, Goni Canaani, and Suf Sela. The concert will be moderated and accompanied on the piano by David Sebba.
The two main concerts on the third day of the festival will pay tribute to the lush intersection of cultures and traditions linked together through music. At the “Gala Opera – From Yerevan with Love,” the Raanana Symphonette will host Maestro Constantine Orbelian and the soloists of the Yerevan Opera House under his direction. The concert will perform beloved arias and duets from major operas, alongside gems from the Armenian folk repertoire. The evening will continue with a layered musical encounter devoted to the deep connection between music and dance. The “Dancing” concert is dedicated to folk dances that have found their way to concert halls: from ballroom and folk to street dancing. Under the baton of David Sebba, the evening will be accompanied by the Raanana Symphonette Orchestra, including violinist Nitai Zori, the Sesame band, and the Polish band Dekanda.
The festival will conclude on Saturday, January 6, with a jubilant concert in which Maestro Orbelian and the Raanana Symphonette will host the festival’s artists.
Also on January 6, Maestro Orbelian will appear as a guest on the “Cultural Shabbat” program, for a conversation with television broadcaster Yoav Ginai, Omer M. Wellber, David Sebba. and Orit Fogel-Shafran. During the program, Maestro Orbelian will reminisce about his 20 years of musical collaboration with the late opera giant Dmitri Hvorostovsky.
In addition to its major concerts, the Isrotel Classicameri Festival will feature a complement of thematic concerts and musical encounters, performed by conductors, soloists, and ensembles from across the globe.