While completing her undergraduate program as a pianist at the Rubin Academy of Music in Jerusalem, the Israeli- born Zehava Gal launched a parallel career as a vocalist. It was the renowned mezzo-soprano Jennie Tourel who discovered Ms. Gal’s unique qualities as a musician and a singer in Jerusalem.  A full scholarship from the America-Israel Cultural Foundation enabled her to pursue her studies in voice and opera at The Juilliard School of Music in New York.  She was the recipient of numerous scholarships and awards, among them grants from the Juilliard School, The Julliard Opera Center, the Lado Foundation and the Aspen Festival.

International Competitions

Ms. Gal began her international career after winning both the Grand-Prix (Top Prize) and the first prize for the interpretation of French Mélodies, the Darius Milhaud Prix in the Concours International de Chant de Paris, in June 1978.  As a Grand-Prix winner she was also granted a debut recital to follow up in the Aix-en-Provence Festival, France. At the same year she received a Liederkanz Award in New York. Later, Ms. Gal won second prize (no first prize was given that year) for Opera/Oratorio/Lieder in the Bavarian International Radio Competition (ARD Bayerischer Rundfunk) in Munich. In January 1979, Ms. Gal won the Young Concert Artists Competition in New York.  She has also received the Kathleen Ferrier Award, which led to engagements at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., a recital at the 92nd Street Y in New York, as well as a recital tour in the United States.

During the 1985 Handel Year Celebration, Ms. Gal performed the title role in Pierre Luigi Pizzi’s La Scala production of Ariodante, and the Baroque specialist, conductor Jean-Cluade Malgoire conducted his orchestra. This collaboration of the Paris Opera and Théâtre des Champs Elysées, was also performed in the Nancy Opera House, followed by l'Opéra de Lausanne, Switzerland. Her success in Ariodante, which received noteworthy recognition, was immediately followed by a memorable rendition of Dejanira in Hercules, Jean-Cluade Malgoire conducted his orchestra in Theatre du Chatelet, Paris. Collaborating with the latter conductor Ms. Gal performed the title role in Teseo in London’s Covent Garden, Siena Italy, and the Athens’ Summer Festival in Greece, performed in the Odeon of Herodes Atticus (built in 161 A.D.).  On very short notice Ms. Gal replaced Teresa Berganza in the title role of Rinaldo, conducted by Sir Charles Mackerras and directed by Pierre Luigi Pizzi at the Théâtre du Chatelet. She sang the role of Elmira in Floridante with the Taffel baroque Orchestra, led by Alan Curtis in Toronto, Canada and San Francisco, US.  Ms. Gal appeared as Octavia in L’Incoronazione di Poppea at the Mezier Festival in Switzerland, with conductor Michel Corboz and directors Moshe Leiser and Patrice Courier.  The production was filmed by Swiss television for a commercial video.  Ms. Gal has appeared as Astasie in a world revival of Salieri’s opera Tarare, conducted by Jean-Claude Malgoire, in Schwetzingen Castle Theater and Karlsruhe. Tarare was filmed as a commercial video. Other guest-artist engagements include appearances on a variety of French (Alain Duault, Jacques Martin, Paris TV) German, Israeli, Italian and American radio and television stations.

For two consecutive seasons Ms. Gal sang Carmen in Peter Brook’s celebrated production of La Tragédie de Carmen in Théâtre des Bouff du Nord, Brook’s theatre in Paris, later touring in Zurich, Hamburg, Arles and various cities in France. This production was filmed as a motion picture, broadcast over many television stations, and seen by large audiences in cinemas, in Europe and Israel.


Ms. Gal’s concert repertoire included renditions of Ravel’s Shéhérazade with conductor Sixten Ehrling in Carnegie Hall, New York. In the same concert, she sang Bach’s ”Erbarme dich” with violinist Isaac Stern.  Under the baton of Claudio Abbado, she sang Stravinsky’s Pulcinella with the La Scala Orchestra in Milano. She sang in Berlioz’ Romeo et Juliette with the New York Philharmonic, under the baton of Daniel Barenboim. Ms. Gal sang in a concert version of Mussorgsky’s Boris Godunov with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and conductor Claudio Abbado.

She sang Mozart Mass in C with conductor Edo De Waart with the Houston Symphony, as well as the Pittsburgh Symphony.  With conductor Richard Westenburg she sang Handel's Dixit Dominus in Alice Tully Hall, New York. In collaboration with conductor Eduardo Mata, violinist Pinchas Zukerman and the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Ms. Gal performed the world premier of American composer Ben Lees’ Memorial Candles symphony, in Dallas Texas, and subsequently at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. Also with conductor Eduardo Mata she sang DeFalla’s El Sombrero de Tres Picos and Siete Canciones Populares and Mozart Concert Arias with the Pittsburgh Symphony.  Ms. Gal appeared three times with the Voices of Ascension Chorus and Orchestra in New York, performing the solo in Duruflé’s Requiem, conducted by Dennis Keene.  With composer and conductor Sinopolis she sang the Souvenir a la Memoire premiere performance in New York.


Ms. Gal can be heard in a recording of Mussorgsky’s choral work with conductor Claudio Abbado (RCA).  Additionally, she has recorded Donizetti’s Nuits d’ete a Pausilippe and the Cantata Teresa e Gianfaldoni with Jeff Cohen at the piano and tenor Bruce Brewer (Thesis); the role of Amaltea in Rossini’s Mosè in Egitto with conductor Claudio Scimone (Phillips); Octavia in Monteverdi’s L’Incoronazione di Poppea with conductor Jean-Cluade Malgoire and La Grande Écurie et la Chambre du Roy (CBS); and she is featured as Carmen in Bizet-Constant-Brook’s La Tragédie de Carmen, the film’s soundtrack (EMI). Ms. Gal has also recorded recitals for WQXR New York, as well as French, German and Israeli radio stations.  


In addition to her private voice studio in New York City, Ms. Gal has been an Adjunct Associate Professor at Westminster College of The Arts (Choir College) of Rider University in Princeton, New Jersey, since 1994.

Ms. Gal has given master classes, seminars and workshops in schools such as The Juilliard Pre-College, The Mannes College of Music and Columbia University in New York; Rutgers University, New Jersey; Central Connecticut Sate University; Simon College in Boston; Heart School of Music in Connecticut; Calvary Music School in Connecticut; Loyola University in Baltimore; and The Buchman-Mehta School of Music in the Tel Aviv University in Israel; She has offered a one-week seminar/workshop on The Art of Coloratura at Westminster Choir College in Princeton, New Jersey; a special four-days workshop On Breathing at Mishkenot Sha’ananim Music Center in Jerusalem; two appearances for the “Balanced Mind Conference” in Long Island New York;  several appearances as a Master Teacher for NYSTA (New York Organization of Voice Teachers.)

Saturday Seminars have been given at Westminster in Princeton each year, since 2002.  They are highly successful and popular and open to young professional singers, undergraduate and graduate students, voice and music teachers, conductors and all other auditors. The day starts with a PowerPoint presentation, followed by individual, hands-on work with each participant in a master class format. These popular seminars/master classes focus on subjects such as Vocal Technique; Breathing; On Legato; Music Interpretation; On Acting; The Art of Coloratura; On Focus; Opera/Oratorio Role Preparation; On Auditioning; Handel/Mozart/Rossini’s Bel Canto Style; The Voice as a Whole; The Color of The Language –The Color of The Voice; On Diction; Mind/Body/Voice.



Zehava Gal has sung with the finest conductors, orchestras, and opera companies in North and South America, Europe, and Israel. She started her career with the role of Fyodor in Mussorgsky’s Boris Godunov at Teatro Alla Scala, conducted by Claudio Abbado and directed by Yuri Lyubimov. She appeared with Opera National de Paris’ Boris Godunov production, conducted by Seiji Ozawa and directed by the esteemed film director Joseph Losey.  In the Salzburger Festspiele at the Großes Festspielhaus she sang a Blumenmädchen in Wagner’s Parsifal, conducted and directed by Herbert von Karajan. 

Ms. Gal has earned much admiration for her virtuoso coloratura singing.  One of Ms. Gal's signature roles, that of Rosina in Rossini’s Il barbiere di Siviglia, was performed with twelve different opera companies throughout the world: at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., with conductor John Mauceri; at Teatro Municipal Santiago, Chile; at the Opéra National de Lyon, France, under the baton of John Nelson; at the Opera Theatre D’Avignon, France; at the Théâtre Graslin, in Nantes, France, with conductor Marc Soustrau; with the New Israeli Opera, conducted by Yoav Talmi; in Glasgow and Dublin with the Scottish Opera, conducted by Sir Alexander Gibson and directed by Robert David McDonald; with the Glyndebourne Festival, directed by John Cox and conductors Sylvain Cambreling, and Martin Issep, for two consecutive seasons; with the Frankfurt Opera, conducted by Oleg Caetani, for two seasons; with the De Nederlandse Opera in Amsterdam, directed by Dario Fo (Literature Noble Prize Winner 1997) and with the Virginia Opera in Norfolk, Richmond, and Fairfax, VA, as well as Washington D.C.

Ms. Gal has sung the title role of Rossini's La Cenerentola with De Nederlandse Opera in Amsterdam, conducted by Diego Masson and directed by Colin Graham.  She appeared as Isolier, in Rossini's Le Comte d'Ory in the Rossini Festival in Pesaro, with conductor Renato Renzetti and director Pierre Luigi Pizzi; as Cherubino, in Mozart's Le Nozze di Figaro, with Opéra de Monte Carlo, conducted by Lawrence Foster; at the Santa Fe Festival, with conductor George Manahan; and at the Vienna Staatsoper in Jean Pier Ponnell production; as Niklaus/Muse, in Les Contes d'Hoffmann with the New Israeli Opera, conducted by Marc Soustrau and director David Alden; as Orfeo, in Gluck's Orfeo ed Euridice, conducted by Gari Bertini and the New Israeli Opera; as Salude, in de Falla's La Vida Breve, with film director Fernando Arrabal at the Opéra national de Lorraine in Nancy and the Opéra-Théatre de Metz, France; and as Zerlina, in Mozart's Don Giovanni, with Ruggero Raimondi in the title role and as a director, and conductor Marc Soustrau, in Nancy, France.

With pianist Lawrence Skrobacs,


With director Robert David McDonald, Glasgow

With maestro Zubin Mehta, Israeli Philharmonic, Tel Aviv

With Luciano Pavarotti‘s Master Class at Juilliard, New York

With Donato Renzetti, Pier Luigi Pizzi, Pesaro

With Jean Claude Malgoire, in Odeon of Herodes Atticus, Athens’ Festival

With Gary Bertini and the Israeli Philharmonic

With director Peter Brook

With Director David Alden,

Les Contes d'Hoffmann

In rehearsal of Le Comte Ory, with director Pier Luigi Pizzi, Pesaro

Photo: Christian Steiner

Ms. Gal performed the Mozart Requiem with conductor Eduardo Mata and the RAI orchestra in Orvietto, in Italy, a televised Eurovision concert.  With the Tour Festival in France, Ms. Gal sang Stravinsky’s Pulcinella with Pier Boulez and the Ensemble Contemporain d’IRCAM; The Alto solo in Mendelssohn’s Elijah; Handel’s Brockes Passion and Bach’s Magnificat with conductor Jean-Claude Malgoire. In a live television broadcast from the United Nation in Genève, Ms. Gal appeared in the role of L’enfant in Ravels’ L’enfant et les Sortilèges with conductor Armin Jordan and the Swiss Romand Orchestra, a televised Eurovision concert.  In Paris, Ms. Gal performed the alto solo in Mahler’s Third Symphony at the Madeleine Church; Mahler’s Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen; Ravel’s Shéhérazade was performed in Salle Pleyel with conductor Jacques Mercier.  With the Bern Symphony in Switzerland, Ms. Gal sang: Ravel’s Shéhérazade conducted by Elijahu Inbal; Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater conducted by Peter Maag; and Bernstein’s Jeremiah Symphony conducted by Dalia Atlas.

In Israel Ms. Gal appeared with the Israeli Philharmonic orchestra performing Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony and selected operatic arias in different concerts with conductor Zubin Mehta; Ravel’s Shéhérazade with conductor Elijahu Inbal; the soprano solo in Mahler’s Fourth Symphony conducted by Gari Bertini; Bruckner’s Te Deum; Mozart’s Requiem and Mozart Mass in C minor.  With The Jerusalem Radio Symphony Orchestra she sang Handel’s cantata Lucrezia with conductor Thomas Hengelbrock.  In various appearances with the Haifa Symphony Orchestra she sang Ravel’s Shéhérazade, Rossini’s Stabat Mater, Mozart Mass in C minor, concert and operatic arias with conductor Stanley Sperber.  In various performances with the Israeli Chamber Orchestra she sang Rossini’s cantata Jovanna d’Arco, Ravel’s Cinq Mélodies populaires Grecques, and Canteloube’s Chants D’Auvergne.


As a prolific recitalist, Ms. Gal has won great acclaim. Her repertoire includes songs in Italian, French, German, Spanish, Hebrew, English and Russian, from the Baroque to contemporary composers. Ms. Gal debut in New York was at the Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, with pianist Myron McPherson. In collaboration with Lawrence Skrobacs she appeared at the 92nd Street Y, New York, and in a recital tour in the continental USA that opened in Pasadena, California.  She performed with pianist Dalton Baldwin and Lawrence Skrobacs, in an exclusive recitals series in Salle L’Athénée (Louis-Jouvet) in Paris.

She has appeared in Lausanne, Switzerland, with pianist Jeff Cohen and with Jun Kanno in Lyon, France. As a part of the Innsbruck Festival of Early Music in Austria, she sang Handel solo cantata Lucrezia and duets, conducted by Alan Curtis. Ms. Gal has given numerous recitals in The Tel Aviv Museum’s concert hall, collaborating with pianists Jonathan Zak and Dr. Idith Meshulam; Handel’s Lucrezia and arias from Ariodante were performed with Ad-el Shalev. Jonathan Zac and Ms. Gal also appeared in the Ankara Music Festival, Turkey. In Princeton, Ms. Gal sang with Dr. Glenn Parker and Dr. J.J. Penna. In spring 1997, she appeared with pianist Martin Katz in Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center, New York.

With director Peter Brook, filming La Tragédie de Carmen

With director Peter Brook

With director Peter Brook, filming La Tragédie de Carmen

Zehava Gal  Mezzo-Soprano

Zehava Gal’s sensuous mezzo-soprano voice

and hauntingly intense communicative powers have earned her a major career in leading concert halls and opera houses through out Europe and the Americas, in close collaboration with the greatest conductors and directors of our time.