In concert, with the N.Y. Philharmonic:  “Romeo and Juliet” - Berlioz

An Israeli mezzo-soprano, Zehava Gal, made a most appealing, warm and compact sound.

(The New York Times)

In Recital

Zehava Gal strikes a chord with audience.

Vocal beauty, penetrating musical insight and a striking capability to create stylistic differentiation were the characteristic features of Zehava Gal’s recital with music by Alessandro Scarlatti, Rossini, Fauré and De Falla. Scarlatti was still a bit rigidly enunciated, but then came the Rossini cantata “Giovanna d’Arco” for voice and piano, revealing not only a completely unknown yet surprisingly powerful piece, but the singer’s stunning dramatic capability.  The cantata, which is actually a short operatic scene, became the highlight of the evening.  The singer has a striking capability to adjust, change and formulate her style according to the stylistic idiomatic features of the music she performs.  This adaptability seems one of Gal’s most precious assets. The Cantata was followed by seven beautiful Fauré songs, sung with immense subtlety and vocal melodiousness. The famous Seven Spanish Folk Songs by De Falla rounded this marvelous evening up with a drizzle of color and variety of emotional expression.

(The Jerusalem Post, Tel Aviv)

“To Zehava Gal, an exceptional talent, a great femininity, a magnificent theaterical intelligence.”

(DARIO FO: Nobel Prize in Literature 1997, Playwright, Comedia Del Arte: actor, director, producer, costume designer)

In Recital

The Israeli mezzo-soprano, named Zehava Gal, gave the kind of recital few superstars could carry off; an astonishing range of music sung with taste, authority and the Lieder-singer’s gift for atmosphere and tone.

(Los Angeles Press, L.A.  California)

In Recital

Rightly or wrongly, the musical public’s expectations from a vocal performance and an instrumental one do not necessarily coincide. 

A singer with a beautiful voice, good command of pitch and dynamics and, if possible, some stage appeal has no difficulty winning the audience

over.  But there is an altogether different breed of vocal artists - the Janet Bakers and Fischer Dieskaus - who employ their consummate musicality and high inexhaustible intellectual and emotional inner resources to illuminate every turn of musical phrase, poetic association or psychological implication.  Their art demands uttermost concentration and perceptivity from the audience; but then it elevates the listener to a rarefied esthetic sphere.  These selected few recreate the music as much as they perform it; their appearances stand out even in most saturated concert routine.  Zehava Gal gave an art-song recital, left no doubt about belonging to just such a category.  Gal is an impeccable stylist:  the operatic pathos in Haydn’s “Arianna a Naxos”, the troubled, white-hot intensity in Mahler, the somewhat detached, occasionally amusing Ravel and, finally, the earthy folk-rooted Granados - all were accorded gripping definitions.  She is a fabulous technician too, yet even the excruciatingly difficult Ravel Habanera emerged above all, as a piece of wonderful seductive music.

All along, there was not a single moment for the expressive tension to

flag - the singer was hard on her audience as she was on herself. The art she seemed to be telling us, is not to be taken lightly.  It is a difficult, never ending quest of the truth and ways to realize it. For this ample does of artistic integrity, Zehava Gal deserves both admiration and gratitude.

A memorable recital.

(Jerusalem Post, Tel Aviv)

Cenerentola in “La Cenerentola” - Rossini

...With the very promising young star from Israel, the coloratura mezzo-soprano Zehava Gal in the title role.  She accomplished an outstanding feat, and if I am not mistaken she will be one day or is she already one of the few great “Cenerentola’s” of this age. A true successor of the legendary Giulietta Simionato or Teresa Berganza. Zehava Gal has everything going for her; a beautiful firm high and a wonderful, warm middle and low register. She looks fantastic and has a natural, charming and spontaneous presence.  She sang the frightfully difficult coloratura with effortless virtuosity.


Rosina in “Il Barber di Siviglia” - Rossini

The only one who was completely successful in overcoming her accompanist was Zehava Gal, a formidable Israeli mezzo-soprano who plays Rosina.  She has sung the role for the Washington Opera and at the prestigious Glyndebourne Festival in England, among other places, and was obviously in her element.

Gal’s voice is a blend of honey and sunshine, and she has all the technical skills need to handle the convolutions of the swooping runs and glorious high notes of Una voce poco fa, the second scene opener where she proclaims her rebellion against her domineering guardian.

(Richmond, Virginia)

Rosina in “Il Barber di Siviglia” - Rossini

...She has temperament, a secure technique and a lovely sound.

(The New York Times)

Rosina in “Il Barber di Siviglia” - Rossini

Zehava Gal’s ravishing and sensual Rosina is a perfect foil.

(Telegraph, London)

Rosina in “Il Barber di Siviglia” - Rossini

The Rosina of Zehava Gal is no sweet maiden.  Miss Gal gives a ripe, sultry performance, teasing the musical lines provocatively, but scarifying none of the brilliance.(Glasgow Herald)

Rosina in “Il Barber di Siviglia” - Rossini

Zehava Gal has a wonderful voice, so suitable to Rossini, with a big range and full of the technique required for the demanding role of Rosina.

(Evening Express, Glasgow)

Carmen in “Carmen” - Bizet

When the vibrant Zehava Gal sang, Carmen’s air with castanets, standing a few yards from me on the sand-strewn floor of Peter Brook’s scenery-less arena, I felt the music’s sinewy beauty take physical possession of me, and tears flowed down my cheeks.

(The Sunday Times, London)

Carmen in “Carmen” - Bizet

Zehava Gal  est particulierment étonnant.  Chatte-tigresse a la voix de miel sortant ses griffes et sachant mordre.(Le mond, Paris)

Translation: Zehava Gal is particularly amazing. A tiger-cat with a voice of honey getting out its claws and knowing how to bite.

Carmen in “Carmen” - Bizet

When Zehava Gal stood up to sing, a dramatic tension took over the audience immediately.  From the very first phrase she portrayed a very special and convincing character.   Zehava Gal has a very strong stage presence. She is very charismatic, with stunning singing abilities, creating different colors within the phrase, an intelligent expression - all which create an extremely high level of art.

(Maariv - Tel Aviv)

Ariodante - Handel

...Marveilleusement chantée en particulier par Zehava Gal dont l’air de triomphe au troisième acte fut l’un de ces moments radieux que l’on voudrait éterniser.

(Le Monde, Paris)

Translation: … marvelously sang in particularly by Zehava Gal in the  triumphant aria of the third act, made one of these radiant moments.

Ariodante in - “Ariodante” - Handel

Zehava Gal est absulument remarquable en Ariodante, role travesti auquel elle impose sa personnalité, sa partaite technique vocal et un sens du phrasé absolument sans default, son grand air du deuxième acte, ainsi que celui de la fin de l’ouvrage font la preuve d’une sort de bonheur de chanter qui tout naturellement lui a valu un triomph.

(Le Figaro, Paris)

Translation: Zehava Gal is absolutely remarkable in Ariodante, a transvestite role where she imposes her personality, her perfect vocal technique and her sense of phrasing, absolutely without a fault.  Her big and great Aria in the second Act, as well as the one at the end of Act III - proofs that with this kind of joyous singing, naturally, she deserves her triumph.

Ariodante in - “Ariodante” - Handel

De toute cette distribition, à vrai dire, seule Zehava Gal sut vraiment depasser et la lettre et l’sprit de la partition, donnant d’Ariodante  une image tour a tour vaillante, emouvante, brillante, en tout points fidèle à l’Ariost et à Handel: on n’oubliera pas de sitot son beau desespoir du deuxième acte.

(Opera International, Paris)

Translation: Of all this casting, indeed, only Zehava Gal managed to exceed both the letter and the spirit of the score, giving an image of Ariodante one by one, valiant, poignant, brilliant, faithful in all points to Ariosto and Handel:  her beautiful despair of the second act is unforgettable.

Ariodante in - “Ariodante” - Handel

Vocalement, la distribution est dominée par la mezzo Zehava Gal qui dans le role travesti d’Ariodante, est tout aussi à l’aise dans les lamentations (legato superbe, timbre lumineux) que dans les roucoulades acrobatiques où elle déploie une virtuosité époustouflante.

Translation: Vocally, the mezzo Zehava Gal in the role of Ariodante dominates the cast.  As compelling in Handel’s lamentations (superb legato, luminous timber) as in his acrobatic roulades, where she commanded breathtaking virtuosity.

(La Coix, Paris)

Ariodante in - “Ariodante” - Handel

Zehava Gal en Ariodante trouve un role qui convient idéalement à ses dons vocaux étonnants: la chaleur et la profondeur de son mezzo, alliees à un aigu délié, d’une netteté tranchante et ronde dans les traits les plus rapides, ont fait merveille dans sa musique inspirée de bout en but.

(Lausanne, Switzerland)

Translation: Zehava Gal in Ariodante, interprets a role that perfectly (idealistically) suits her amazing vocal gifts: the warmth and depth of her mezzo, allied to fluid high notes, a very clean pitch and round voice, in the fastest features, worked wonders in the music, and inspired from start to end.

Ariodante in - “Ariodante” - Handel

Miss Gal wowed the audience with a stunning account of Ariodante’s ‘Dopo notte’

(New Yorker, San Francisco)

Orfeo in“Orfeo ed Euridice” - Gluck

...She played her voice like a viola, delivering at the end of act 1 a stunning “La speme in sen ritorna.”

(Opera news)

Nicklausse in - “Les Contes D’Hoffmann” - Offenbach

Zehava Gal was superb.  The most stylized of the cast, singing a real Offenbach

(Yediot Achronot, Tel Aviv)

Zerlina in “Don Giovanni” - Mozart

Zehava Gal’s Zerlina, notably in “Batti Batti”, was ravishingly sung.

(The Times, London)

Zerlina in “Don Giovanni” - Mozart

Dans cette brillante courrone internationale, C’est Zehava Gal qui s’est affirmée comme une étoile mozartienne de première grandeur.

Translation: In this brilliant international cast, Zehava Gal stood out as a Mozartienne star of the highest rank.

(Le Matin, Paris)

In Recital

At the end of her recital, when it was already clear how successful the performance had been, Zehava Gal added a well known encore: Cherubino’s Aria “Voi che sapete” from Mozart “Marriage of Figaro” and she reached a new peak. Her voice opened up and broke free altogether, and full extent of her vocal ability was revealed.  Moreover this innocent, familiar song was transformed into riveting theater, and everyone in the hall could understand the words without a printed text or a Hebrew translation.

Rossini’s cantata “Joan of Arc” and Scarlatti, both require the addition of virtuoso embellishments. Gal added them with great artistry, coping with a very particular challenge to the vocalist’s virtuosity.  The second part of the recital spoke directly to the emotions, in Fauré’s simple and soulful songs.  Gal sang Fauré at the right “temperature”, and was entirely convincing, even more so in De Falla’s Seven Spanish Folk Songs, although they too were moving.  Gal is ever more clearly revealed as a woman of many facets, whose art combines vocal capability and emotional capacity, and perhaps most important of all, a wisdom and depth found only rarely in musicians and particularly in singers.

(Ha’arets, Tel Aviv)

Cherubino in “Le Nozze di Figaro” - Mozart

Miss Gal has a fresh sound to her voice and a freshness of expression and a happy connection to the music that made hers the most satisfying portrayal of the evening.

(The New York Times, for Santa Fe Festival)

La Cenerentola - Rossini

Il Barber di Siviglia - Rossini

Carmen - Bizet

Orfeo ed Euridice - Gluck

Ariodante - Handel

Orfeo, with actor Uri Ravitz, Israeli Opera

Ariodante, Paris

Rosina, rehearsing with Dario Fo, in Amsterdam Opera

Cenerentola, Amsterdam

Carmen, La Tragédie de Carmen, Peter Brook, Paris

Rosina, Washington DC

Orfeo, Israeli Opera

Niklaus, Israeli Opera

Cherubino, with Edith Wien, Santa Fe

Zerlina, with Ruggerro Raimondi, Nancy

Les Contes D’Hoffmann - Offenbach

Don Giovanni - Mozart

Le Nozze di Figaro - Mozart