Tuesday, 18 September 2001
At last week's Art Summit, Italy's Tarantula Hypertext O'rchestra performed Jewish songs in Jakarta in a language which is all but extinct. The music may date back to the time Spain expelled its Jews, as Columbus was about to discover the New World.
The soprano sang a melancholy song in language that carried strains of Arabic. The intonation of her voice was not that heavy. It trembled a little, as appropriate for a `serious' singer. But like a ballad, the sadness that lay behind the words welled from within. The singer was Evelina Meghnagi, an Italian soprano regarded as one of the best interpreters of the Jewish repertoire. She was performing with the bizarrely named Tarantula Hypert...
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