Eitan Steinberg & Etty BenZaken

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Eitan & Etty's Interdisciplinary collaborations

About the chamber opera "Search Expedition 220" (music by Steinberg. Stage directing, stage design and fabric art works by BenZaken) 

  • "Don't go, run! ... A stunning piece, full of softness ... Every verse by itself is pleasant, and together they create an addictive, charming monotony" - Israel's daily Haaretz 2019. The full article, in Hebrew >>

About the Music-Theater "Stabat Mater - a Human Prayer" (music by Steinberg. Stage directing, stage design and performance as soloist: BenZaken)

  • "...Now the two have created "Stabat Mater – a Human Prayer": a large human lament, and at the same time a rare contemporary protest . . . the piece succeeds to be at the same time all-embracing, with excerpts from the Latin prayer, a Judeo-Spanish Romanca, an American folk song and texts in a folk and medieval styles in Hebrew and Arabic. But it also narrows down to something totally personal ... "Stabat Mater – a Human Prayer" is a Music-Theater full of beauty – both musically and visually." - Israel's daily Haaretz, 2004

About the Music-Theater "The Sultan is Pregnanat" (music by Steinberg. Stage directing, stage design and performance as soloist: BenZaken)

  • "The US premier of Eitan Steinberg's cheeky mini-opera "The Sultan is Pregnant" dazzled. With her flexible, world-pop voice, singer Etty BenZaken narrated and acted out this folk tale to perfection." - Boston Herald, 2004

  • "Etty BenZaken wrote a fascinating text, partly an old tale, partly a sharp actual essay ... and with it comes the musical beauty created by Eitan Steinberg and the captivating performance of BenZaken herself in voice and movement." - Israel’s daily Haaretz, 2002

About BenZaken & Steinberg's collaborations

  • "...​If there's hope to music in Israel, Etty BenZaken and Eitan Steinberg have a big part in it. Their activity in the fields of early music on the one hand, and contemporary music on the other, and the Music-Theater shows in which they combine classic with ethnic - always with impressive performances both musically and theatrically by BenZaken and with Steinberg's original works and settings - bring the local scene closer to what is happening today in the world." -Tel-Aviv's weekly Hair, 2005​

  • "...The collaboration between the two [BenZaken & Steinberg] goes on through the years, and time after time amazes with the cultural richness that flows from it:European avant-garde, music of the Sephardic and Ashkenazi communities, western and non-western classical music - these elements are intertwined and broaden their creative horizon with no boundaries." - Israel's daily Haaretz, 2004

Music by Eitan Steinberg sung by Etty BenZaken

About Steinberg's "Assembly of The Souls" and BenZaken's performance of the piece

  • ​"A deep and absorbing work… a totally original composer’s voice… extraordinary work compellingly sung…" - The Boston Musical Intelligencer , 2014 >>

  • "A powerful and mesmerizing work…The Israeli composer has a unique musical voice…The music is hypnotic." Boston Classical Review, 2014 >>

  • "With "Assembly of the Souls" Eitan Steinberg is working in Pulitzer contention territory…The marvel is how Steinberg deploys diverse musical strategies from the ancient to the avant-garde and keeps them in productive juxtaposition and conscientious balance… [The concert] had a glamorous container in the extended vocal techniques and multicultural stylings of Israeli singer Etty BenZaken." - Boston' online arts magazine The Arts Fuse, 2014 >>

About BenZaken's "Voice Drawings" double-CD (works composed for her voice, including works by Steinberg)

  • "Etty BenZaken's voice caries each composition like a chariot … The endless colors of expression changing in her voice, her phenomenal ability to sing in Hebrew just as in Arabic … This CD includes four works by Steinberg, all of them are special, and in the last, one cannot believe what one hears: "Where Did We Go Wrong, Thank You" demands BenZaken's entire array of expression – in a surprising inventiveness of singing and speaking, voice and whisper, Arabic and Hebrew, and in a totally authentic emotional expression." - Israel's daily Haaretz, 2014 (in Hebrew) >>

  • "...In performing the texts, BenZaken combines all the array of voices one can imagine – whispers, cries, gargles, stutters, moans, shouts … I will not forget for a long time Riki Daskal's "A Poem from an Unimagined Voyage" composed by BenZaken herself … And the most impressive work of all, "Where Did We Go Wrong, Thank You" by Eitan Steinberg: Etty BenZaken plays the accordion, ocarina, cymbals, and sings in Arabic too … A sharp political protest … BenZaken performs with all of her heart." - Tarbut.il, 2014 (in Hebrew) >>

  • "Addictive listening!" - Israel's daily Haaretz, 2013 (in Hebrew) >>

About Steinberg's Rava Deravin, and BenZaken's performance of the piece  

  • ​"Gleaming harmonies … its interplay of textures is exquisite." - BBC Music Magazine, 2009

  • "Eitan Steinberg's "Rava Deravin" creates a cumulative, intense atmosphere that calls to mind the spirituality of an archaic sacred service and makes this work singularly captivating … BenZaken in a virtuoso command of her voice, from a dark-tinged, solemn alto to high, compelling outbursts." - Jerusalem Post, 2002

  • "...The true gem of the evening ... Etty BenZaken staged the world premier of Steinberg’s "Rava Deravin". BenZaken was mesmerizing." - Boston Herald, 2000

Etty BenZaken's books & theater projects

About BenZaken's third book "The Box of Voices"

 

About BenZaken's second novel "What's Written Above"

  • "...A truly magnificent novel ... BenZaken writes in a rare storytelling abundance, with a creative joy and an ability of interdisciplinary integration of cultural and textual layers ...BenZaken writes like a singer who performs for the reader a multimedia show in images and music ... In a rich yet delicate texture of tales and poetry, family chronicles and springs of stories, BenZaken succeeds to draw the map of the angels — the heavenly matchmakers that direct her heroes' destinies over the centuries ... one of 2004 most beautiful Israeli novels." - Israel's daily Yediot Ahronot, 2004

About BenZaken's first novel "The Empress Card"

  • "A special and original novel ... Ben-Zaken conveys emotions with contagious power" - from an article on the book, Israekl's daily Yedioth Ahronoth, 1998

About the play "Fabric Stories" written, directed and designed by BenZaken, for Jewish and Arab students (Haifa University Production)

  • "...I praise BenZaken's visual stage design, that translated her ideas with great humor and creativity ... BenZaken crafted the texts creating a natural sequence between the stories. She even managed to create an impressive piece in which three legends, inthree languages, were interwoven at the same time. "Fabric Stories" is an instructive performance, full of life" - "Habama" 2011. Full Article (in Hebrew)>>

Steinberg's folksongs arrangements (Ladino and more) & BenZaken's performance of them

  • "... The verity, the combination of the very familiar with the ancient and unknown, Steinberg's unique arrangements, the excellent ensemble, and the wonderful voice of BenZaken - indicate a particularly promising performance!" - An article towards the 20th anniversary concert of Steinberg-Ben-Zaken's Ladino project, Isreael’s daily "Haaretz," 2018. The full article (in Hebrew) >>

  • " A Reason for Joy! The "Joy" album by the Israeli Modalius Ensemble, directed by Etty Ben-Zaken and Eitan Steinberg, presents multiculturalism, Israeli and in general, as a source of pleasure!" - Israel's daily Haaretz, 2017. The full article (in Hebrew) >>

  • "Poignant! … Steinberg’s “Joy” caught the inner working of the human spirit at its most exuberant … The piece, a recent project by Steinberg and BenZaken for their inter-cultural ensemble Modalius, is a collection of Jewish love and wedding songs from different Euro-Asian regions" - Boston Classical Review >>

  • "Crowd pleasing … Steinberg’s settings of folk songs reflect the multilingual sources of Israeli culture. Rather than offering a monolithic nationalism, and avoiding saccharine sentimentality, each song is flavored with a distinctive spice" - The Art Fuse - Boston Arts Magazine >>

  • "Tour-de-force ... BenZaken rocked the entire assemblage in the Tsai Center!" - The Boston Musical Intelligencer >>

  • "BenZaken performs these songs perfectly!" - Israel's daily Haaretz, 2004

  • "...In between the songs, BenZaken told three stories she has heard from her grandmother. Her hypnotizing voice made the entire hall still … at the end of the stories, one must admit, not only laughter tears were flowing from our eyes." - Israel's daily Haaretz, 2003

  • "There are many beautiful performances, but that of BenZaken is not only beautiful but unique. She offers you the songs, more than sings them, and they penetrate through your ears right into the heart." - Tel-Aviv's weekly Hair, 2002​

More about Etty BenZaken

About BenZaken's performance of Vivaldi's "Stabat Mater"

  • "...BenZaken in a fascinating performance ... her approach is original, contemporary, and I dare to predict: a break-through." - Tel-Aviv's weekly Hair, 2005

  • "...I've heard many performances of Vivaldi's "Stabat" but even the most beautiful of them … did not excite me as that of BenZaken. She sings a low, clean voice, in an approach that blends a non operatic drama, with an ethnic character." - Tel-Aviv's weekly Hair, 2004

  • "...Such an interpretation … was never heard for this piece. Through it BenZaken has proved her uniqueness as a performer who adopts any piece, even a classical one, into her own personal expression, and transforms it to an emotional expression that penetrates the heart." - Israel's daily Haaretz 2004

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© Eitan Steinberg & Etty BenZaken | Updated Nov. 2019 | Site design: Dina Konson