On Monday afternoon, October 23, the Czech embassy in Tel Aviv treated a modest but very appreciative audience of mostly Israelis to a performance by Czech vocal trio Makabara. Makabara is the resonant harmonies of Marie Vostatková (first soprano), Kateřina Schejbalová (second soprano) and Barbora Janová (alto). The trio was formed in 2003 after the three met at the Jan Deyl Conservatory for visually impaired performers in Prague.
 
In the first half of the programme, the singers performed short traditional Czech folk songs, arranged as a capella art songs for their voices by contemporary Czech composers. In the second half of the programme, the trio surprised the audience by revealing another specialty of theirs: Hebrew and Jewish songs, including arrangements of "Oseh Shalom", "Eshet Chayil", "Eli Eli", and even a contrapuntal rendition of "Dayenu", from the Passover seder. In that case, they explained that some believe that "Dayenu" originated in the Czech region of Moravia.
 
The trio is apparently used to performing for Czech audiences, as they provided almost no explanation of the traditional Czech songs, but introduced nearly all of the Hebrew numbers. Although, they admitted that "you may know this song" for the first few, and inviting the audience to sing along for Hava Nagila, with which they closed the program, before agreeing to an encore.
 
The performance delighted the audience, and we hope that the performers' smiles and what appeared to be sunburns were signs that they were enjoying Tel Aviv as well.
 
Diplomacy.co.il thanks the Czech embassy and particularly Arthur Polzer, the press, culture, and education attaché for bringing the Makabara trio to Israel!
 
Photo Yavni Bar -Yam