Rosalinde, Fledermaus, J. Strauss
Interview with Tamar Rachum

C.U. met with Tamar Rachum, "Rosalinde", in Johann Strauss' new production of "The Bat", in between rehearsals.
The premiere of The Bat, swooping into the Graz-Opera house is a Christmas present for Operetta friends.
Premiere starts on December 23rd.
A beautiful woman with long black hair (Walt Disney could have used her as the model for "Snow White") is meeting us at the coffee house. She is in a hurry, "in between flights Frankfurt-Graz and back". Today she is playing Rosalinde from "The Bat" at our Opera house and is flying back to Frankfurt where she will sing tomorrow as Elvira in Mozart's "Don Giovanni".

"Mrs. Rachum, you work at the well-known Frankfurt Opera?"
"Yes, for three years. Frankfurt has been my first employment ever. Before I learned how to sing, I joined the army in my country, in Israel and began my music studies but I focused mainly on Pedagogic. I passed all my exams at the University. By the time I graduated and got my diploma I was a fully trained teacher. As soon as I started to sing - or rather I have been singing since I was a baby, says my mother -I have been advised by distinguished guests of the Tel-Aviv Opera, to train my voice. So I went to Vienna - without speaking one word of German (today Mrs. Rachum is speaking German without the slightest accent). The well known Kammersaengerin Mrs Hildegard Zadek taught me how to sing for six years - she is just amazing! I continued my studies at the Vienna Music Conservatory and passed all my mandatory exams. Then I went to the Opera school of the Viennese State Opera".
"How could you afford the expenses for the studies, Mrs. Rachum?"
"I had to work very hard. At first I washed cars, I made deliveries and in fact I did all jobs that other people did not like to do. The big question came up as soon as I finished my studies: the first position. I could have been committed as Elevin at the State Opera but miraculously the Frankfurt Opera offered me a position. At the beginning I took small parts, I guess this is the way it should be, but for the past two years I was offered big parts as well. As I mentioned before, I sang Elvira in "Don Giovanni" and a great part in Offenbach's fantastic production of the Operetta "Parisian life". Furthermore I was singing Rosalinde opposite Harald Serafin in Frankfurt. In the next season, I will perform Violetta in Verdi's "La Traviata". In the summer of 1979 I was working in Salzburg together with the well-known Simionata. She was the one who gave me the courage to take the part that is usually performed by a Coloratura Soprano, but still belongs to the lyric Fach.
I am looking forward to that. And guess what: when I went to Vienna recently to see Prof. Zadek, the guest performance at the Opera of Graz just worked out and at the same time a guest performance - also as Rosalinde - at the Vienna State Opera. Nice right?"
"Doesn't the prose text of "The Bat" make it rather difficult for you? Each Opera house is performing its own "version"; don't you have to relearn than?"
"That doesn't matter to me. I like to learn. Unfortunately I still haven't mastered the real "Viennese Jargon" despite living here for the past six years. However, director Drobesch doesn't think that it matters too much. What a shame that I couldn't take a leave of absence from Frankfurt, so now I have to fly to Frankfurt in between rehearsals and performances. Thank G'd for airplanes!"
"Did you get the chance to walk around in Graz at all?"
"Not yet. Only rehearsals and airport, but next year I will find the time to do some sightseeing in Graz. Frankfurt is a very big and at the same time a very noisy city and I love and need silence. I like to be alone, especially since I have to study a lot, otherwise you don't get far in life. Here and there, I am getting inquiries regarding guest performances. I am very happy about it, but since I am employed in Frankfurt, I am not able to take so much time off. I only get to Tel-Aviv, my hometown, at most once a year, and unfortunately never got the chance to perform over there. Guests from all over the world should be able to enjoy our big Opera house, a world-known Orchestra, a European Repertoire and all Opera performances are held in their Original language."
"Have you already tried on your Rosalinde costumes?"
"Yes of course. Beautiful! Very pompous and charmingly colored. Completely different from Frankfurt though. Here we are wearing huge crinolines, in Frankfurt on the other hand, we have been provided with turn of the century - costumes".
"Since the Premiere is on December 23rd, you will spend Christmas Eve in Graz."
"..I am used to the fact that my job is interfering in my personal life. None of us has a real personal life anyway. We devote our body and soul to the theater. But I love my job above everything!"

Full of energy she is pulling back her black long hair; her big dark eyes are shining. It is not hard to believe that Tamar-Rosalinde not only fascinates Prince Orlofsky, Eisenstein and the Tenor Alfred, but also her audience!

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