20. and 21. April 2003:
Concert in Hamburger Kammerspiele 
Esther Ofarim

Esther Ofarim
The concert had very big success, all tickets were sold off!

Concert-reviews of the press:

Hamburger Morgenpost
die Welt

Concert-review of Robert van Leeuwen & Roel van Nieuwenhoven:

Hamburger Kammerspiele, 20 and 21 April 2003


Both on 20 and 21 April Esther sang to sold out houses. Esther's concerts were part of a revival of recent highlights at the Kammerspiele. Further to a renovation and change of management, the theatre is now heading for different directions. Not to worry, though, for Esther will probably continue her successful Hamburg concerts at the St. Pauli theatre in future.
Esther looked radiant, wearing a black jacket over a deux-pièces suit, consisting of a black sequined blouse and gray pants. She was in equally splendid voice and spirits as in the Alte Oper in Frankfurt a month ago, but there were various changes in her choice of songs (see list below). The program was identical on both nights, except that on Easter Sunday she started with Waly, Waly and on Easter Monday she began with Hitragut and Waly came next. It was nice to note Yoni's Rée was included again, effortlessly performed by Esther. A lovely dreamy and nostalgic song written by Esther's arranger, accompanist and good friend Yoni Rechter. Soon after came the big surprise of the evening, Pavane. This piece, originally recorded by Esther thirty years ago with predominantly guitar backing, sounded equally haunting with piano and violin. Michael Paweletz displayed his huge skills as a violinist throughout the song and especially so in a bridge inserted between the second and third verse. It was wonderful to hear Esther sing an 'adult' French song again after so long.
As usual half way the concert Esther took a short break while Yoni sang one of his own songs, which he introduced by saying "I must be very brave to sing after Esther Ofarim"! Esther returned with one of the few optimistic and upbeat songs of her Hebrew repertory, Shtu Adarim. Esther rarely introduces a song and when she does, it is as brief as can be, so she just said "three songs by Kurt Weill" and then sang Speak Low, September Song and Moon of Alabama. She seems to sing these songs better all the time and her perfect phrasing makes you really listen to the lyrics. After Alabama a complete change of mood and pace with the lullaby Shir Eres. There is so much richness in Esther's voice, even when she sings softly there is so much feeling coming across. She then segued into Dodo, l'Enfant Do, another timeless lullaby. Esther closed her 'official' program with Mad about the Boy, but of course the public wouldn't let her go before several encores. The final ending came with Guten Abend, gut' Nacht sung in three different languages. It was truly a voyage through various continents.

Song list:


Oh, Waly, Waly

Layla layla


Demaot shel Malachim

She’s leaving home

Ten li yad

Dirty old town


Cancion para dormir a un negrito


Vocal and instrumental intermission by Yoni Rechter and Michael Paweletz


Shtu Adarim (Me’emek le Givea)

Speak low

September song

Alabama song

Shir eres / Dodo l’enfant do

Bird on an wire

Mad about the boy

God bless the child

Hey Ziuniunei haderech (Shirat Hanoded)


Guten Abend, gut’ Nacht  

A big thank-you to:
Robert van Leeuwen / Roel van Nieuwenhoven
Amsterdam, 22 April 2003

Comments before the concert:

english speaking people see here

Esther Ofarim

Musikalische Leitung: Yoni Rechter
Violine: Michail Paweletz
20. und 21. April, jeweils 20.00 Uhr

Sie singt, meist hebräisch, alte und neue Lieder: 
Von den frühen Siedlern, die nach Palästina kamen und davon träumten, 
die Wüste blühen zu lassen.
Lieder von Einsamkeit, von der Sehnsucht nach Bleibe und Nest. 
Von der weißen Stadt Tel Aviv, die in der Sonne glüht. 
Wiegenlieder, Liebeslieder, Lieder, die zu Gebeten werden. 
Man spürt, worum es geht in den Texten, auch wenn man die Sprache nicht versteht. 
Nur mit spärlichen Gesten untermalt die
Ofarim ihren Gesang. Theatralik ist ihr fremd. 
Ein paar englische Hits werden ins Programm gestreut: "She¹s leaving home" aus dem Sergeant-Pepper Album der Beatles. Brechts "Moon of Alabama. 
Und Leonard Cohens "Bird on a wire" über den Drahtseilakt des Lebens ­ zum Sterben schön.
(Die Welt
) - (taken from Hamburger Kammerspiele)

[English translation:]

Esther Ofarim
Conductor:: Yoni Rechter
Violin: Michail Paweletz
April, 20th and 21st at 20:00 o'clock

She is singing, mainly songs in hebrew, old and new ones:
Songs about the early settlers, who came to
Palestina and who dreamt of making the desert alive.
Songs of lonliness, about longing for finding a home and lodging.
Songs about the white city Tel Aviv, which glows in the sun.
Goodnight-songs, Love-songs, songs, which are becoming prayers.
You can feel what the texts are about, even when you don't understand the language.
Esther Ofarim uses only a few gestures while singing. Staginess is foreign for her.
A few english hits are still in her programm: "She's leaving home" from the Sergeant-Pepper Album of the Beatles.
Brecht's "Moon of Alabama". And Leonard Cohen's "Bird on a wire" about
walking a tightrope of life - just wonderful!

german speaking people see here