Best choice

The best of Noa's repertoire at the Fenice Theatre
by Fabio Marzari

Our interview with Noa, who will perform at the Fenice Theatre with a programme that draws from the best of her repertoire.

The famous Israeli performer, a champion of peace and an extraordinary interpreter of international music, will be on stage on December 20 for a concert promoted by Veneto Jazz that will anticipate Christmas and bring together some old friends of hers. In Noa’s words, the joy of meeting her audience in such a magical place.

An important concert on the Fenice stage with a programme that draws from the best of your repertoire. How do you feel about such a meaningful return on stage and what guided you in choosing the playlist of your show?
I am thrilled to be able to perform in this amazing theatre in one of the most beautiful and culturally important cities in the world! what an honour! For me, it is a chance to re-unite with the Solis String Quartet, with whom I recorded two albums and did many, many concerts ten years ago. Over the past decade, I had very few opportunities to see them, which makes this reunion all the more exciting, and Venice is the perfect place for it to happen! The repertoire will consist of some original, beautiful compositions by Solis, a selection of my own compositions in English and Hebrew (you could say they are a bit of a best of) arranged for strings by Solis and Gil Dor, selections from my album Letters to Bach – some for guitar and voice and some with the Solis Quartet, and two new pieces, one written by Gil for strings, called Folk, and the other written by me and Gil, a new chorale called I Sea You. It will be the first time this latter song is performed live!

What role does music have in your daily life, and what music do you listen to when you are not the one playing?
Hasn’t anyone ever told you that real musicians don’t listen to music?! A bit of a joke, but not quite! We musicians have music running through our head, our heart, our body, all the time! It’s crazy, like a radio you can never turn off! That’s why I prefer quiet. There are times that I need comfort or inspiration, and I go back to my favourite albums, my “desert island” albums and artists, like Paul Simon, Joni Mitchell, Leonard Cohen, Sting, and more… I also search for new, interesting stuff on Spotify, or Instagram, and so on… I always discover beautiful new music this way.

Venice is synonymous with cinema. We never forgot your work with Benigni and Piovani for Life is Beautiful. What memories do you hold dear about that experience? Do you see further work with cinema in your future, whether in Italy or abroad?
Nicola Piovani gave me one of the great gifts of my life by approaching me to write the lyrics of the theme song for that amazing film and record it. Wow, what a trip into the depth of the human spirit was demanded of us to later come back the surface and write those lyrics. I met Roberto two or three times, and he was always so nice and funny – I adore him. With Nicola, it’s much more than that.  A deep, deep friendship has developed over the years. As for my connection to Cinema, to begin with I’m a huge fan! In fact, I have written several theme songs to films, like the lyrics to My Heart Calling for Joan of Arc by Luc Besson, and lyrics and music for a French film, Babel. I am also the honorary president of the Capri Hollywood International Film Festival, which takes place around New Year’s every year. Most recently, I have been asked to write a song for an animated film about the life of Gino Bartali, which is exciting.

One cannot ignore what is happening in Ukraine: a war that shapeshifted into routine, something you have to get used to, a piece of news among many. What can show business do, pragmatically, to make the mediatic visibility of the conflict more meaningful?
Artists can do a lot, but it is only effective when it’s in numbers. When we come together a group, as a united front, a powerful cause, we can make a better change. Whether it be Ukraine, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the Climate Crisis or any other important issue, we must work together, fearlessly, if we want to make an impact.