January 28th
Alte Oper Frankfurt
Esther Ofarim in Concert 2005

Esther Ofarim - Frankfurt 2005 - Foto taken by FAZ

Esther Ofarim performed in concert on January 28, 2005 
in the Alte Oper, Frankfurt.
She surprised the audience with the Ladino song "Adio Querida", 
which she never had sung before.

comments of the press:

Frankfurter Rundschau
Allgemeine Zeitung
Frankfurter Neue Presse
Offenbach Post

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Review of the concert in Frankfurt’s “Alte Oper”, on January 28, 2005
by Ulrich Menzel

For me, attending a concert by the unique Esther Ofarim is always something to look forward to, but Esther’s first concert of 2005 exceeded my wildest expectations!

 I must be honest and admit I didn’t expect to be blown away after seeing her in Dortmund in October last year. During that  particular performance, it was obvious poor Esther was still suffering from a cold and thus wasn’t her usual self in terms of the quality of her singing. Moreover, the acoustics in Dortmund’s “Konzerthaus” left something to be desired, which also worked against Esther’s magic.

 However, she more than made up for this in Frankfurt, where she was welcomed by an even larger audience than during her last stint here almost 2 years ago. She was relaxed and had a wonderful, warm rapport with her audience all through the evening, talking between songs and reacting to the audience in a way she has probably never done before.

Her singing was superb, but there was also a new “playfulness” with regard to the treatment she gave her songs: She sometimes played around with the melody and the lyrics of a song without deviating too much from the way the song was written, which made for some very exciting interpretations of familiar songs. This was especially effective in her opening numbers “Oh Waly, Waly” and “Every Night”, which benefitted greatly from her relaxed, almost jazzy readings.

 Esther took us quite by surprise by presenting 3 songs most of us hardcore fans had never heard live before – one song was even completely new to her repertoire:

She introduced “Adio Querida” by saying this was a Ladino song about bidding farewell to a beloved one and that it would be the first time for her to sing it. A beautiful, aching melody  I hope she will put on record one day!

The other 2 songs were “Jerusalem” and “I only have eyes for you”.

The former title was sung both in English and Hebrew, a great song that never fails to bring tears to my eyes, because of its haunting melody and lyrics. Esther more than did the song justice with her crystalline voice and moving interpretation.

“I only have eyes for you” is an entry from “The Great American Songbook”, a standard from the 1930s when many of America’s greatest songs were  written. To my knowledge, this song hasn’t been part of Esther’s repertoire since her concert tour of Israel in the late 1980s. It was therefore quite a surprise to hear her revisit this song which was effectively complemented by Eli Degibri’s jazzy saxophone solo. A gently swinging rendition that put her right up there with the likes of Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughan!

This was an unforgettable evening! What better way to start the new year than with the extraordinary Esther Ofarim, who I hope will continue to perform for many years to come. Bravo and welcome back, Esther!



 Oh Waly, Waly
Every Night
Layla, Layla
Jerusalem (English and Hebrew version)
Besade Patuach
Ten Li Yad
In Germany Before The War
I Only Have Eyes For You
She’s Leaving Home

Instrumental interlude:
(performed by Yoni Rechter, Michail Paweletz and  Eli
Ancient Song
Unknown Titel

Over The Rainbow
Speak Low
Bird On The Wire
Shir Eres / Dodo l’Enfant Do
Adio Querida
Shirat Hanoded (Ziunionei Haderech)
Alabama Song
Stu Adarim (Me Emek VeGivea)
Mad About The Boy

Morning Of My Life
Shir Aviv / Gruß


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