Word Problems

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The opera Word Problems is composed entirely of Israeli school textbooks set to music. It embodies the seemingly trivial areas of education such as science class experiments, mathematical word problems, and grammar examples. Here we find both nuanced and extremely loaded political ideas and agendas masked by repetition, and decentralized by their framing. The piece is written for mezzo-soprano, trumpet, clarinet and double bass, and in its entangled counterpoint, none of the musicians-actors-teachers holds the cantus firmus. Therefore the politics of the text that is exposed never has a clear starting point.

"I mostly laughed because it is a great satire, but sometimes I was saddened to discover that I am the piece’s tragic hero", Mekomit

The opera criticizes the educational material through their clever editing and a poignant performance”, Haaretz 

A painful and important reminder of the ways in which this system dictates the lived reality between the Jordan and the sea”, Erev Rav

Music and Text by Uri Agnon

Director: Ilil Lev Kenaan

Singer: Noa Haran

Trumpet: Yohay Vered 

Clarinet: Ruth Scholtz

Contrabass: Rei Shani

Performed at Tel Aviv Museum of Art | The Hansen House, Jerusalem | Hastudio Theatre, Haifa | Be'er Sheva Conservatoire | The Israeli Music Festival  

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