|26 June 2020|
|Tel Aviv - Yafo, Israel|
|The Israeli Opera|
The Israeli opera based on the well known play by Hanoch Levin returns to the stage with Schprechzi,Cherches and Chips
Director Ido Ricklin
Set Designer Alexander Lisyanski
Costume Designer Oren Dar
Lighting Designer Avi Yona Bueno (Bambi)
Schprechzi Yael Levita
Zecha Ira Bertman
Pepches Noah Briger
Cherches Oded Reich
Businessman Fefechts Schitz and his wife Tsesha eat well, but the aging couple are impatient to see their grownup daughter Schprachtzi get married and give them grandchildren. For her part, the daughter wants to get rid of her parents as expediently as possible, and longs to find a husband herself, a man upon whom she will be able to hang her life. Against the backdrop of rocketing meat prices Schprachtzi goes out to try her luck once more and meets Tcharchess, a former officer and tyro businessman. After making inquiries into the state of Fefechts’ business (“Two trucks and half a shovel dozer”), the potential bridegroom enters into crude bargaining with the father of the bride, and they reach agreement on the marriage terms. Fefechts sums up the haggling thus: “Romanian thief, I’ll turn you into a Persian rug”.
The intrigues begin immediately: Tcharchess schemes to get rid of the elderly couple, first the father and then the mother, in order to inherit their assets quickly, whereas they, with their daughter’s help, seek to deceive Tcharchess, and play one against the other. In this war of loyalties and interests Schprachtzi shifts from the old people’s camp to that of the young. The real war bursts into their life in the middle of the wedding. Tcharchess is called up for reserve service, “leaving a wife on the home front” to hoard food for emergencies. The war ends with a great victory: Tcharchess comes home, embarks on entrepreneurship, and within a short time realizes his ruthless capitalist “vision” by becoming a successful earthmoving contractor, rapidly overtaking his father-in-law Fefechts.
Schprachtzi becomes pregnant, and while her mother Tsesha hopes to become a happy grandmother, Schprachtzi mainly promises her lots of cleaning, washing, and so forth. The young couple enlists the mother to increase pressure on Fefechts. And indeed, the father, in the wake of a burst of gluttony, suffers a heart attack that almost totally paralyzes him. Tcharchess, who is deeply embroiled in loans and is keen to increase his credit, attempts to asphyxiate Fefechts in bed with a pillow in order to speed up the inheritance, but another war foils his plot. Tcharchess is called up again.
This time it is a different war that exacts the full price: Tcharchess is killed ,and when the despairing Schprachtzi, with Tcharchess’ son in her womb, discovers how much she really loves her husband and realizes that she will have to start everything afresh, we return to the opening situation: they are preparing to eat and are grumbling about the price of meat. Towards the end of the opera, the ghost of the dead Tcharchess appears in the Schitz home – begs them to at least allow him to remain a sad memory. Fefechts, who is now completely paralyzed, miraculously gets to his feet and reassumes command of the family. He “accedes” to leaving the dead Tcharchess under the table to pick up scraps, and in a Churchillian speech announces that now he, Fefechts, will take the business in hand: “I shall go on in the earth, in the water, in the air, / I’ll double the capital… / I’ll double the wars… / I’m counting on the dead,
building on the dead, / the dead, the dead, the dead…” And before they all sit down at the table – for what remains apart from eating – Tsesha summarizes the affair: “If I didn’t know we were living history, / I wouldn’t be able to hold on.”