Opera + Broadway + Shabbat Dinner = Unforgettable

Opera + Broadway + Shabbat Dinner = Unforgettable

David Babinet, an accomplished baritone-turned-synagogue-cantor with a Bachelor of Arts in Music degree from  CU Boulder, will be returning to Colorado next week to perform at Chabad of NW Metro Denver.

The event will be held at a Friday night Shabbat dinner on October 22nd at Chabad of NW Metro Denver where David will delight the audience with a mix of Broadway, Chazanut and Opera.

David will also reflect on his journey from opera singer to Yeshivah student to synagogue cantor.

A separate children’s program will run during the dinner and presentation.

Seating is limited for this performance and Shabbat dinner so book early to avoid disappointment.

The event will begin with the kabbalat Shabbat service at 6:15 pm followed by Shabbat dinner and performance at 6:45 pm. The event will conclude by 9:00 pm and will be held at Chabad of NW Metro Denver 4505 W 112th Ave. Westminster, CO 80031.

Cost is $18 per person and $12 per child 12 and under. To make a booking click here or call 303.429.5177.

Listen to David sing The_Largo_al_Factotum

To learn more about David and for more tracks, visit his website at http://www.davidbabinet.com/

Interview with David Babinet

  • While a student in CU did you frequent any of the local synagogues?

No.  I was not interested in very much besides music.  I was completely immersed in classical music study and determined to be a successful opera singer.  I didn’t really know much about what was out there but I believed that music could be my spiritual journey.

  • How does it feel to return to Colorado as a Chazan?

It feels wonderful.  Colorado is one of my favorite places in the world and I am very excited about sharing a musical evening with the Chabad of NW Metro Denver.

  • What is unique about being a Chazan?

Classical music is very fulfilling intellectually and emotionally.  Opera in particular arouses our emotions of love and sympathy and it challenges us intellectually with its complexity.  As complex and emotional as the music may be it is still limited to human emotions and intellect.  Cantorial music goes way beyond that because through prayer we connect to the infinite.  To pray to the Creator of the universe is a basic and essential activity that really expresses what it means to be a human being.

  • Do you have any regrets from leaving the world of opera and what opportunities do you have as a chazzan and singer in the Jewish world?

Being an opera singer was very fulfilling for me as a career but it was not satisfying me spiritually.  Now, as a cantor I am very enthusiastic about the many challenges that my career brings and I am very satisfied on the spiritual level as well.  So, while there are certain aspects of my previous career that I do miss on the holistic level, I am much more fulfilled.  As a chazzan I am doing a lot of concerts and I have a lot of engagements in synagogues.  I have been the chazzan for the High Holidays and for special Shabbat events.  To transition from being a well trained classical singer to be a cantor has been a very challenging thing.  It is a whole new world.  It has been like learning 10 new operas and it has taken me the last six years and I still have a lot more repertoire to learn.

  • Do your friends still recognize you now that you sport a fedora and a flowing beard?

They recognize me but sometimes I don’t recognize myself.

  • What is your message for aspiring cantors?

It is absolutely imperative to have proper musical and vocal training to be a cantor.  A lot of people think you can just listen to recordings and copy them.  People like Yossele Rosenblatt and Moshe Kossouvitzky; they were serious musicians and very highly skilled vocalists.  Also, talent is maybe 10% but a person really has to work hard in order to achieve success.

About Rabbi Benjy Brackman

Benjy Brackman is the Rabbi/Executive Director of Chabad of NW Metro Denver in Westminster, Colorado.

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