Frédéric Chaslin

French conductor Frédéric Chaslin refused to conduct at the Israeli Opera in Tel Aviv on Saturday evening, after the management denied his demand for a short commemoration of the victims of the terror attacks in France last week. According to an article in the Times of Israel, Chaslin had asked to speak to the audience and play the Israeli national anthem in honor of the 17 people killed in Paris, but was told this would upset the audience. He then left the theater, and a standby conductor stepped in.

Chaslin wrote on Facebook: « Where am I? In a country supposed to be the sanctuary for all Jewish people in the world? Has the ‘audience’ of this country lost their souls? »

A statement from the Israeli Opera in Tel Aviv-Yaffo condemned the Paris attacks, but insisted the theater must remain a haven from terror. « The Israeli opera is pained by tragedy and its aftermath and its heart is with the French nation and Jewish community. For the 30 years that the opera has been in operation, it has insisted on maintaining its routine even on the painful days of dozens of terror attacks and during wars. This is the way of the opera — not to allow terror to win and disturb the routine of our lives.”

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