• Shiri Magar

You Never Know Where a "Small Role" May Take You...


Vladimir Braun & Shiri Magar - La rondine
Vladimir Braun & Shiri Magar - La rondine/Puccini

When I got cast as YVETTE at the Israeli Opera (in La rondine by Puccini), I begged the artistic director to "at least" let me cover LISETTE.

Left to right: Ira Bertman, Efrat Ashkenazi, Shiri Magar, Shay Bloch - La rondine/Puccini
Left to right: Ira Bertman, Efrat Ashkenazi, Shiri Magar, Shay Bloch - La rondine/Puccini. Photo: Yossi Zwecker



He did not agree.



I went over the part of Lisette because I LOVED the character and her music.




Two years later, Oper Graz was looking for a LISETTE at the LAST MINUTE.

I have never sung the role of Lisette before.

For some reason, the artistic director remembered that I did cover Lisette.

They asked me to jump in.

I agreed.

I don’t know how I agreed on Monday morning in Tel-Aviv to perform the role on Wednesday evening in Graz.

I basically studied and prepared for this role in 48 hours!!

The next 48 hours were the most nerve wracking two days of my life!

I did not sleep, nor eat. I studied the music and prepared for this role every second of every minute of every counted hour.

Ethan Schmeisser sat with me for hours during the night before my flight to help me prepare, and told me the next day: If you do not feel prepared, ask them to sing from the wings.


I felt prepared.



When I arrived at Oper Graz on Wednesday morning, two sweet ladies who were in charge of costumes and hair showed me the dressing room with a tidy organized stand of MANY CLOTHES! Maybe 5-8 different outfits with a great variety of accessories...

I was trying on my outfits for TWO HOURS on the morning of the performance. And then my hairdos for another 30 minutes.

At this point I was extremely exhausted from nerves, studying, singing, travelling, and not sleeping (I also almost did not eat at all) for 48 hours . The two hours of trying Lisette's different looks and outfits were exciting and unbearable at the same time.


I walked into the rehearsal room for the staging rehearsal, and saw a beautiful, sweet, full of energy, young woman: Juana Inés Cano Restrepo. She was the stage director assistant.

After realizing it would be too much to try and learn the staging as well as changing outfits throughout the show… I decided to take Ethan's advice, and asked Juana to PLAY the part of LISETTE on stage while I SANG the role from the wings.

Juana Inés Cano Restrepo and Shiri Magar - La rondine / Puccini - Oper Graz
Juana Inés Cano Restrepo and Shiri Magar - La rondine / Puccini - Oper Graz




She agreed.








I was relieved and went to my hotel, slept for one hour, and the show was a huge success:)

Thank you my angels: Ines and Ethan:)

YVETTE took me all the way from Tel-Aviv to Graz to sing LISETTE.




Mantra for today: I ROLL WITH ANY ROLE!