Edis De Philippe
Cultural powerhouse Edis De Philippe founded the Israel National Opera Company in 1947, creating a landmark institution for the performing arts. Trained early in languages, ballet, violin, and piano, De Philippe began intensive vocal training at age six and performed in several musicals before making her New York opera debut in 1935 as the lead in Verdi’s La Traviata for the company later known as the Metropolitan Opera. From 1936–1937 she performed with the Paris Opera and toured Europe and South America to great acclaim. Shaken by witnessing Jewish refugees fleeing Germany for France, she returned to America in 1941 before traveling to Palestine in 1945 and proposing the foundation of a local opera company. From 1947–1958 she produced a thousand performances throughout Israel before making a permanent home for the company in Tel Aviv at the site of the first Knesset building. She continued to run the company with an iron hand until her death in 1979, training performers, commissioning new works, and inciting a love of opera in Israeli audiences. Although the National Opera Company closed down in 1982, it was revived three years later as the New Israeli Opera.
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Jewish Women's Archive. "Edis De Philippe." (Viewed on May 21, 2019) <https://jwa.org/people/de-philippe-edis>.