Community Briefs: Opera Conductor Dies

Valery Ryvkin
Valery Ryvkin (Courtesy of Temple University)

Former Temple Opera Conductor Valéry Ryvkin Dies at 59

Valéry Ryvkin, who served as conductor of Temple Opera at Temple University from 2012-19 and was an associate professor of voice and opera there, died Jan. 22 from stomach cancer. He was 59.

Ryvkin had moved to Pittsburgh in September for a position at Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Music.

A native of St. Petersburg, Russia, Ryvkin studied at the Leningrad State Conservatory of Music, then immigrated to the United States in 1979 with his family. He obtained a bachelor’s degree in music from the Mannes School of Music at The New School and a master’s in music from The Julliard School.

In the course of his career, he conducted for the San Francisco Opera, Opera Santa Barbara, Germany’s Theater Erfurt, San Diego Opera, Chicago Lyric Opera and the National Center for the Performing Arts in Beijing, China. At the Metropolitan Opera in New York City, Ryvkin served as an assistant and cover conductor for various productions.

He was a frequent guest coach to students in the Young Artist Program at the Los Angeles Opera and served as assistant conductor for Plácido Domingo for a production of Gounod’s “Roméo et Juliette.”

Ryvkin is survived by his wife Victoria Hart, daughter Amanda Ryvkin and father Alexander Ryvkin.

January Incident in Kosher Market Under Investigation by Philadelphia Joint Terrorism Task Force

The Philadelphia Joint Terrorism Task Force is investigating an incident from
Jan. 26 where a man was reported to have shouted anti-Semitic comments inside the House of Kosher market in Northeast Philadelphia, FOX 29 reported.

Sources told FOX that an 18-wheeler tractor-trailer driver was parked in the lot for an extended period before the driver walked into the market and began shouting anti-Semitic comments. The incident was caught on video by surveillance cameras, and a witness was able to get a tag number off the truck.

“Ridiculous, it’s just disgusting,” Sylvia Royzin said to FOX 29. “We left the Soviet Union 40 years ago because of this problem.”

The incident comes less than two months after the shooting inside the JC Kosher Market in Jersey City, New Jersey. That attack left six people dead, including the two attackers.
While there were no reported injuries at the House of Kosher incident, Shira Goodman, regional director of ADL of Philadelphia, urged caution. She said her organization has been in contact with law enforcement and the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia regarding the incident.

“As we’ve seen recently, kosher markets and other Jewish institutions have been targets for hate-motivated intimidation and violence, and we have to take them extremely seriously,” Goodman said. “We believe the police are on top of this, that there is not an imminent threat.”

Theatre Ariel Presents ‘Dov & Ariel’

Dov & Ariel,” which chronicles the story of Orthodox Jewish teacher Dov and his Muslim student Ali, will be presented by Theatre Ariel Feb. 15 at 8 p.m. and Feb. 16 at 2 p.m.
Shows are presented in homes along the Main Line, with venue information made available after tickets are bought.

The play, which was written by Anna Ziegler, is set in Detroit and features two characters who “find their lives intertwined as they work through questions of faith, identity, responsibility and loyalty to one’s father and people. Do the teacher and student serve as each other’s mirror?” according to the press materials.

The cast features David Pica, Abdul Sesay, Lois Abdelmalek and Rachel Brodeur.


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