Portrait of a Tenor and a Role
“Finding Eléazar” is a feature length documentary
which chronicles the journey of international opera star NEIL
SHICOFF as he develops the infamous tenor role of Eléazar
from the Grand French opera La Juive.
The film traces Mr. Shicoff’s personal history, his
religion and beliefs as he internalizes the dichotomy of a
character who gives his own daughter to death because of his
own intolerance, fanaticism and urge for revenge.
Throughout his journey, Mr. Shicoff is put to the test concerning
his purpose as an artist who is determined to deliver a message
of tolerance and compassion even though he plays a persecuted
fanatical Jewish character in a world filled with hatred and
La Juive, a once extremely popular opera was banned by the Nazis,
and subsequently disappeared from the world stages. Discovering
this history, Mr. Shicoff struggles with the parallels between
the intolerant, violent world of the opera and the horrifyingly
similar real world of today.
The film exposes Mr. Shicoff’s emotional and ever changing
characterization of Eléazar in candid behind-the-scenes
footage taken during a live performance at the Vienna Staatsoper
and the making of a Music Video of the most famous aria from
La Juive. The Music Video itself is directed by legendary filmmaker
SIDNEY LUMET and offers yet another breathtaking interpretation