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Orchestra Drops Concert Featuring Female Singer

Bowing to pressure from religious subscribers, the Ashdod-based Israel Andalusian Orchestra has removed a concert from its subscription series featuring a female singer.

In an announcement to subscribers regarding the new concert season, the orchestra management said it was aware that there are members of the public who refrain from listening to women sing, and are therefore offering the concert featuring a woman singer as a separate option for those who are interested.

Many observant Orthodox Jewish men refrain from listening to women sing, as a violation of Jewish religious law, halakha. Haaretz has learned that the orchestra received complaints from concertgoers who threatened to cancel their subscriptions over the woman singer featured in the subscription series.

The concert that engendered the controversy is scheduled for January and features three women: Morocco-based singer Francoise Atlan, cellist Rali Margalit and conductor Eti Tevel.

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