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January 16, 2015  RSS feed

Text: T T T

Opera singer to offer weekend of music in Brandon

Cantor Paul Offencrantz Cantor Paul Offencrantz Cantor Paul Offencrantz, who began his professional singing career on the stage of the New York Metropolitan Opera House at age 9, will offer a weekend of music at Congregation Beth Shalom in Brandon on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 13-15. All events are open to the public.

Offencrantz, who lives in the West Palm Beach area, was a protégé of the famous cantor and operatic tenor, Richard Tucker. Beyond his operatic career, the ordained cantor has served full time at congregations in New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, and West Palm Beach.

He will sing and officiate at the Shabbat worship service on Friday, Feb. 13 at 7:45 p.m., and on Saturday, Feb. 14 at 7:30 p.m. the sanctuary will be transformed into a cabaret.

At the Saturday night event, Offenkrantz and pianist Joan Frankel will present an evening of love songs. The program will include favorites from the Broadway stage, as well as classics by George Gershwin, Irving Berlin, Jerome Kern and Cole Porter.

Those attending are asked to bring their own wine, if they wish. Soft drinks and snacks will be provided.

Tickets for this event are $10 per person or $18 for a couple/family. Tickets can be purchased at the door by cash, check or credit card. Email Toby Koch for further information at

On Sunday, Feb. 15 at 9:30 a.m. the cantor will offer a special program for students in the religious school.

Program sponsorships are available. Call the office at (813) 681-6547 for more information.

Offencrantz is a scholar/lecturer for the Lifelong Learning Society at Florida Atlantic University. His FAU website biography states that “Over the course of five years, [Offenkrantz] appeared at the Met in more than 20 different productions, sharing the stage with such stars as Tucker, Robert Merrill, Luciano Pavarotti and Placido Domingo and singing under the baton of such legendary conductors as Leonard Bernstein and James Levine.”

The biography notes that at age 12 he was the subject of a feature article in the New York Times which led to an invitation by Jerome Robbins and George Balanchine to sing the leading role in an opera by Maurice Ravel, presented by the New York City Ballet. Soon thereafter, he appeared on the TV game show To Tell the Truth as the “youngest Metropolitan Opera star.”

Offenkrantz attended the cantorial program of Hebrew Union College where he was the recipient of numerous awards. It is also where he received his ordination and earned a master’s degree in sacred music in 1989. Additionally, he was chosen to participate in a musical tour of Israel for the country’s 40th anniversary.

His Linked-In page states, “I am committed to providing the highest level of personal service for weddings (Interfaith; Jewish; Spiritual/Non-Denominational; Secular/Civil); vow renewal and LGBT ceremonies; personalized Bar/Bat Mitzvah preparation/ services, funerals and unveiling ceremonies, baby namings; home consecrations, and conversion classes – as well as concerts and lectures on a variety of topics.”

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