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18 November 1951
Petah Tikva, Israel
|Alma mater||Tel Aviv Academy of Music|
|Occupation||Actor and cantor|
Fisher began cantorial studies at age 22, after his discharge from the army following three years of service that included the Yom Kippur War. He studied at the Tel Aviv Academy of Music, and studied privately under Cantor Shlomo Ravitz. He then took up the cantorial position at the Great Synagogue in Tel Aviv, followed by four years in South Africa. For over 20 years, he was the cantor at Kutsher's Hotel in the Catskills during the Jewish high holidays. In 2005, he became the Chief Cantor of the Hampton Synagogue in Westhampton Beach, New York and its now defunct subsidiary, the New York Synagogue in Manhattan.
After being mesmerised by the London performance of the 1980s hit musical, Fisher, despite no prior acting experience, requested the part in a Hebrew production of Les Misérables. He played its leading role, Jean Valjean, in Israel from 1987 to 1990, and made local fame.
He played the role on New York City's Broadway during the winter of 1993-1994, and later at London's West End, where he was invited to perform before Queen Elizabeth II. At both venues, Fisher was the first performer excused from Friday night and Saturday performances, as he is an Orthodox Jew and was not able to perform because of the Sabbath.
Other performance roles
Among Fisher's other performances is his one-man Off-Broadway show, Never on Friday, an anecdotal work exploring the complications of his experience on Broadway as an observant Jew. He performed in many tours around Israel, the United States, and the world, particularly in Jewish communities, performing classics, as well as musicals, such as Over the Rainbow which toured Israel with Fisher performing 40 Broadway show tunes.
Fisher has also performed with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Zubin Mehta, with a performance televised in France, and with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and the Queens Symphony Orchestra. He has recorded an album of show tunes with the London Symphony Orchestra. He was the first Israeli artist allowed to sing in the Soviet Union before perestroika.
In May 2009, Fisher sang – along with contratenor David D'Or – for Pope Benedict XVI as the pope visited Israel. Fisher is performing every November in Branson, Missouri with his show Jerusalem.
In 1988 he was invited to London to take part in a Royal Command Performance hosted by the Queen of England. The performance was a special version of Les Misérables, featuring artists from the many Les Misérables productions playing around the world. From there, the play’s producer, Cameron Mackintosh, invited Fisher to play the role of Jean Valjean on Broadway and London’s West End. The role of Jean Valjean even took him to soccer’s World Cup Final at Wembley Stadium, where he and four other “Valjeans” were invited to sing. Although Dudu Fisher is not the first Israeli actor to achieve success in the theater and musical world, Fisher did achieve a first of a different kind. As an observant Jew, he was the first actor on Broadway and the West End to be excused from performing on Friday nights, Saturday matinees and all Jewish holidays.
In addition to his stage and synagogue performance, Fisher has released over 25 albums, including songs in Hebrew, Yiddish, and English, many classics and cantorial pieces, as well as music for children. He also dubbed the part of Moses in the Hebrew version of Steven Spielberg's animated film, The Prince of Egypt (1998).
- Hatikvah (2005)
- Lehitei Yiddish Beivrit (Yiddish hits in Hebrew) (2005)
- Coming to America (2004)
- Prayers On Broadway (2003)
- Songs of My Heart (2002)
- Mamenyu (2001)
- Odecha (1999)
- L'tav Ulchayim V'lishlam (For Good, for Life and for Peace) (1997)
- Never on Friday (1996)
- Az Yashir David (1996)
- Beshem Hashem (In God's Name) (1994)
- Showstoppers (1994)
- The Malavsky Family Songs (1993)
- Mamma Loshon (Mother Tongue) (1992)
- Velvet Tiger (1992)
- Golden Chasidic Song (1992)
- Gift (1992)
- Tonight, a Musical (1991)
- Stairways to Heaven (1990)
- Over the Rainbow (1989)
- Yiddishkeit (1988)
- Elokai Neshama (1985)
- Golden Yiddish Favorites (1985)
- Childhood Years
- Raisins and Almonds
- Songs of the Living
- Yiddishe Mamme
- Dudu Fisher's Kindergarten (DVD/VHS):
- (1998) (translated to English)
- "We Are All Friends" (2000)
- "From the Heart and Soul" (2001)
- "The Friendship Trip" (2002) (translated to English)
- "It's the Thought That Counts" (2003)
- "From the Mouth of the Infants"
- "Shabat Shalom"
- "Shana Tova"
- "And Thou Rejoice in Thy Feast"
- "From Slavery to Freedom"
- "A Great Miracle Happened There"
- "Shavuot Holyday"
- "Jerusalen" (translated to English)
- "Song of the Animals"
- A Short Second Life for a Building With History. New York Times archive, retrieved March 10, 2016.
- Cashman, Greer Fay (12 May 2009). "Grapevine: The Eyes Have It". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 14 May 2009.[permanent dead link]
- "David D'Or and Dudu Fisher Sing for the Pope". Consulate General of Israel in New York. 2009. Archived from the original on 22 June 2010. Retrieved 14 May 2009.
- Bezalel, Mel Fay (15 June 2009). "Pioneering a Cure". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 6 October 2010.
- "Bridge Between People – 'Dudu' Fisher to Bring Music to Warner Theatre". Dallas Jewish Week. 13 June 2002.
- Dudu Fisher at Golden Land Concerts & Connections. Accessed 12 December 2005.
- "Golden Land Dudu Fisher".