In honor of the 26th anniversary of the death of the actor, comic and director Shaike Ophir (22 of Av 5747, 17.8.1987), we present one his most famous skits, "The Choir Conductor" or as it is popularly known, "Good Job, Nechama".
Shaike Ophir was born as Yishayahu Goldstein in Jerusalem to a family with roots in the city. He was educated in the Alliance school and later was drafted into the Palmach, where he met Dahn Ben Amotz and Haim Hefer. The two brought him into the Chezbatron, the Palmach's entertainment troupe. In the 50's Ophir moved to France and learned pantomime under Etienne Decroux. Due to his talents, Ophir was invited to join Marcel Marceau's Jewish-French pantomime ensemble. Shaike Ophir also developed as a talented film actor and had roles in many films, such as "Ha'Shoter Azoulay", "The Fox in the Chicken Coop", "Blaumlich Canal" and "Shemona B'Ekevot Ahat", etc.
The Choir Conductor tells the story of a choir that is trying to enter a song competition with a song titled, "Morning is Coming" (Morrrrning, with a rolling r, of course). As it says in the skit, the song, which has three verses "is based on two elements, the music-al element and the verb-al element. The music-al is no less important than the verb-al, and so on" The role of the members of the choir is "to be the bridge between the poet, whom the muse visited, and who sat and wrote this deep and wonderful song, and now our task to pass this song on to the audience of l-i-s-t-e-n-e-r-s". The skit also contains meaningful insights, like, "what is morning? Have you ever thought of the deep and wonderful meaning of this apparently simple word "morning"? Indeed, first of all, morning is night that expired and died and left behind some little spark, a little fragment of the light of hope, hope for what? Hope in renewal, hope that there will indeed be another day tomorrow…" In the entertaining drama of the choir, and its hopes to win a trip to Cyprus, there is the difficulty of imposing authority on Yosef, a choir member, the funny wooing of Nechama by the choir's conductor, and of course the great hope at the end: "Gentlemen, we will still conquer Cyprus!"