The Voice of Jerusalem
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 1987-90. In 1988 he was invited to perform the role before Queen Elizabeth II. He played the role on New York City‘s Broadway during the winter of 1993-1994, and later at London’s West End. 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.
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. He 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 1988, he was invited to London to take part in a Royal Command Performance hosted by the Queen of the United Kingdom. The performance was a special version of Les Misérables, featuring artists from the many 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.
(Bio source: Wikipedia)