Robert Binder (Stage Director) has been involved in the creation of educational media for Israel television, the JNF, JeMM Productions, the Gesher Foundation, and others. As artistic director of Bimadaf (“Page on the Stage”), he produced and toured in puppet-and-people performances of Jewish tales throughout Israel and in North America and Great Britain. He began his career in Gilbert & Sullivan at Columbia University, where he appeared in Trial by Jury, HMS Pinafore, The Pirates of Penzance, Patience, and Iolanthe, and directed Princess Ida, The Mikado, and Ruddigore. He is a founder of the Jerusalem Gilbert & Sullivan Society, for whom he has directed a series of seven operas, as well as the G&S musical biography, Into Futurity, and of Encore! for whom he wrote and directed The Keys to the City, and staged The Mikado, The Wizard of Oz, The Yeomen of the Guard, Oklahoma!, The Pirates of Penzance, Fiddler on the Roof, Ruddigore, The Pianist, Carousel, HMS Pinafore, The Grand Tour, My Fair Lady, The Gondoliers, The Secret Garden, The Sorcerer/Trial by Jury, Oliver, Annie Get Your Gun, Guys and Dolls, and Aladdin. His alter ego, Ben Hashbaz, makes occasional appearances on stage and in the wardrobe department.
Paul Salter (Musical Director). Paul is the founding musical director of Encore! and has been at the helm for all the company’s major productions. He has worked widely as a solo pianist, accompanist, conductor, musical director, arranger and composer and is a graduate and postgraduate of the Royal Northern College of Music. He was the Musical Director of the Manchester Jewish Theatre Company for many years. In addition to appearances on BBC TV and Radio, Paul has conducted the National Festival Orchestra in the UK and the Israel Chamber Orchestra in Israel. He is also the Musical director of the Jerusalem Cantors’ Choir, the latter with whom he has given many concerts in Europe. He has also been the accompanist for many of the world’s leading cantors.
As a piano soloist, Paul recently gave two performances of Anton Rubinstein’s demanding virtuoso Fourth Piano concerto with the Emeritus Orchestra in Tel Aviv. He gives a regular series of popular music lectures, with subjects ranging from Beethoven to The Beatles and has spoken as far afield as Hungary. In addition to all this furious activity, Paul has just finished a stint as musical director for nine performances of Annie at Beit Hillel at Hebrew University. At present, he is working together with Robert Binder on their new opera about the NILI spy ring, slated for early June 2017.