Lives in the Yiddish Theatre


Esther Neroslavka


Born in Yekaterinoslav, Ukraine, whose father and brother were painters. She finished a six-class city school, learned singing with Professor Y. A. Levin, and as a child took part under his leadership in children's concerts. Later through his initiative, she was sent by Brodsky's with a stipend to a Kiev music school. She went away to study and was to become a professional singer , and thus helped out her mother, who by that time had become a widow. The plan was, however, destroyed by this, that due to difficult material conditions at home she cut short her studies in the music school and joined into the arriving troupe of Fishzon-Spivakovski, where she debuted under the pseudonym of "Nero", as "Yitzhak" in Goldfaden's "The Sacrifice of Isaac".

Above a year she toured with the troupe across Russia, until in Lodz when she became engaged to director Castallana in his Italian opera "Carmen". She studied singing with a Joseph Rumshinsky, the former conductor of Lodz's "Hazamir".

For two years, N. toured with the Italian troupe, which she performed in fourteen operas in second prima donna roles. Through that time, she visited Turkey, Greece, Italy and Russia, and meanwhile learned voice with the conductor of the troupe Karshon, and with the prima donna Monti Bruner.

1904 -- N. returned to the Yiddish stage and entered into the troupe of Sam Adler and Kaminski. With the troupe she also acted in Peterburg, performing as "Chasya the Orphan", and in


other dramatic roles. In Minsk, Julia Volin wrote for her the drama "Der zun fun shturm".

At first in Warsaw, when there was staged Lateiner's operetta "Joseph and his Brothers", to which Peretz Sandler wrote special music, N. performed in the singing role of "Benjamin", and since then went back to operetta repertoire. Shortly thereafter she married conductor and composer Peretz Sandler.

On 27 September 1911 N. performed as "Israelis" in Handel's oratory "Yehuda Maccabee", which was staged by Lodz's "Hazamir", under the leadership of Leo Kopf.

1912 -- N. guest-starred in Lodz's "Grand Theatre" (Director: Y. Zandberg), and under the influence of the local German theatre, she decided to perform in a series of European operettas. In her plan, she would support her husband, who took over, to withdraw, and in 1912-13 the direction of Warsaw's Elizeum Theatre, where he directed -- for the first time on the Yiddish stage -- the European operettas "Eva", and "Shoshana di tsnueh" with N. in the title roles.

When Moshkovitsh guest-starred in the summer of 1913 in Poland, he engaged N. with her husband for his National Theatre in New York, where she performed on 2 October 1913 as "Eva" [called "Dos parizer arbeter-meydl"], but because of that, that her husband's activity became disturbed by the local musical union, she interrupted her acting in New York and went to guest-star in London, Paris and Czernowitz.

On the eve of the World War, she returned to Warsaw, and she soon left the Crown of Poland, guest-starring in Vilna, then in Russia, where she performed -- due to the ban on Yiddish theatre -- in operettas and dramatic repertoire in Russian, and she then toured out to Charbin, where she acted for about a year in Yiddish theatre.

In April 1917 she again arrived with her husband -- across Japan and Canada -- in New York, where she performed in Thomashefsky's National Theatre as "Tsiganke aza", and acted in the theatre for the 1917-1918 season. In the summer of 1918 -- she guest-starred in Philadelphia with H. Tsukerberg. 1918-19 season -- she acted in the "Nord Star" Theatre (106th Street and Fifth Avenue, New York), where she performed for the first time in America as "Shoshans di tsnueh". 1919-20 -- toured across America with a Ukrainian troupe under the direction of E. Relkin, and in Philadelphia with Maurice Schwartz and Max R. Wilner, where she performed in Schwartz and Sandler's operetta "Amol in may", with whom she guest-starred, also in the summer in New York's Irving Place Theatre.

1921-22 -- in Boston (Director: Julius Nathanson), where she also acted in Dymov's "Yerushalayim" with Joseph Shoengold. 1922-24 -- in New York's People's Theatre (managers -- Shulman and Rovinger).
1924-25 -- she was the first dramatic actress in Newark with Elving.
1925-26 -- she acted in Philadelphia (managers -- Samuel Goldenburg and Celia Adler).
1926-27 -- in the Liberty and then in the Public Theatre (managers -- Louis Goldberg and Shulman).
1927-28 -- in Detroit (manager -- A. Littman).
1929-30 -- with the "Vilna Troupe" from the union across America and Canada.
Summer 1931 -- N. visited Europe and guest-starred in "Amol in may" in Paris.

Sh. E.

  • Sh. An-ski -- In yudisher teater, "Der fraynd", Peterburg, 1908.

  • Menachem Mendl Feytlzun -- Ester (n. b.) nirislavskayh, "Hd hzmn", Vilna, 1910.

  • E. [Y. Uger] -- Der kontsert fun "hazimir", "Lodzer tageblat", 29 December 1911.

  • U. [Y. Uger] -- Frau Nero-Neroslavska, "Neue Lodzer Zeitung", 12 Mai 1912.

  • Dr. A. Mukdoni -- N. neroslavska, "Der fraynd", Warsaw, 11 march 1913.

  • H. E. [Epelberg] -- Tsum benefis fun n. b. neroslavska, "Program un kritik", Warsaw, 12 March 1913.

  • Sfinks [M. Kipnis] -- Tsum hayntigen benefis fun artistin neroslavska, "Haynt", Warsaw, 50, 1913.

  • [--] -- In der idisher theater velt, "Forward", N. Y., 4 October 1923.

  • [--] -- Ester neroslavskaya tsurik in amerike, "Di varhayt", N. Y., 13 April 1917.

  • H. Lang -- Varum iz di gebliben ohn a dzshab dizen theater-sizon?, "Forward", N. Y., 18 January 1918.

  • Noakh Prilutski -- "Yidish teater", Bialystok, 1921, 1, pp. 116-123.

  • B. Botwinick -- Eyne tsvishen fiele, "Forward", N. Y., 4 March 1922.

  • Dr. A. Mukdoni -- Zikhrunus fun a yidishn teater-kritiker, "Archive", Vilna, 1930, p. 411.






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Adapted from the original Yiddish text found within the  "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre" by Zalmen Zylbercweig, Volume 2, page 1430.

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