Started as a songwriter and a rock singer, Yonatan Cnaan is a classically trained composer and conductor with a long experience in both the world of orchestra, opera and Musical-theatre, and also in the field of music production, studio recordings and scoring for visual media.
Winner of the Israeli Prime Minister Prize for Composers, the ACUM Prize and the Israeli Lottery council for arts and culture Grant for composing an opera,
Yonatan is composing and creating original Operas and Musicals, that deals with social and human dilemmas of interesting and controversial characters, or significant eras, that are relevant to our current perception and understanding of society.
His upcoming opera THEODOR, is commissioned by the Israeli Opera for its 2022-2023 season, with a libretto by Ido Riklin. The opera depicts the early life of Theodor Hertzel - "the visionary of the state of Israel" as a young student in Vienna, during the second half of the 19th century. While trying to become a member of the German brotherhood "Albia", he is facing the increasing antisemitism around him, culminating with his own personal antisemic trauma. That wound, and sense of humiliation and injustice, will lead him years later to realize the vision of the Jewish state.
Yonatan composed the music for Sacrifices - the Ancient Musical, which tells the story of Jerusalem on the eve of its destruction, during 1st century. With a book by Eli Kaplan-Wildmann and lyrics by Andrew Zachary-Cohen, the musical presented an industry reading in New-York in November 2019, with a cast of Broadway actors such as Mary Testa, Eddie Korbich, Alan H. Green, Shoba Narayan, Michael Bernardi and more.
Other recent works include The Star of Izmir - (hebrew: Mashiach achshav!) a rock musical that tells the dark history of the 17th century jewish false messiah - Sabbatai Zvi who was born in Izmir, Turkey.
The musical was commissioned by the Israeli Festival for Original Musicals 2017, with text by Efraim Sidon and the artistic supervision of Uri Paster. Cast included Kobi Marimi, Henri David and Eti Vaknin-Sober.
The Race to Space of Greta Gagarin - winner for Best Musical Award 2014 ("Chag Hamachazemer Bat-Yam") is an operatic musical about life in the soviet union in the 1960's. based on a short story by Valeria Zabelotsky, this colourful musical tells the story of young Greta, who falls in love with the image of Uri Gagarin, the famous soviet Cosmonaut. Greta sends Gagarin a love letter, and to her biggest surprize, she even gets a response. directed by Shirit Lee Weiss featuring Daniella Lugassy, Ohad Shragai, Sarit Vino-Elad, Anat Czarny, Daniela Skorka, Guy Mannheim and more.