A former Rye Community Synagogue cantor has gone big time – appearing in a Hollywood movie.
(PHOTO: Cantor Daniel Mutlu has hit the red carpet.)
The recent movie The Song of Names, staring Tim Roth and Clive Owen, also featured Cantor Daniel Mutlu. Mutlu was the cantor at Community Synagogue before his current role at Central Synagogue in New York City. In the movie, Mutlu has "a pivotal scene where a rabbi chants a list of names of a community of Jews killed in the Holocaust, memorized as a mournful “song.”" according to a profile in his hometown paper, The Worchester Telegram of Massachusetts.
The film has received mixed reviews with a Rottten Tomato audience score of 90% and a Tomatometer (critic) score of 33%. The plot according to Wikipedia: "In Europe, during World War II, Martin, a nine-year-old boy, takes a liking to his new adopted brother, Dovidl. Dovidl is a miracle violin player of his age, and has just arrived in London as a refugee. After a few years, before giving a concert at age 21, Dovidl disappears without a trace, bringing shame and ruin to his adoptive family. Years later, when Martin is 56 years old, a young violinist shows a style that only Dovidl could have taught."
The Worchester Telegram has this to say about Daniel Mutlu and his role in the film. Also, scroll down for Mutlu's song in the film and a trailer:
"The new movie “The Song of Names” has a pivotal scene where a rabbi chants a list of names of a community of Jews killed in the Holocaust, memorized as a mournful “song.”
The scene gives the movie its title. “It’s a very important part of the film. It’s where all the revelations are made about what one of the main characters is motivated by,” said Daniel Mutlu.
Mutlu, who grew up in Worcester, plays the rabbi. He is senior cantor at Central Synagogue in New York City and was a student cantor at Temple Emanuel (now Temple Emanuel Sinai) in Worcester.
“The Song of Names” is Mutlu’s first movie role. “I hope it moves people. I hope it tells an important story about the Holocaust in a different way,” he said…
…In the film, the rabbi opens a book at a particular section, closes it and starts chanting the names.
“The song is based on a traditional prayer chanted at funerals and also memorial services,” Mutlu said. “I felt very at home in the scene. (As a cantor) I sing for worship services and offer comfort through my work and music.”…
…Mutlu earned a master’s degree in sacred music at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in New York and was ordained a cantor in 2008. He served as cantor at Community Synagogue of Rye, New York, and also was cantor of Congregation Beth Israel in Houston. He is now in his third year as senior cantor at Central Synagogue and is married with three children…
…Mutlu’s scene as the rabbi was shot in Budapest, Hungary, on an interior set specifically made to look like a synagogue.
“It was an amazing experience. I got a small taste of what it’s like to be in a movie and act. I spent like four hours in the make-up chair.” With the costume department he tried out 10 pairs of spectacles. “For a three-minute scene we worked for hours and hours and hours,” he said.
“The Song of Names” had its world premiere last September at the Toronto International Film Festival. Mutlu was there. “I got to walk the red carpet. That was a new experience for me as well,” he said.""
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