The soprano, Lelia Shani, was born in Bucharest, Romania, where she studied singing at the Governmental Conservatory. After arriving to Israel, she studied with Mrs. Lola Schentzer and Mrs. Hedda Tureck, and also in Paris.
From 1960 to 1974, her musical activity years, Lelia Shani was one of the most distinguihed and esteemed soprano singers in Israel. The Jerusalem Post wrote of her after a concert with Collegium Musicum in February 1962: “Lelia Shani has become one of our outstanding sopranos and it is always a pleasure to listen to her very well-trained voice”.
Lelia Shani sang various repertoire, which included among other things, chamber music, liturgical music, Lieder and operas from various periods - Baroque, Renaissance, Classical, Romantic and Modern.
Lelia Shani appeared as a soloist with many orchestra and chamber ensembles, among which are: Haifa Symphony Orchestra, Holon Orchestra, Israeli Chamber Ensemble, Collegium Musicum. She also appeared with Kol-Israel Orchestra and recorded with them many works by Mozart, Bach, Humperdink, Offenbach and other composers. She also appeared at the Tel-Aviv Museum’s Concerts of Chamber Music
She appeared at the Original Abu-Gosh Music Festival from 1961 to 1967 and in 1972, and sang there mostly works of Bach and Mozart.
In 1967 Lelia Shani joined the Israeli Opera managed by Edis De Philip, and appeared successfully in numerous major roles, including the operas: La Gioconda, Faust, La Bohème, Carmen, Roméo et Juliette (Charles Gounod), Die Fledermaus, Queen of Sheba.
"The Israeli singer Lelia Shani deserves praise for her first appearance in this role (Laura) with the Opera. Her singing was polished, cultured and full of charm..." Yariv Ezrahi, Jerusalem Post, La Gioconda
"Both sopranos, and our own Lelia Shani as Laura, are excellent in there leading parts.” Avidom, La Gioconda, Jerusalem Post