SAVE THE DATE: SAVANNAH VOICE FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES DATES FOR 11TH SEASON

SAVANNAH, GA – September 21, 2022 As the Savannah VOICE Festival (SVF) brings its 10-year anniversary season to a close, the organization is excited to announce its return to the Hostess City for their eleventh annual Festival. The two-week festival will be held Aug. 6-20, 2023, at iconic various venues around Savannah.

SVF will feature a variety of musical performances from opera, musical theatre, and song. The line-up of events will include a main opera production, a musical theater show, a studio production, and a featured artist recital, in addition to Festival favorites such as the sacred concert, coffee concerts, and master classes. A full line-up of events will be released later in the year. Updates will be posted to SVF’s website.

Jorge Parodi, SVF artistic director and internationally acclaimed conductor, is looking forward to returning to Savannah for the organization’s eleventh season.

“We are thrilled with the success of our tenth season and can’t wait to do it all again next year,” Parodi said. “We already have several events in the works that I know our fans will adore. I love the support that all the wonderful artists and I feel every time we perform in this beautiful city, and I hope that we will see everyone again next year.”

For more information about the Festival, please call 855.766.7372, email info@savannahvoicefestival.org, or visit www.savannahvoicefestival.org

– ENDS –

Savannah VOICE Festival is a 501(c) 3 tax exempt nonprofit arts organization in the state of Georgia. The Festival brings classical vocal excellence to the Savannah area through a two-week celebration of concerts, events and educational presentations during the month of August and throughout the year. Focusing on arts awareness and audience development in the performing arts, it offers music from opera, musical theatre and popular song. Donations are tax-deductible.

The Savannah VOICE Festival is supported in part by the Georgia Council for the Arts through the appropriations from the Georgia General Assembly. GCA is a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts.

For media inquiries, please contact Kristyn Beasley at 229-393-6457 or kristyn@lesleyfrancispr.com, Lesley Francis at 912-429-3950 or lesley@lesleyfrancispr.com, or the team at 912-417-LFPR (5377).

 

SAVANNAH VOICE FESTIVAL TO CONCLUDE TENTH ANNIVERSARY SEASON WITH GALA HONORING FREDERICA VON STADE AND FAUST FINALE

SAVANNAH, GA. – August 12, 2022 – The Savannah VOICE Festival will close out its tenth season with a reception and special concert gala featuring 2022 Milnes VOICE Awardee, Frederica “Flicka” von Stade, at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 20 at the historic Green Meldrim House, 14 W Macon St. World renowned mezzo, Frederica, will share her musical gifts in “An Evening with Flicka,” accompanied by Dan Gettinger on the piano. Flicka will regale the audience with stories of her life, while performing in her one-of-a-kind operatic mezzo voice. Renowned bass-baritone James Morris, a former Milnes VOICE Awardee, will present Flicka with the prestigious Milnes VOICE Award for 2022. The Milnes Family in conjunction with the VOICExperience Foundation launched the Milnes VOICE award to recognize individuals who have made an extraordinary difference in the perpetuation of excellence in the art of great singing in the operatic repertoire and other classically sung genres of music.

 

Frederica hails from New Jersey but studied at the Mannes School of Music in New York City. She has had a prolific international career in the operatic arts since her Metropolitan Opera debut in 1970, working in productions across the world including New York City, England, France and Italy. Frederica has been awarded with nine Grammy nominations over the course of her career.

 

Dan Gettinger has worked with the Milnes VOICE Programs for many years as a music director, vocal coach, and pianist in Savannah, New York, Orlando, and Tampa as well as with many other prestigious organizations around the world. Dan has coached and taken the role of principal pianist for Palm Beach Opera, Opera Tampa, Chautauqua Opera, Santa Fe Opera, and Florida Grand Opera. As a recital pianist, he has performed with Patricia Racette, Heidi Grant Murphy, and Florence Quivar. He has also served as a judge for prestigious opera competitions including the Licia Albanese-Puccini Foundation Competition, and the Loren L. Zachary Society Competition.  Dan has held university faculty positions at Florida International University; Brooklyn College; The Hartt School at The University Of Hartford, where he was the music director of the musical theater department; and Manhattan School of Music in New York, serving as the music director of the American Musical Theater Ensemble. In addition to opera, Dan is equally experienced in the genre of musical theater, having conducted productions of My Fair Lady, Carousel, and Sweeney Todd for Shreveport Opera, and having worked as assistant conductor of a national tour of A Little Night Music.

 

“Frederica truly possesses a captivating ability to hold an audience’s attention beyond just singing,” Maria Zouves, co-founder and president of the Savannah VOICE Festival said. “Her contributions to the field of opera and the performing arts as a whole have been significant, and I cannot wait to see opera legend Sherrill Milnes present her with this well-deserved award.”

 

The final weekend of the tenth Savannah VOICE Festival will be out of this world as in addition to the gala, Savannah OPERA is performing the last of the Festival’s five different operas with Charles Gounod’s Faust. This haunting, grand opera portrays a man’s pact with the devil in exchange for youth and love and is based on Goethe’s tale of Marguerite and Faust. SVF’s Artistic Director, Jorge Parodi and prolific stage director, Fabrizio Melano direct this exceptional production at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 19 and 5 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 21 at the beautiful Asbury Memorial Church.

 

Patrons wishing to purchase tickets to hear the world-renowned mezzo in action or experience Faust during the culmination of SVF’s tenth season should call 855.766.7372 or email info@savannahvoicefestival.org or visit www.savannahvoicefestival.org.

 

Savannah VOICE Festival is a 501(c) 3 tax exempt nonprofit arts organization in the state of Georgia. The Festival brings classical vocal excellence to the Savannah area through a two-week celebration of concerts, events, and educational presentations during the month of August and throughout the year. Focusing on arts awareness and audience development in the performing arts, it offers music from opera, musical theatre, and popular song. The Savannah VOICE Festival is supported in part by the Georgia Council for the Arts through the appropriations from the Georgia General Assembly. GCA is a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts. Donations are tax-deductible.

 

-ENDS-

For media inquiries, please contact Kristyn Beasley at kristyn@lesleyfrancispr.com or 229-393-6457 or Lesley Francis at lesley@lesleyfrancispr.com or 912-429-3950 or the team at 912-417-LFPR (5377).

SAVANNAH VOICE FESTIVAL TO SERVE COMMUNITY WITH PARTNERSHIPS AND FREE EVENTS DURING TENTH SEASON

SAVANNAH, GA – August 5, 2022 – For its tenth anniversary season, the Savannah VOICE Festival (SVF) is further extending its collaboration with community partners as well as making the vocal arts accessible to all through outreach and free events. The season includes partnerships with nonprofit organizations including Hospice Savannah, The Davenport House Museum, Asbury Memorial Church, Christ Church Episcopal, First Baptist Church and the Telfair Academy. SVF’s partnerships will also spotlight the poetic works from local youth who attend programs at the Deep Center in the “VOICES in Song,” at 5 p.m. August 9, at Christ Church, 28 Bull Street on Johnson Square. Their moving texts were set to music by composer, Jodi Goble and those songs will be premiered at this concert. Finally, Savannah Arts Academy Chorus students will participate in Michael Ching’s Alice Ryley and Anna Hunter as part of Savannah Opera’s season.

Free events include “VOICES in Sacred Song” at First Baptist Church, 223 Bull Street on Sunday, August 14 at 5 p.m. with songs of inspiration from sacred texts and comforting themes. The free Masters in VOICE series will be held at different venues throughout the Savannah area. These master classes give audiences an inside look at the preparation and performance of the operatic style of singing by renowned operatic professionals. Each of the master classes listed below will be held at 1 p.m. at either the Demere Center for Living, 6000 Business Center Drive, or the Charles H. Morris Center, 10 E Broad Street:

  • Tuesday, Aug. 9 at the Demere Center for Living:

Renowned soprano, Marquita Lister joins the Festival as Quortina in the Festival’s production of Anna Hunter. As part of this special series, she shares her vast expertise with the 2022 Study Grant Artists in an exciting master class format.

  • Thursday, Aug. 11 at the Charles H. Morris Center:

Co-founder and president of the Savannah VOICE Festival Sherrill Milnes offers his expertise to a new generation of singers in a master class setting.

  • Friday, Aug. 12 at the Demere Center for Living:

Artistic Director of the Milnes VOICE Programs, Jorge Parodi, has conducted and coached all over the globe. See him work with the Season 10 VOICE artists as he shares his expertise. This season Maestro Parodi conducts Faust as part of Savannah Opera at the Festival.

  • Wednesday, Aug. 17 at the Charles H. Morris Center:

Soprano Maria Zouves, Co-founder and president of the Savannah VOICE Festival has directed, taught, and produced events all around the world, and now brings that experience to the singers of Season 10 in this master class.

  • Friday, Aug. 19 at the Charles H. Morris Center:

Legendary bass-baritone James Morris and his wife, renowned mezzo-soprano Susan Quittmeyer join forces to share their vast knowledge from decades of performances in opera, concert, recital, and recording. 

“We always give back to the community as part of our mission, but this season is particularly significant as this community has given so much to us over the last decade,” said Chad Sonka, Executive Director of the Savannah VOICE Festival.

For more information about the Savannah VOICE Festival’s 10th anniversary season, visit savannahvoicefestival.org. To learn more about outreach events and initiatives, please visit savannahvoicefestival.org/outreach-education/.

 

– ENDS –

Savannah VOICE Festival is a 501(c) 3 tax exempt nonprofit arts organization in the state of Georgia. The Festival brings classical vocal excellence to the Savannah area through a two-week celebration of concerts, events and educational presentations during the month of August and throughout the year. Focusing on arts awareness and audience development in the performing arts, it offers music from opera, musical theatre and popular song. Donations are tax-deductible.

 

The Savannah VOICE Festival is supported in part by the Georgia Council for the Arts through the appropriations from the Georgia General Assembly. GCA is a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts.

 

For media inquiries, please contact Kristyn Beasley at 229-393-6457 or kristyn@lesleyfrancispr.com, Lesley Francis at 912-429-3950 or lesley@lesleyfrancispr.com, or the team at 912-417-LFPR (5377).

SAVANNAH VOICE FESTIVAL CELEBRATES THE BEAUTY OF SONG IN TENTH SEASON LINEUP

SAVANNAH, GA – August 2, 2022 – The Savannah VOICE Festival celebrates the beauty of the human voice with concerts featuring many different genres of song during this tenth anniversary season, which runs from August 7-21. Everyone will be able to enjoy their favorite type of music as the selection of concerts celebrate the diversity of voices and origins of the varied repertoires.   

“This season is themed ‘VOICES From Beyond’ and the talent and range of beautiful voices appearing in Savannah this year, allows us to revere and enjoy the significance of song throughout history,” explains Artistic Director Jorge Parodi. “We are not only celebrating the tenth anniversary of the Savannah VOICE Festival, but also the community’s support as we move beyond the challenges of recent years.”

As the Savannah VOICE Festival celebrates the different aspects of song, this nonprofit organization invites the community to enjoy “VOICES in Song,” at 5 p.m. August 9, at Christ Church, 28 Bull Street on Johnson Square. This eclectic performance draws from a range of inspirations from around the world, from German Lied to the American Songbook.

Elizabeth Baldwin, the American Traditions Competition’s own 2022 Milnes Opera Award Winner, will perform a captivating recital at 6:30 p.m. August 10 at the picturesque Telfair Academy. This recital will showcase her enchanting soprano voice as she is accompanied by Howard Watkins on the piano. A post-concert reception will follow her performance.

The historic Davenport House is also set to host two events, honoring the charm of the museum and the celebratory theme of the festival with the “Coffee Concert Series.” Tickets to this performance include beverages and pastries, meaning audience members can enjoy a charming breakfast while the melodious voices of the Savannah VOICE Festival fill the air. These events will take place at 10 a.m. on Saturday, August 13 and 20 at Davenport House which is located at 324 E. State St.

Be My Love – a Mario Lanza Tribute, starring and written by Festival favorite, tenor Peter Lake with Kyaunnee Richardson as lead soprano and Justin Havard as the pianist. Watch Lanza’s story unfold as Lake reenacts and regales the audience with the story of the famous tenor’s life. This passionate tribute concert will be held at 6:30 p.m. August 16 and 18 at the charming Charles H. Morris Center, located at 10 E. Broad St.

For a full lineup of all Savannah VOICE Festival concerts, performances, master classes and other events, to become a VOICE Member, or to purchase tickets for one of these dazzling musical events, please call 855.766.7372 or email info@savannahvoicefestival.org or visit www.savannahvoicefestival.org.

Savannah VOICE Festival is a 501(c) 3 tax exempt nonprofit arts organization in the state of Georgia. The Festival brings classical vocal excellence to the Savannah area through a two-week celebration of concerts, events, and educational presentations during the month of August and throughout the year. Focusing on arts awareness and audience development in the performing arts, it offers music from opera, musical theatre, and popular song. The Savannah VOICE Festival is supported in part by the Georgia Council for the Arts through the appropriations from the Georgia General Assembly. GCA is a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts. Donations are tax-deductible.

-ENDS-

For media inquiries, please contact Kristyn Beasley at 229-393-6457 or kristyn@lesleyfrancispr.com, Allie Robinson at 912-547-3100 or allie@lesleyfrancispr.com,  or Lesley Francis at 912-429-3950 or lesley@lesleyfrancispr.com.

 

SAVANNAH VOICE FESTIVAL CELEBRATES TENTH ANNIVERSARY SEASON WITH FIVE SAVANNAH OPERA PRODUCTIONS

SAVANNAH, GA. – July 19, 2022 – The Savannah VOICE Festival (SVF) is swinging into its tenth anniversary season with five different operas produced by Savannah OPERA this August.  These out of this world productions range from a revue of Broadway’s Brigadoon to Goethe’s Faust, plus Menotti’s The Medium, and a special double bill of Alice Ryley, a Savannah Ghost Story alongside Anna Hunter, the Spirit of Savannah.  Jorge Parodi, Artistic Director of SVF comments; “One of the objectives of Savannah OPERA is to make opera accessible to all, with four of our 2022 productions performed in English and we provide English supertitles for Faust.  We hope people will enjoy the range of operatic productions offered this year.”

For two nights only, on Aug. 12-13, patrons can experience the back-to-back magic of Alice Ryley, a Savannah Ghost Story, and Anna Hunter, the Spirit of Savannah, both directed by Joe Winskye and conducted by Andrew Bisantz. These two Savannah-centric operas were written by Savannah OPERA’s Composer-in-Residence Michael Ching.  This is the first time they will be performed together in the city whose history inspired these ghostly operas.  The double bills start at 6:30 p.m. on both August 12 and 13 at the Charles H. Morris Center, 10 E. Broad St. in Savannah.

Alice Ryley, a Savannah Ghost Story, based on a true story, paints a tragic image of an immigrant’s life as she embarks on new experiences of love and loss in the newly formed Georgia colony in the 18th century. Watch Alice, played by Jessica Ann Best, navigate bearing a child and her prosecution in Savannah’s high-profile murder case.

Anna Hunter, the Spirit of Savannah, is an uplifting comedy depicting Hunter’s life, a newspaper reporter, painter and community leader, who worked to save Savannah’s historic squares and founded the Historic Savannah Foundation in the 1950s. Audiences will be enthralled by the spirit of Anna, played by Savannah VOICE Festival’s President and Co-Founder Maria Zouves, as she returns to haunt a present-day tour guide.

The Medium is a bone-chilling, one-act American opera. Executive Director Chad Sonka and conductor Andrew Bisantz team up to tell the tale of a medium falling victim to her own fraudulent voices. Enjoy this eerie story at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. on August 11 at the scenic Telfair Academy, located on 121 Barnard Street in downtown Savannah.

Return to Brigadoon is a special musical revue of a timeless fairytale created by Lerner and Loewe that will bring back old memories and captivate new hearts. Audience members will be transported by the parallel world portrayed. This production will be held at 6:30 p.m. on August 16 and 18 at the charming Charles H. Morris Center.

Charles Gounod’s Faust is a haunting, grand opera, portraying a man’s pact with the devil in exchange for youth and love Goethe’s tale of Marguerite and Faust be brought to life by SVF’s Artistic Director, Jorge Parodi and prolific stage director, Fabrizio Melano at 6:30 p.m. August 19 and 21 at the beautiful Asbury Memorial Church

For a full lineup of all Savannah VOICE Festival operas and other events, to become a VOICE Member, or to purchase tickets for one of these breathtaking operas, please visit www.savannahvoicefestival.org, call 855.766.7372, or email info@savannahvoicefestival.org.

Savannah VOICE Festival is a 501(c) 3 tax exempt nonprofit arts organization in the state of Georgia. The Festival brings classical vocal excellence to the Savannah area through a two-week celebration of concerts, events, and educational presentations during the month of August and throughout the year. Focusing on arts awareness and audience development in the performing arts, it offers music from opera, musical theatre, and popular song. The Savannah VOICE Festival is supported in part by the Georgia Council for the Arts through the appropriations from the Georgia General Assembly. GCA is a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts. Donations are tax-deductible.

– ENDS –

For media inquiries, please contact Kristyn Fielding at 229-393-6457 or kristyn@lesleyfrancispr.com, Allie Robinson at 912-547-3100 or allie@lesleyfrancispr.com,  or Lesley Francis at 912-429-3950 or lesley@lesleyfrancispr.com.

MILNES VOICE PROGRAMS LAST CALL FOR ARTISTS TO APPLY FOR CAMP VOICE AND MILNES VOICE STUDIO INTENSIVES

SAVANNAH, GA – June 22, 2022 – The deadline is approaching for applications to the Milnes VOICE Programs and a few places are still available for these prestigious vocal intensive programs: Camp VOICE from July 17-24 and the Milnes VOICE Studio from July 17-30. Both programs will be held in person on the Iowa State University campus in Ames, Iowa and offer scholarships for classical singers wishing to attend.

 

Camp VOICE is an intensive program targeting singers between the ages of 15 to 19 years old. This program offers mentorship for the young singer as they transition into serious classical study. Daily class topics include diction and interpretation, college and career preparation, and stage deportment. Tuition for this program is $1,000 and scholarships are available based on merit and need. Find out more about this program or apply online at www.voicexperiencefoundation.org/camp-voice/.

 

The Milnes VOICE Studio intensive program offers a variety of opportunities to develop the singer as a whole artist in preparation for the next step in their careers. The Milnes VOICE Studio intensive, tailored to individual singers needs and goals, offers the opportunity to coach new repertoire and learn new stage skills, learn a role in productions of Menotti’s The Medium and great moments from Lerner and Loewe’s Brigadoon, working with top international faculty, and learn important audition techniques. Tuition for this session is $1,950 and scholarships are available based on merit and need. Applicants must be 20 years of age or above. www.voicexperiencefoundation.org/milnes-voice-studio/.

 

“It is so special to see a successful, world-renowned artist such as Sherrill Milnes share his experiences, insight and musical knowledge with the young artists who attend these programs. His guidance enables them to keep the great traditions of opera alive today for audiences to experience and enjoy,” said Milnes VOICE Programs Artistic Director, Jorge Parodi. “From dramatic training to role study and audition preparation during the summer programs, artists have many opportunities to improve their skills with a focus on development of the whole artist from technique and performance to professional development and personal branding.”

 

The Milnes VOICE Programs have been nurturing and training vocal artists for 22 years. Led by opera legend Sherrill Milnes, and his wife soprano Maria Zouves, the organization’s vocal intensive programs offer the highest level of training.

 

For more information about these summer intensives, please contact VOICExperience Managing Director, Lani Winskye, at lani@voicexperiencefoundation.org. To learn more about the VOICExperience organization, visit www.voicexperiencefoundation.org.

 

– ENDS –

For media inquiries please contact Kristyn Fielding at kristyn@lesleyfrancispr.com or 229-393-6457 or Lesley Francis at lesley@francis.com or 912-429-3950 or the team at LFPR on 912-417-5377. 

 

EDITOR’S NOTE: The VOICExperience Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization whose mission is to pass on the traditions of great singing and develop new audiences for opera. Under the umbrella of The Sherrill Milnes VOICE Programs, VOICExperience continues its dedication to the quality, integrity and perpetuation of the vocal arts through life-changing intensives, performances, and community-enriching outreach events in New York, Georgia (with its sister organization, the Savannah VOICE Festival), Florida and Illinois. For more information, please visit www.VOICExperienceFoundation.org.

SAVANNAH VOICE FESTIVAL TO PRODUCE DOUBLE BILL OF OPERAS ‘ALICE RYLEY, A SAVANNNAH GHOST STORY,’ AND ‘ANNA HUNTER, THE SPIRIT OF SAVANNAH’

SAVANNAH, GA – June 17, 2022 The Savannah VOICE Festival will produce a double bill featuring two of its most original opera commissions as part of the highly anticipated upcoming 10th season. For two nights only, on Aug. 12-13, patrons can experience the back-to-back magic of “Alice Ryley, a Savannah Ghost Story,” and “Anna Hunter, the Spirit of Savannah,” both directed by Joe Winskye and conducted by Andrew Bisantz. The two Savannah-centric operas were written by Savannah OPERA’s Composer-in-Residence Michael Ching, and this is the first time they will be performed together in the city whose history inspired these ghostly operas.  The double bills start at 6:30 p.m. on both August 12th and 13th at the Charles H. Morris Center, 10 E. Broad St. in Savannah.

 

Alice Ryley tells the tragic tale of an immigrant’s experience with love and loss in the newly formed 13 colonies. Anna Hunter’s story, told in a comedic tone, depicts her as a newspaper reporter, painter, and community leader who aims to save Savannah’s historic squares. The double bill of the two shows is a first for Savannah VOICE Festival and serves as a special way to celebrate a decade of bringing top-notch musical entertainment to the Hostess City.

 

“Alice Ryley, A Savannah Ghost Story” debuted in October 2015 to sold-out Savannah audiences, drawing on inspiration from the book “Historic Haunts of Savannah” by Savannah-based authors Michael Harris and Linda Sickler. In 2017, Ching went on to compose “Anna Hunter, the Spirit of Savannah,” which is part of a collaborative effort with Historic Savannah Foundation’s Davenport House Museum, the first home Anna’s efforts saved from being destroyed.

Alice Ryley, played by Jessica Ann Best, is based on the true, sobering story of an Irish indentured servant, who immigrated to Savannah in the 18th century, bore a child, and was later hung on the suspicion of murder. Even Gen. Oglethorpe himself could not save the young woman as she navigated obstacles and endured heartache. Alice Ryley’s spirit is said to haunt historic Wright Square to this day.

 

Anna Hunter, played by SVF Co-Founder Maria Zouves, brings the audience back to modern times in a jovial depiction of a mid-1950s Savannah, set in the enchanting Davenport House. Anna, with the help of her friends, works to save Savannah’s historic charm as the squares are almost destroyed. Savannah VOICE Festival co-founder and legendary operatic baritone Sherrill Milnes is also set to make an appearance both evenings as a tour guide in “Anna Hunter.”

Ching is nationally recognized for his work on many inventive operas, including his a cappella adaptation of Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” “The Savannah VOICE Festival has shown a dedication to keeping opera alive through the classics but also through new work, which speaks to the stories of our time,” Ching said. “I’m grateful to SVF Co-Founders Sherrill Milnes and Maria Zouves for creating Savannah OPERA and to celebrating this art form during the Festival’s tenth anniversary year.”

The Savannah VOICE Festival will host more than 15 musical performances, recitals, productions and concerts in Savannah, running from August 7-21. For more information on tickets, performances and master classes, please visit www.savannahvoicefestival.org.

Savannah VOICE Festival is a 501(c)3 tax-exempt nonprofit arts organization in the state of Georgia. The Festival brings classical vocal excellence to the Savannah area through a two-week celebration of concerts, events, and educational presentations during the month of August and throughout the year. Focusing on arts awareness and audience development in the performing arts, it offers music from opera, musical theatre, and popular song. The Savannah VOICE Festival is supported in part by the Georgia Council for the Arts through the appropriations from the Georgia General Assembly. GCA is a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts. Donations are tax-deductible.

– ENDS –

For media inquiries, please contact Kristyn Fielding at 229-393-6457 or kristyn@lesleyfrancispr.com, Allie Robinson at 912-547-3100 or allie@lesleyfrancispr.com,  or Lesley Francis at 912-429-3950 or lesley@lesleyfrancispr.com.

SAVANNAH VOICE FESTIVAL PARTNERS WITH
HISTORIC SAVANNAH FOUNDATION TO HOST ‘SONGS AND STORIES IN THE SQUARES’ ON JUNE 24

SAVANNAH, GA – June 6, 2022 Savannah VOICE Festival (SVF) has partnered with local nonprofit Historic Savannah Foundation (HSF) to host the second installment of “Songs and Stories in the Squares,” which will take place at 5 p.m. Friday, June 24 beginning outside the Davenport House Museum, 324 E. State St., in Columbia Square.

During the free event, Justin Bristol, local educator and HSF volunteer, will give 10-minute lectures in Columbia, Oglethorpe, Wright, and Chippewa Squares, and SVF artists will perform selections – two songs in each square – that complement the theme of the lectures. Artists Chad Sonka, Heather Jones, and Maria Zouves, President and Co-Founder, will present repertoire accompanied by Justin Addington. Contingency plans have been put in place in case of inclement weather.

“We are so fortunate to have community partners like Savannah VOICE Festival who we can collaborate with to create a program for the community to enjoy. It’s the perfect opportunity to hear some Savannah-themed music performed by award-winning artists while learning a little more about the history that inspired the repertoire,” said HSF President and CEO Sue Adler.

SVF artists will also be collaborating with other organizations that same weekend. On June 25, SVF will be providing musical entertainment at the Stonewall/Anniversary Block Party at the First City Pride Center (FCPC) from 3 p.m.-10 p.m. FCPC is commemorating the Stonewall riots of 1969 and their organization’s fifth anniversary with advocacy & community organizations, free HIV testing, lip-sync drag contests, interactive games, food, and more. Savannah’s Deep Center is also hosting their summer Block-by-Block celebration at the Ships of the Sea Museum from 3-6 p.m. Sunday, June 26, featuring performances by the artists of SVF. Last year, Savannah VOICE Festival announced a partnership with Deep Center’s young writers, focusing on the literary aspect of songwriting.

“It is important for us at the Savannah VOICE Festival to support and promote all forms of art and to follow our mission of providing educational and creative programs not only during our August festival, but throughout the year,” said Executive Director Chad Sonka. “We are incredibly grateful to our community partners who share the goal of providing outlets of artistic expression in Savannah.”

For more information about these events and how to get tickets and/or register, visit www.savannahvoicefestival.org.

Historic Savannah Foundation, a leading nonprofit preservation and cultural institution, saves buildings, places, and stories that define Savannah’s past, present, and future. Following its formation in 1955, the organization started a Revolving Fund to save endangered historic properties, now totaling nearly 410 buildings throughout several of Savannah’s historic districts. HSF continues to build capacity within its operations, secure new financial resources, improve its image and visibility, and increase public policy efforts to protect Savannah’s historic districts. For more information about the work of the Historic Savannah Foundation, visit www.myhsf.org.

Savannah VOICE Festival is a 501(c)3 tax-exempt nonprofit arts organization in the state of Georgia. The Festival brings classical vocal excellence to the Savannah area through a two-week celebration of concerts, events, and educational presentations during the month of August and throughout the year. Focusing on arts awareness and audience development in the performing arts, it offers music from opera, musical theatre, and popular song. The Savannah VOICE Festival is supported in part by the Georgia Council for the Arts through the appropriations from the Georgia General Assembly. GCA is a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts. Donations are tax-deductible.

– ENDS –

 

For media inquiries, please contact Kristyn Fielding at 229-393-6457 or kristyn@lesleyfrancispr.com, Allie Robinson at 912-547-3100 or allie@lesleyfrancispr.com,  or Lesley Francis at 912-429-3950 or lesley@lesleyfrancispr.com.

VOICEXPERIENCE ANNOUNCES 2022 OPERA IDOL WINNER

SAVANNAH, GA – May 16, 2022 – VOICExperience (VE) announces that soprano Sydney Fabregas is the Grand Prize winner of the 16th annual Opera Idol competition Sponsored by The Tom Lysaught Scholarship Fund. Opera Idol is a competition where young singers from around the country are invited to compete for a full scholarship to attend and study at the Milnes VOICE Studio. This summer the Milnes VOICE Studio will be held at Iowa State University.

Fabregas is an emerging American soprano pursuing a career in classical performance. Her recent performance highlights include operatic and music-theater roles such as Serpetta in Mozart’s La Finta Giardiniera, La Princesse in Ravel’s L’enfant et les sortilèges, La Fée in Viardot’s Cendrillon and Louise in Sondheim’s Gypsy. This year, she plans to perform more, continue operating her teaching studio, and complete her Carnegie Mellon University Master’s degree. 

“The judges had a very hard decision this year selecting just one winner,” said Milnes VOICE Programs’ Executive Director Chad Sonka.  “In the end, what set Sydney [Fabregas] apart was her opulent voice and we believe that the Milnes VOICE Studio will strengthen her gift even more and catapult her career above and beyond.”

The esteemed panel of judges for this year’s competition were Presidents and Co-Founders of the Milnes VOICE Programs Sherrill Milnes and Maria Zouves, Artistic Director Jorge Parodi, Andrew Bisantz with the Eugene Opera, Dr. Bernard J. Dobroski with Northwestern University, and Milnes VOICE Programs’ Composer-in-Residence Michael Ching.

VOICExperience will be broadcasting the competition recording at 2 p.m. Sunday May 29 and is free to watch at www.voicexperiencefoundation.org. Opera Idol was conceived by Milnes and Zouves as part of their non-profit vocal training organization, VOICExperience Foundation, when the two served as faculty at Northwestern University’s Bienen School of Music. The contest aims to showcase and encourage budding opera stars in a format that emulates popular television shows featuring talent searches.

Zouves and Milnes, who hosted and conducted the competition in a master class format, concurred that the level of talent they witness at Opera Idol continues an undeniably impressive upward swing.

For more information on Opera Idol or VOICExperience, please call 855-76-OPERA or visit www.voicexperiencefoundation.org.

-ENDS-

For media inquiries, please contact Kristyn Fielding at 229-393-6457 or kristyn@lesleyfrancispr.com, Allie Robinson at 912-547-3100 or allie@lesleyfrancispr.com or Lesley Francis at 912-429-3950 or lesley@lesleyfrancispr.com

 

EDITOR’S NOTE: The VOICExperience Foundation is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization whose mission is to pass on the traditions of great singing and develop new audiences for opera. Under the umbrella of The Sherrill Milnes VOICE Programs, VOICExperience continues its dedication to the quality, integrity and perpetuation of the vocal arts through life-changing intensives, performances, and community-enriching outreach events in New York, Georgia (with its sister organization, the Savannah VOICE Festival), Florida and Illinois. For more information, please visit www.VOICExperienceFoundation.org.

THE VOICEXPERIENCE FOUNDATION, A MILNES VOICE  PROGRAM, UNVEILS 2022 VOICE AWARD RECIPIENT AND ANNOUNCES VIRTUAL ANNUAL GALA – MAY 3, 2022

SAVANNAH, GA – March 31, 2022 – The VOICExperience Foundation, a Sherrill Milnes VOICE Program, has announced the 2022 VOICE Gala: Celebrating the American Voice, slated for 7 p.m. on Tuesday, May 3, 2022. This virtual event will honor the 2022 Sherrill Milnes VOICE Awardee, mezzo Frederica von Stade, and celebrate the Savannah VOICE Festival’s 10-year anniversary.

The gala will be hosted by Milnes VOICE Programs Co-Founders and Presidents, Sherrill Milnes and Maria Zouves, along with Executive Director, Chad Sonka, and Artistic Director, Jorge Parodi. This digital performance will feature appearances by opera legends Denyce Graves, Fabrizio Melano, James Morris, Diana Soviero and Richard Stillwell as well as by beloved VOICE artists of now and yesteryear. 

An annual Fundraiser for VOICExperience since 2015, the Gala raises crucial funds for arts education. After an online gala in 2021, the program decided to go online again for this fun, entertaining and thoughtful stream. With a goal of 600 hours of arts education, support will allow the programs to offer extraordinary mentorship, training and outreach to artists and communities around the nation.

During the gala, renowned American mezzo-soprano, Frederica von Stade, will be presented with the prestigious 2022 Milnes VOICE Award. Past honorees include opera legends Martina Arroyo, James Morris, Neil Shicoff, Diana Soviero, Mignon Dunn and the late composer Carlisle Floyd.

 “We are delighted to honor Frederica von Stade as our 2022 Milnes VOICE awardee and raise funds in support of our training programs this year,” said Zouves. “We know from over 20 years’ experience that just one hour of training can change a young artist’s life and this gala is an important fundraiser for these programs.”  

Ms. von Stade’s career has taken her to the stages of the world’s great opera houses and concert halls. She began at the top, when she received a contract from Sir Rudolf Bing during Metropolitan Opera auditions, and since her debut in 1970 she has sung nearly all of her great roles with that company. In January 2000, the company celebrated the 30th anniversary of her debut with a new production of The Merry Widow to honor her, and in 1995, as a celebration of her 25th anniversary, the Metropolitan Opera created a new production of Pelléas et Mélisande. In addition, Ms. von Stade has appeared with every leading American opera company, including San Francisco Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, and Los Angeles Opera. Her career in Europe has been no less spectacular, with new productions mounted for her at Teatro alla Scala, Royal Opera Covent Garden, the Vienna State Opera, and the Paris Opera. She is invited regularly by the finest conductors, among them Claudio Abbado, Charles Dutoit, James Levine, Kurt Masur, Riccardo Muti, Seiji Ozawa, André Previn, Leonard Slatkin, and Michael Tilson Thomas, to appear in concert with the world’s leading orchestras, including the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, London Symphony Orchestra, Washington’s National Symphony, and the Orchestra of La Scala.

Those who donate one hour or more of arts education will be invited to access this special digital performance. 

To donate or request an invitation, please visit www.VOICExperienceFoundation.org. 

– ENDS –

For media inquiries please contact Kristyn Fielding at kristyn@lesleyfrancispr.com or 229-393-6457 or Lesley Francis at lesley@lesleyfrancispr.com or 912-429-3950 or the LFPR team at 912-417-LFPR (5377). 

Editor’s Note: The VOICExperience Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization whose mission is to pass on the traditions of great singing and develop new audiences for opera. Under the umbrella of The Sherrill Milnes VOICE Programs, VOICExperience continues its dedication to the quality, integrity and perpetuation of the vocal arts through life-changing intensives, performances, and community-enriching outreach events in New York, Georgia (with its sister organization, the Savannah VOICE Festival), Florida and Illinois. For more information, please visit www.VOICExperience.org.