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VOICEXPERIENCE UNVEILS MILNES VOICE AWARD RECIPIENT AND ANNOUNCES VIRTUAL ANNUAL FUNDRAISING GALA – MARCH 25, 2021

SAVANNAH, GA – January 26, 2020 – Today, VOICExperience (VE) announces that the non-profit organization’s annual gala will take place via its web-based streaming service at 7 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on Thursday, March 25, 2021. This vital fundraiser will be hosted by legendary baritone and VOICE Co-Founder, Sherrill Milnes and will take place online to protect the health and safety of singers and patrons. The gala will be a night to remember with special guest appearances by opera notables Thomas Hampson, Mark Delavan, Denyce Graves, James Morris, Fabrizio Melano and Frederica von Stade. The gala will feature performances by VOICE Program alumni including Santiago Ballerini, Jessica Ann Best, Emily Yocum Black, Angela De Venuto, Mariano Gladic, Lauren Jelencovich, Peter Lake, Liz Lang, Paulo Lapa, Meechot Marrero, Tiago Matos, Chad Sonka, Jonathan Walker-VanKuren, Melanie Spector and Hanna Atsedewoin.

During the gala, renowned baritone, Thomas Hampson, will be presented with the prestigious 2021 Milnes VOICE Award. Thomas Hampson, America’s foremost baritone, hails from Spokane, Washington. He has received many honors and awards for his probing artistry and cultural leadership. He enjoys a singular international career as an opera singer, recording artist, and “ambassador of song,” maintaining an active interest in research, education, musical outreach, and technology. Comprising more than 150 albums, his discography includes winners of a Grammy Award, five Edison Awards, and the Grand Prix du Disque. Through the Hampsong Foundation which he founded in 2003 he employs the art of song to promote intercultural dialogue and understanding.

Supporters of a new goal to fund 1,000 hours of education at $100 per hour for emerging artists in 2021 will be sent a link to access the Gala which streams at 7 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on March 25. For each $100 donated, lovers of the classical voice will help support one hour of training for a young artist and have access to a celebratory concert that celebrates the initiative. Additional levels of support such as on-demand event viewing after the show’s debut, exclusive access to future masterclasses and prominent sponsor recognition are also available. Further information about this goal and other sponsorship opportunities are available at www.VOICExperienceFoundation.org

Co-Founder and Executive Director of VE, Maria Zouves, said, “We are delighted that we will be able to celebrate Thomas Hampson as our 2021 Milnes VOICE awardee this March and that this wonderful gala will support our training programs this year. We know from over 20 years’ experience at VE that just one hour of training can change a young artist’s life. This Gala takes place every year in New York City, but during these times we can span the globe to create an international program for all to enjoy. The Milnes VOICE programs have completed several very successful ‘stay at home’ concerts and educational initiatives during 2020 and we are confident that we can deliver a high-quality event to our patrons in New York and beyond via our web-based streaming. In many ways we have embarked on a brave new world for us and our classical artists — building a virtual, eclectic content with performances that translate the VOICE concerts and experiences from stage to computer screen.”

VE and all the Milnes VOICE Programs continues to host all its programming online until it is safe for audiences and artists to return to live concerts. VE also plans for its annual Opera as Drama program to take place online from March 13-20, 2021. This prestigious program focuses on the interpretation of opera with leaders in the industry. Singers work with Sherrill Milnes and stage director Fabrizio Melano on scenes and arias, studying original texts and source material. Faculty and guest lecturers offer insight into the opera industry and assistance with career development.

To learn more about the gala, VOICExperience or the Milnes VOICE Programs or to support young artists, please visit www.VOICExperienceFoundation.org.

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For media inquiries, please contact Lesley Francis at lesley@lesleyfrancispr.com or 912-429-3950, or the Lesley Francis Public Relations team at 912-417-LFPR (5377).

Editor’s Notes

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.

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