For its sixth season, the Savannah VOICE Festival will host 30-plus unique events over the entire month of August in various locations across Savannah.
Included in the array of free and ticketed events, following the theme of “Stories Great and Small,” are four full operas, master classes with SVF founder and legendary baritone Sherrill Milnes and mezzo-soprano Denyce Graves, a Broadway recital and specially curated concerts.
The "Death By Aria" series, a two-part event Aug. 5, will showcase this year’s talent as they present their best songs and arias in a fast-paced performance. The festival’s first free concert, "Voices in Sacred Song," is scheduled for Aug. 6 at First Presbyterian Church and will highlight spiritual music from the early 1700s to modern day.
On Aug. 9, the SVF will premiere the season’s first full opera with a production of Gian Carlo Menotti’s “The Telephone.” Menotti was an Italian-American composer and librettist best known for his opera “Amahl and the Night Visitors.” “The Telephone,” a comic opera in English, premiered on Broadway in 1947.
On Aug. 11, one of SVF’s most popular concerts returns, "Broadway Tales." The show explores how various operas, like “La Boheme,” crossed over to become Broadway hits like “Rent.” Roughly a week later, the SVF will team up with students from the Savannah-Chatham County School system for a production of Engelbert Humperdinck’s “Hansel and Gretel.” Humperdinck composed the opera at the behest of his sister, Adelheid Wette, who wrote the libretto based on the Grimm brothers’ fairy tales.
Also on Aug. 17, Michael Ching’s “Speed Dating Tonight!” will premiere at the Charles H. Morris Center. A comic opera in one act, “Speed Dating Tonight!” originally premiered in 2013 at the Brevard Music Center. After a number of successful productions, it garnered the distinction of being the most-performed American opera within a year of its premiere.
The season’s final full opera, Giuseppe Verdi’s “La Traviata (The Fallen Woman)” will open Aug. 25. The Italian opera, a tragedy in three acts, is based on La Dame aux Camelias, a play adaptation of an Alexandre Dumas novel. Fabrizio Melano will direct the production with Jorge Parodi conducting. The festival’s finale, on Aug. 26, is a special gala dinner and concert that will close out the season with a number of performances and glimpses of future productions.
Tickets for the festival and the full schedule of events are now on sale at savannahvoicefestival.org.