Audiences have the opportunity to watch world-renowned operatic baritone Sherrill Milnes in action at a series of free master classes.
He not only founded the Milnes VOICE Programs with his wife, soprano Maria Zouves, but also the VOICExperience Foundation in 2003 and the Savannah VOICE Festival in 2013.
Milnes is scheduled to work with artists in the Camp VOICE Workshop. The professional intensive has young singers work daily in private lessons and participate in mentoring programs, diction and interpretation classes, college preparation workshops and stage deportment instruction.
After a week of study, the students stage the Camp VOICE Showcase, a concert that showcases their freshly honed talents. This year's showcase will be held at 6:30 p.m. Aug. 11 at the Westin Savannah Harbor. Tickets are $35.
Milnes will present free master classes during the festival. Classes will be offered from 1 to 3 p.m. Aug. 10, 14 and 17 at the Westin Savannah Harbor, 1 Resort Drive, and another from 1 to 3 p.m. Aug. 25 at Armstrong State University's Fine Arts Auditorium, 11935 Abercorn St.
Milnes sang in over 650 performances at New York City's Metropolitan Opera, where he was honored with 16 new productions, seven opening nights, and 10 national telecasts. As a leading artist in all of the world's great opera houses, Milnes performed and recorded with Domingo, Pavarotti, CaballÃ©, Sutherland, Sills, Horne, Price and Tebaldi.
The winner of three Grammy Awards, Milnes also received the Opera News Award for Distinguished Achievement.
"How you engage young artists and the community at large is very important," Milnes says. "Maria and I always jump at the chance to deepen that connection with singers and audiences by drawing them more fully into the world of vocal arts and sharing all parts of the process.
"We will host multiple free educational and outreach events in an effort to give all Coastal Empire area residents the chance to attend and experience the celebration of vocal arts firsthand." Milnes says.
The Sherrill Milnes VOICE Programs and Esther F. Garrison School for the Arts have partnered to implement a comprehensive musical outreach program in the Savannah-Chatham County Public School System.
The new program will begin at Garrison and Savannah Arts Academy before a later expansion to other schools. It consists of a structured curriculum that will be taught by VOICE Program artists during campus visits and is tailored for students from sixth through twelfth grades.
In the past, the Savannah Voice Festival has launched programs at Garrison, Windsor Forest Elementary and the Bethesda Academy. The current launch coincides with the Savannah VOICE Festival.
Milnes also will work with Garrison and the Savannah Friends of Music as he emcees the Prestigious Savannah Sings initiative, which runs Feb. 8 to 9, 2018. Milnes and Zouves also developed a new fundraising initiative to provide Garrison with a baby grand piano for their new performance hall.
"I am grateful to SCCPSS for their support, my hard working team at Garrison, Maria Zouves of the VOICE Programs, Charlie Brazil of Old Town Trolley Tours and Lesley Francis of Lesley Francis Public Relations for their commitment to bringing this program to fruition," says Garrison Principal Jim Heater. "We are looking forward to another year of excellence at Garrison."
For more information about free education and outreach events or to purchase tickets to any Savannah VOICE Festival performance, visit savannahvoicefestival.org.