The Savannah VOICE Festival (SVF) has unveiled the lineup and theme for their seventh annual festival, set for Aug. 3-25.
Themed “Heaven and Earth,” the seventh season will offer music from opera, musical theatre and popular song, according to a press release. Heaven and Earth celebrates the two realms in which we live, with shows about what's beyond our physical nature as well as the earthly temptations of our humanity.
In addition to the litany of concerts, recitals, dinner shows, master classes and other musical celebrations, the 2019 VOICE Festival will stage an unprecedented four operas, Poulenc’s “Dialogues of the Carmelites,” Portman’s “The Little Prince,” Ching’s “The Birthday Clown” and Leoncavallo’s “I Pagliacci.”
Tickets for the festival go on sale May 20 for the general public and May 5 for VOICE Society members.
With varied selections that span both states of Heaven and Earth, SVF will embark on a journey that features a variety of emerging talent in the operatic world. As a means of supporting their mission to build a sought-after Festival, SVF presents classical artists that not only shine in the operatic repertoire, but are able to display their versatility in many enchanting crossover happenings throughout the over 30 events.
Maria Zouves, who co-founded the festival with her husband, world-renowned operatic baritone Sherrill Milnes, is looking forward to another highly acclaimed season of beautiful music encompassing a variety of genres.
“We’ve curated an absolutely wonderful festival for our fans this year, with offerings that range from rock and Broadway tunes to jazz, swing and – of course – opera,” Zouves said in the release. “No matter what kind of music you love, the Savannah VOICE Festival has a concert that you will enjoy,” Zouves said. “We pride ourselves on the diversity of our performances and our talented artists. This year’s theme of heaven and earth encompasses a wide range of productions and levels of experience. Throughout the Festival we witness our organization’s commitment to passing the baton of excellence in vocal arts to the next generation. We couldn’t be more proud of the talented Festival artist’s accomplishments and the new talent which audiences will enjoy this year.”
The Savannah VOICE Festival is again partnering with the Westin Savannah Harbor, making it the Festival’s home for the seventh consecutive year. The Westin, perched atop Hutchinson Island on Savannah’s historic riverfront, will transform an area of the hotel into a vocal conservatory for the duration of the festival and will host events, including a kick-off brunch, Camp VOICE Showcase, and master classes under the direction of world-renowned musical artists.
New and old
Among the favorites, back by popular demand, is Death by Aria I and II, Voices in Sacred Song, the Salon Series, and a Broadway-themed show. Voices in Sacred Song will be led by Christ Church’s Timothy Hall on the Schlueter organ, and showcases the virtuosity of spiritual music in oratorio and song.
As for new offerings, fans will enjoy a special dinner theater event, a concert featuring songs about and inspired by culinary gourmets and one of America's best-loved television personalities, Julia Child, a tribute to Frank Sinatra, a “Music of the 60s and 70s” concert by Savannah’s own baritone, Nicholas Yaquinto, and an evening highlighting SVF co-founder Sherrill Milnes’ illustrious career through videos, shared stories and special songs.
The “Dialogues of the Carmelites” tells a fictionalized version of the story of the Martyrs of Compiègne, Carmelite nuns who, in 1794 were guillotined in Paris for refusing to renounce their vocation during the French Revolution. “The Little Prince” is based on the book by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry about two unlikely friends, a pilot and a Little Prince, in the Sahara experiencing lessons from the desert's many creatures. “The Birthday Clown,” by The Savannah VOICE Festival’s composer-in-residence, Michael Ching, is a lighthearted opera about a struggling magician and the life he laments. This production introduces an exciting new collaboration for SVF who will be working with the Savannah Classical Academy’s String Ensemble.
Mixing up the amusing comedy of the evening, comes the tragic story that takes an earthly look at humanity, jealousy, and revenge in the beloved classic,“I Pagliacci”, which will be presented as a coproduction with opera Orlando.
Some festival events will be free with other events offering tickets from $25-$75. Tickets go on sale to VOICE Society members on May 5 and to the general public on May 20.