Author: Steven Weiss (Steven Weiss)

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The Opera Scene in Philadelphia

I often listen to a piece of music before I begin writing. While working on the script for Philadelphia, I had chosen the aria, La Momma Morta, by Umberto Giordano, and sung by Maria Callas, to serve as my inspiration. We had been struggling to come up with a scene between our main characters — Andrew and...

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Covid-19 pandemic impact on Opera, Broadway, the performance community and The Phoenicia International Festival of the Voice response.

Re-Invention in the time of Covid Pandemic PANDEMIC- just over two years ago, the world was shutting down because of the corona virus which began tragically taking lives around the world. It was hard on everyone without question, but certain sectors were hit harder than others- especially the performing arts.     Opera houses, Broadway and...

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Opera In Upstate New York

The richness of our Opera and Music Festival resonate from our community, the talent of our world renowned artist, the enthusiasm of the Phoenicia Festival of the Voice team, hundreds of volunteers and the never ending passion of General Director Maria Todaro. Our artists, though well paid in companies where they regularly sing including the Metropolitan Opera, La Scala, Covent Garden and Paris Opera, love to come to Phoenicia because of incredible hospitality and care given by our community. We are so grateful to our volunteers and supporters for providing their homes, meals, transportation, and TLC of all kinds- YOU are our main currency! Thank you. It keeps us going and these incredible artists coming to the festival year after year!

Hudson Valley One (HV1) Print & Online News & Culture Magazine,
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Hudson Valley One (HV1) Print & Online News & Culture Magazine,

Picture, if you will, the immense challenge facing the Phoenicia International Festival of the Voice in 2020, when COVID-19 was raging, all theaters were closed and, given the virus’ propensity for aerosol transmission, any gathering of singers seemed doomed to become a “superspreader event.” According to Festival founder Maria Todaro, plans to put on a live summertime performance of Puccini’s Tosca had been in the works for months before the severity of the pandemic became apparent, and she was determined not to give up on them. So, she made arrangements to produce the opera “with full everything” in an extraordinary format: live onstage, in front of a sea of parked cars on the former IBM site at Kingston’s Tech City.

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Community Engagement

The Catskills Academy of Performing Arts (CAPA) offers a year-round array of programs and activities, based on the belief that involving arts in a community bonds its members together. A key goal of all our programs is to reach out to new generations of music fans.  Our community engagement programs offer the following: Year-round choral...

Hudson Valley One (HV1)
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Hudson Valley One (HV1)

Picture, if you will, the immense challenge facing the Phoenicia International Festival of the Voice in 2020, when COVID-19 was raging, all theaters were closed and, given the virus’ propensity for aerosol transmission, any gathering of singers seemed doomed to become a “superspreader event.” According to Festival founder Maria Todaro, plans to put on a live summertime performance of Puccini’s Tosca had been in the works for months before the severity of the pandemic became apparent, and she was determined not to give up on them. So, she made arrangements to produce the opera “with full everything” in an extraordinary format: live onstage, in front of a sea of parked cars on the former IBM site at Kingston’s Tech City.

Opera Wire
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Opera Wire

The Phoenicia International Festival of the Voice has announced that this year’s live opera staging, typically the highlight of its annual summer music festival will be a drive-in performance of Puccini’s “Tosca.”

The performance, set for August 29,  will take place at Tech City in Kingston, New York. As with drive-in movie experiences,  audience members will drive into parking slots and turn on their car radios for sound. The venue and the technology will ensure that audience members stay safe in their cars while musicians and staff “socially distance” onstage or behind it.

IQ Magazine: Live Music Intelligence
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IQ Magazine: Live Music Intelligence

A fully staged production of Giacomo Puccini’s Tosca will take place in front of 600 cars in the grounds of former IBM complex Tech City in New York as part of the Phoenicia Festival of the Voice on 29 August.