When you think of the Phoenicia Festival of the Voice, you probably think of the festive atmosphere and shows, Ho-hum, a bunch of singers wanting to get together and put on shows! Oh, No, no, not at all!!! The Festival of the Voice started in the small Upstate New York town of Phoenicia in support of our community and has never departed from its mission to engage, serve and bring Opera to Upstate New York, as a family friendly Outdoor Music Festival.
13 years ago, yeah, we put on a show to raise money for new playground equipment in our local park. To borrow from Abraham Lincoln, we are ‘of the people, for the people and by the people’, so many who attended that first concert begged us to repeat the effort. And ever since then, in a village of 350 people, nearly 200 locals come out each year as volunteers in efforts to return the favor and support the music festival. In fact, we became a new model for arts management—sort ‘bottom up’ in that all that we do involves, is dependent on and serves the community. We don’t have multi-million dollar donations, far from it, but we’ve felt rich because of our community ‘family’.
The Phoenicia Festival of the Voice, an outdoor Music and Opera Festival based in upstate New York, is NOT just a place where we present shows, the Festival is a community of people that care about their town, the Hudson Valley and their neighbors, and want to better the life of all. With gratitude to all of you!
Now the shows— watching opera, or a musical, or a great concert or recital – can and should be a transformative experience. But this kind of experience can only come from certain kinds of artists.
We choose these amazing artists which have traversed our stages with a kind of ‘jealousy’- we are jealous for the experience we want our audiences to enjoy, not just what emanates from the stage but how they are as they engage with the community. So we carefully choose artists who will bring to you not only extraordinary vocal expression, but who have a generous spirit and deep humanity, in other words, great singers who also fit our ‘community mindednesses.
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!
Come feel the love, passion and community support while enjoying world class Opera, Musicians and Broadway stars and in an outdoor, Upstate New View Music festival. Visit our event page for a full listing of the 2021 season
Louis Otey, Artistic Director, Founder
The Phoenicia Int. Festival of the Voice
August 27-29, 2021
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