The Phenicia International Voice Festival returns – Daily Freeman

PHOENICIA, NY – The New York City Opera Company and Teatro Grattacielo return this year to headline the Phenicia International Voice Festival.

The festival takes place from August 5 to 7 in the parish field of Saint Ursula Square.

“Both presented fabulous opera and decided to return,” said Maria Todaro, co-founder and general manager of the festival. A collaborative spirit will bring the best of New York to the Catskills, she said.

The Teatro Grattacielo will present a more contemporary version of Mozart’s most famous opera, “Don Giovanni”, on Friday August 5 at 8:30 p.m. This production centers on the LGBTQ community in Spain in the 1990s, Todaro said.

On Saturday, the New York City Opera Company will present a more traditional performance of Giuseppe Verdi’s “La Traviata” at 8:30 p.m.

Todaro said she was perhaps most excited about “Hollywood in the Hills,” which wraps up the festival Sunday night at 8:30 p.m. It will feature a full orchestra and a star-studded cast with more than 100 people on stage, including opera singer Ta’u Pupu’a, a former NFL lineman who turned to singing. opera after injury ended his playing career, she said.

They’ll perform vignettes from movies featuring the opera in their scores, including “Shawshank Redemption” and “Lone Ranger,” Disney-Pixar’s “Up,” which featured music from “Carmen,” and even “What’s Opera Doc.” from the Bugs Bunny short and “Seville Rabbit.”

Subtitles on jumbotrons will help audiences new to opera to translate the lyrics of sung songs into other languages. The video feed on the screens will be directed and switched by director James Sapione.

“We want to debunk the myth that opera is an elitist art form,” Todaro said. “You don’t have to know opera to appreciate opera.”

The performance is in partnership with the Woodstock Film Festival, and the festival’s executive director, Meira Blaustein, will speak on Sunday.

The voice festival is in its second year back in Phenicia after the COVID-19 pandemic prompted organizers to stage the 2020 festival as a drive-in at the city’s former TechCity property. of Ulster.

“We were the second in the world to present an opera in 2020,” she said.

The festival comes as the nonprofit strives to open a community arts space in the historic 19th-century former Wesleyan Church on Main Street, which has closed during the pandemic.

Todaro said she hoped to get approvals from the Shandaken City Building Department to allow an exhibition featuring works by artist David Pollack, who splits his time between Mount Tremper and Brooklyn during the festival.

The old church now serves as the festival headquarters after a complete renovation.

At the festival box office, there will be paintings and sculptures by three Ukrainian artists, Igor Sokol, Lesya Verba and Olexa Casinova, who came to the United States and will be at the festival, Todaro said.

Single-day tickets are $40; or $80 to buy one and give one to someone who can’t afford it; and $95 for VIP. Weekend passes are $100; $200 to buy one, give one away; and $250 for VIP. Children’s tickets are $5 for those 16 and under.

For more information and tickets, visit

Darcy J. Skinner