Can't wait for the Savannah VOICE Festival in August? You can get a glimpse of what it will be like this week during the 2014 Prelude Week.
"We're giving everybody a little sneak peek, meeting some of the artists that are going to be involved next summer, giving a sneak peek on some of the music that we're going to be offering and then talking about the many, many layers that people can access us," VOICExperience and Savannah VOICE Festival executive director Maria Zouves said.
VOICExperience, the nonprofit organization behind the events, wanted to get the public excited about the upcoming festival, which will run Aug. 1-17 in Savannah. The festival will feature a variety of concerts, educational presentations and events that focus on arts awareness. It will include opera, musical theater and popular song. More than 5,000 people attended last year's events, Zouves said.
The August festival attracts singers from all over the world who want to study and improve their craft. Some will come straight from Carnegie Hall recitals to do recitals with VOICExperience. And singers who have been through the VOICE program will be featured in an opera production.
Over the next few days, there will be three events to entice locals. The Savannah Philharmonic will present Puccini's "Scenes de la vie de Boheme," starring a cast of VOICE Festival artists at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 31 at the Lucas Theatre for the Arts in Savannah.
Zouves' husband and co-founder of VOICExperience, opera singer Sherrill Milnes will host "A Choral Master Class" at 3 p.m. Feb. 1 at First Presbyterian Church on Hilton Head Island. A "VOICES on the Island" concert will be presented at 3 p.m. Feb. 2 at the church. Both events are free and open to the public. Donations to VOICExperience will be accepted at the door. Donations will go toward scholarships and community service projects.
"This next weekend is key," Zouves said. "If we can get people to come to these events at First Presbyterian Church, that's going to tell us that we are wanted. So we encourage everyone to send that message by coming out to these free events."
Follow Amy Coyne Bredeson at twitter.com/IPBG_Amy.