The Phoenicia International Festival of the Voice emerged with humble beginnings. In 2009, opera singer Maria Todaro proposed the event as a fundraiser for a local playground. Not only did she and her team raise more than enough money to buy the park equipment, but they discovered that there was a true thirst for opera in their small town. On the day of the event, over 500 people came out to listen to opera in the pouring rain. Now the concert, originally a one-time deal, has evolved into this year's four-day festival with 22 performances taking place at locations throughout Phoenicia on August 1 through 4.
The schedule includes world music, Gospel, chamber music, a tribute to Wagner, and even an opportunity to have a free vocal lesson with the professionals. On the final day, an assemblage of community choirs will tackle Giuseppe Verdi's "Messa da Requiem," one of the most complex and challenging pieces a singer will ever encounter. Over a hundred voices, led by Todaro and Eduardo Villa and accompanied by a full orchestra, will sing up to eight lines of music at once.
In this podcast episode, Todaro discusses more of the program's highlights, her philosophy on singing, and how she believes the festival might change the way you think about classical music.
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