Skip to content


CROWDRISE : Jun 08, 2015
Tax ID: 01-0969358
BASED: Phoenicia, NY, United States


Festival of the Voice

The Phoenicia International Festival of the Voice promotes the human voice as an instrument of healing, peace and artistic expression through presenting world class performances in Phoenicia, New York and surrounding areas. From opera to gospel, world music to Broadway, the Festival celebrates the human voice in all its multi-faceted glory.

In the summer of 2009 three internationally acclaimed opera singers, who also call Phoenicia home, offered to stage an opera concert in the Phoenicia Parish Field to raise money for much needed playground equipment for local children. Mezzo soprano Maria Todaro and baritones Louis Otey and Kerry Henderson , with a team of dedicated local volunteers, produced “Opera under the Stars”, which, despite rain, and a threatening thunder storm, attracted an audience of over five hundred intrepid souls to this tiny Catskills village. The cries of the audience for an “encore”, and the incredibly positive response of the whole community was so powerful, that the three singers started considering how to offer their community more than a “one off” event. They met with people in the town and the wider community, called on friends and supporters, and started planning -in just six months; the idea of a festival celebrating the human voice in all its multi-faceted glory became a reality.

The first festival in 2010 offered six events in three days including an al fresco performance of Verdi’s Falstaff, an opening night gala concert featuring world renowned soprano Elizabeth Futral and the Grammy Award winning Native American artist Joseph Firecrow.

in 2011 the festival expanded to four days and offered 22 events attracting over 4,000 people to Phoenicia. Highlights included Mozart’s Don Giovanni with full orchestra conducted by Metropolitan Maestro Steven White, Voices of Distinction starring soprano Lauren Flanigan , and performances by gospel diva Rozz Morehead and Arabic ‘oud master Simon Shaheen.

In 2012, the four days and same amount of events than the year before, attracted over 5,000 people to the magical little hamlet.

Madama Butterfly was celebrated , starring Yunah Lee and Richard Troxell, a fantastic Voice of Distinction: Broadway, always featuring established professionals and a few young talent, our very own local talent Lucia Legnini , the festival closed with a glorious presentation of the serious work of Peter Schickele, the 12 Months, a concerto for piano and choir, narrated by Peter Schickele himself, star  Barry Banks participated again and blessed us by his talent.

Last Summer, we welcomed Jeanne Michele Charbonet, Victoria Livengood, Alfred Walker,Eduardo Villa, Babette Hierholzer and Jurgen Apell to celebrate the bicentennial of Richard Wagner, in our “Voices of Distinction”’ annual gala. A concert format we developed early in our history “Voices of Distinction” presents  emerging young artists sharing the stage with established professionals. Christopher Colmenero and Joanna Dionnis were our two ” talent discoveries”.  Earlier in the day   a cantorial concert  was presented by Cantor Jack Mendelson. Jack serves as Cantor for the prestigious synagogue Temple Israel in Westchester. Rigoletto served as our festival centerpiece. The opera was selected to honor the composer Giuseppe Verdi also born 200 years ago. Our guest artists for this performance were Barry Banks, Nancy Allen Lundy, Louis Otey under the baton of Steven White.  The festival Grand Finale presented the passionate and loyal audience with the glorious  “Requiem”  by the same composer, under the baton of David Wroe, featuring soloists Rosa D’Imperio, Maria Todaro, Stephan Kirchgraber, Eduardo Villa, more than 120 choristers and our newly built Phoenicia Festival Orchestra these performances imposed logistical consideration. A new bigger stage of 5000 square feet to accommodate 150 artists performing together. at  Amongst the highlights of our  summer were Terrence McNally’s masterpiece:” Master Class”, featuring  the fabulous Irene Glezos ( Law and order, Sex in The City..).

“Two’s Company.. Three’s  a Crowd”  a wonderful and virtuosic piano / orator collaboration concert with Carey Harrison ( son of the illustrious Rex) and Justin Kolb The “Spirit of Sepharad” , featuring artist Gerard Edery. We offered for the 1st time a public vocal workshop where the audience discovered the joy of singing, produced a gospel celebration concert, lectures were attended at our local coffee shop  and the charming Story Lorie, an  engaging and wonderful story teller for adults and children returned to our roster for the second year. “Working with Masters ”  the innovative  youth education program was launched in July, and located at the acclaimed Emerson Resort and Spa.

We are looking forward to producing and celebrating our remarkable 2015 fest. It’s all about America! Remember……….You are part of the magic!


Tax ID: 01-0969358 •


Phoenicia International Festival of the Voice

Phoenicia International Fest…

Amount Raised:



1% Raised of $25,000 Goal