VOICExperience Announces Virtual Annual VOICE Gala and Unveils Awardee Recipient – March 25, 2021

March 15, 2021 9:00 AM EDT

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New York, New York, March 15, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- VOICExperience (VE) announces that the non-profit organization’s annual gala will take place via its web-based streaming service at 7p.m. Eastern Standard Time on Thursday March 25, 2021.This vital event will be hosted by legendary baritone and VOICE Co-Founder, Sherrill Milnes and Executive Director, Maria Zouves, and will take place online to protect the health and safety of singers and patrons alike.The gala will be a night to remember with special guest appearances and presentations by opera notables Thomas Hampson, Mark Delavan, Denyce Graves, James Morris, Fabrizio Melano and Frederica von Stade. Exciting cameo appearances will be made by MIlnes’ colleagues and friends from the operatic world to surprise the viewers. The gala will feature elements of their live red carpet event that usually takes palce in New York City, with delightful toasts, culinary moments and great performances by VOICE Program alumni including Santiago Ballerini, Jessica Ann Best, Lauren Jelencovich, Paulo Lapa, Meechot Marrero, Tiago Matos, Chad Sonka and Jonathan Walker-VanKuren. Emerging artists in the program will also perform, including Melanie Spector, Mariano Gladic and Hanna Atsedewoin along side current Festival Artists from the current season.

During the gala, renowned baritone, Thomas Hampson, will be virtually presented with the prestigious 2021 Milnes VOICE Award. Thomas Hampson, America’s foremost baritone, hails from Spokane, Washington. He has received many honors and awards for his probing artistry and cultural leadership. He enjoys a singular international career as an opera singer, recording artist, and “ambassador of song,” maintaining an active interest in research, education, musical outreach, and technology. Comprising more than 150 albums, his discography includes winners of a Grammy Award, five Edison Awards, and the Grand Prix du Disque. Through the Hampsong Foundation which he founded in 2003 he employs the art of song to promote intercultural dialogue and understanding.  

The initiative involves a goal to fund 1,000 hours of education at $100 per hour for classroom work, coachings and lessons for emerging artists in 2021. Supporters of this goal will be sent a link to access the celebration, which streams at 7pm Eastern Standard Time on March 25. For each $100 donated, lovers of the classical voice will help support one hour of training for a young artist and have access to a celebratory concert that celebrates the initiative. Additional levels of support such as on-demand event viewing after the show’s debut, exclusive access to masterclasses and prominent sponsor recognition.  Further information about this goal and other sponsorship opportunities are available at www.VOICExperienceFoundation.org

Co-Founder and Executive Director of VE, Maria Zouves, said. “After the cancellation of the 2020 March Gala, we are delighted and relieved to be able to celebrate Thomas Hampson as our 2021 Milnes VOICE awardee this March.  We know from over 20 years’ experience at VE that just one hour of training can change a young artist’s life.  This Gala takes place every year in New York City, but during these times we can span the globe to create an international program for all to enjoy. The Milnes VOICE programs have completed several very successful ‘stay at home’ concerts and educational initiatives during 2020 and we are confident that we can deliver a high quality event to our patrons in New York and beyond via our streams.  In many ways we have embarked on a brave new world for us and our classical artists -- building a virtual, eclectic content with performances that translate the VOICE concerts and experiences from stage to computer screen.”  

VE and all the Milnes VOICE Programs continues to host all its programming online until it is safe for audiences and artists to return to live concerts.  VE has pivoted its annual Opera as Drama program to take place online from March 21-27, 2021.  This prestigious program has been refocused as Opera Without Drama to bring artists what they really need during the continued pandemic – career development seminars and tools to guide them forward in this new digital world and what to do when the theatres reopen.  

To learn more about the gala, VOICExperience or the Milnes VOICE Programs or to support young artists, please visit www.VOICExperienceFoundation.org.

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Editor’s Notes

VOICExperience Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization whose mission is to pass on the traditions of great singing and develop new audiences for opera. Under the umbrella of The Sherrill Milnes VOICE Programs, VOICExperience continues its dedication to the quality, integrity and perpetuation of the vocal arts through life-changing intensives, performances, and community-enriching outreach events in New York, Georgia (with its sister organization, the Savannah VOICE Festival), Florida and Illinois. For more information, please visit www.VOICExperienceFoundation.org.

For media inquiries, please contact Lesley Francis at lesley@lesleyfrancispr.com or 912-429-3950, or the Lesley Francis Public Relations team at 912-417-LFPR(5377). 

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