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Puccini’s Tragic Love Story Finds New Life in the Artistic Collaboration between The Savannah Philharmonic and VOICExperience, Friday, January 31st at the Lucas Theatre

SAVANNAH, GA –  The Savannah Philharmonic in artistic collaboration with VOICExperience will present the epic story of doomed love and tragic passion found in Puccini’s La Bohéme on Friday, January 31st at the Lucas Theatre for the Arts. The soloist sponsors are The Bouchillon, Ham & Dekle Group, Merrill Lynch Wealth Management, The Paris Market, The Chatham Foundation and Coastal Dentistry.

The role of the tragic seamstress, Mimi, will be played by Meechot Marrero, opposite Cooper Nolan in the role of Rodolfo, the poet.  Amy Shoremount-Obra shines as Musetta with Dan Kempson as Marcello.  The role of Schaunard will be played by Matthew Morris. Scott Russell will play the philosopher, Colline.  These VOICExperience artists are known and loved by Savannah audiences as they have appeared in Savannah VOICE Festival productions in recent months.

The captivating story of romance and heartfelt tragedy of Puccini’s La Bohéme is without equal in the opera world. Semi-staged, this production transforms the Lucas Theatre stage into 21st century Brooklyn. These Bohemians live in a condemned garret without heat or electricity. Their modern tools – iPads and laptops – are charged in coffee shops and they use flashlights, instead of candles, to see once the sun sets.

When asked how 21st century Bohemians could possibly compare to their 19th century counterparts, Edwin Cahill, stage director, explains, “Their fears and dreams are the same as those of their 19th century ancestors and they, too, are far more noble than their misfortune. You will see they are still filled by souls worthy of gods and kings.”

Audience members can expect to be swept away by the glorious, rapturous arias, including Che gelida manina; Si, Mi Chiamano Mimi and the exquisite O soave fanciulla. Savannah Philharmonic has presented several concerts with guest artists from the VOICExperience. However, this is the first full artistic collaboration involving both organizations.

“It is a perfect fit to have our Festival artists, from singer to director, connect and collaborate with Peter Shannon and the Savannah Philharmonic. After two years working together, this opera project has already been very successful and has generated a great deal of excitement and

anticipation throughout Savannah.  The concert promises to be a memorable night for all, from the stage to the audience. We are so thrilled to be a part of it all!” states Maria Zouves, Executive Director of VOICExperience and the Savannah VOICE Festival.

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Tickets range from $16 to $70. Visit www.savannahphilharmonic.org or call the box office directly at 912.525.5050. Guest artist biographies, photos and a full opera outline are available online in the Savannah Philharmonic Media Room. Contact Mary Catherine Mousourakis at info@savannahphilharmonic.org for login information.

ABOUT SAVANNAH PHILHARMONIC:

The Savannah Philharmonic Orchestra (SPO) is a professional orchestra presenting a full range of concerts each season (September to May) from classics to pops. The Savannah Philharmonic Chorus is a community-based auditioned ensemble that performs regularly with the orchestra in an oratorio and opera setting, as well as performing a wide range of music from a cappella, baroque to rock and pop standards. Both are 501©3 nonprofit organizations.

The SPO’s mission is to provide the highest level of musical performances and educational programs featuring the highest caliber of professional musicians, a volunteer chorus and internationally acclaimed soloists. The SPO aims to exhilarate, educate and enrich a large and diverse audience in the greater Savannah community. For more information please visit www.savannahphilharmonic.org. Individual tickets for concerts, are still on sale and may be purchased by calling the Savannah Box Office at (912) 525-5050.

If you would like more information about the Savannah Philharmonic, to schedule an interview with Artistic Director Peter Shannon, please call Mary Catherine Mousourakis/660-2654 or email at info@savannahphilharmonic.org.

UPCOMING SAVANNAH PHILHARMONIC EVENTS:

Chamber Concert No. 4: The Baroque Hour, February 2, 2014  5pm Telfair Academy

Spend a lovely Sunday afternoon enjoying exquisite baroque music performed in the gorgeous surroundings of the Telfair Academy. Tickets are $20, but this concert currently sold out.

Handel’s Messiah; Friday, February 21, 2014  7:30pm Cathedral of St. John the Baptist

Join the Savannah Philharmonic Orchestra, Chorus and special international guest soloists from the Halle State Opera for this single performance of Handel’s epic sacred choral masterwork, Messiah. Tickets are $16 to $70.

ABOUT THE SAVANNAH VOICE FESTIVAL AND THE VOICEXPERIENCE FOUNDATION:

Savannah VOICE Festival is a new non-profit arts organization that brings classical vocal excellence to the Savannah area through a two-week celebration of concerts, events and educational presentations during the month of August and throughout the year.  Focusing on arts awareness and audience development in the performing arts, it offers music from opera, musical theatre and popular song.

VOICExperience Foundation is an education non-profit partner organization to the Festival, helping young artists pursue their careers in the performing arts.  It provides crucial outreaches to the communities it services and perpetuates excellence in the art of singing with its educational programs.

Both organizations were founded by opera legend Sherrill Milnes and soprano Maria Zouves.  They work together to serve the community by providing the highest level of education and quality performances by talented artists for all to enjoy.

For more information, please visit www.savannahvoicefestival.org or call 855.76.OPERA.

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