Savannah, GA – As part of Opera America’s National Opera Week, VOICExperience and the Savannah Philharmonic Chorus will present a lecture and a master class for young people in Savannah to gain access to two internationally renowned opera professionals: the legendary American Composer Carlisle Floyd and world famous baritone Sherrill Milnes. Additionally, the Savannah Philharmonic Chorus will perform during a concert of American Opera Music. These three diverse and significant events will have global recognition and focus, as the nation celebrates opera across the continent.

“Floyd on Floyd: A Composer’s Symposium”, sponsored by the Savannah Philharmonic Chorus and Telfair Museums, will take place Friday, October 26 at 5:30 pm in the Jepson Center’s Neises Auditorium. In this free event, National Opera Week kicks off with legendary composer and NEA Opera Honors Awardee Carlisle Floyd in discussion and presentation of his most famous compositions, including one of the most famous American operas in the repertoire today, Susannah. During this extraordinary experience, Floyd will share rare insights, answer questions, and give a sneak peek into the concert that follows in the week. This event will be permanently archived at the National Opera Center.

“A Young Artist Master Class” with Sherrill Milnes and young artists from The Voice Co-op, also sponsored by the Savannah Philharmonic Chorus and Telfair Museums, will be presented Monday, October 29 at 5:30 pm in the Telfair Academy Rotunda. Acclaimed by the press as one of the greatest operatic voices of our time, Grammy Award® -winning baritone Sherrill Milnes’ international career spans over four decades. At this special event, free and open to the public, the opera legend passes on his vast musical knowledge and nurturing educational tools to six (6) local voice students chosen by the Voice Co-op, an organization of area voice teachers. The students will participate in the free master class where they will showcase their talents and gain insight from the seasoned opera singer. Audiences will enjoy watching the process as Milnes works with each singer individually, inspiring them to continue their education and the future of opera.

Finally, the Savannah Philharmonic Chorus will perform in “An American Songbook”, a concert with Carlisle Floyd and hosted by Carlisle Milnes, on Saturday, October 27 at 7:30 pm in the Telfair Academy Rotunda. In addition to other American opera scenes and great moments from musical theater and popular song, the evening will include scenes from Floyd’s masterworks Susannah, Of Mice and Men, and Wuthering Heights, all directed by the composer and sung by national rising stars of opera in English. Tickets are available for purchase by calling (855)766- 7372 (855-76-OPERA). Ticket prices are $35 general admission; $20 for Savannah Friends of Music, Savannah Philharmonic members, and Telfair Museum Members; and $10 for students with a valid college ID. Tickets will also be available at the door.

The Savannah Philharmonic Chorus, a 501©3 non-profit organization, has been presenting choral works to the local Savannah community since 2003. Consisting of over 100 auditioned amateur choristers, the group works in partnership with the Savannah Philharmonic Corporation, Savannah’s local professional orchestra. The Chorus presents three to five performances each season (September through May), either with the orchestra or stand-alone. The Chorus’ mission is to perform and promote the appreciation of fine choral music in the greater Savannah community, as well as to foster the education of Savannah’s youth by exposing them to both choral and operatic works. The organization has partnered with a number of other local institutions including Savannah Arts Academy, Savannah State University, Armstrong Atlantic State University, Savannah College of Art and Design, and the Chatham County Public School System.

The VOICExperience Foundation “VOICE” is a 501©3 non-profit organization founded by operatic legend Sherrill Milnes and his wife, Maria Zouves, soprano and producer. It is dedicated to the quality, integrity and excellence of vocal arts, providing opportunities and training for singers through education, outreach and performances for the communities of the world. With established programs in New York, Florida and Chicago, “VOICE” has now chosen a new home in Georgia, enhancing the richness of Savannah area culture and sharing the city’s beauty with international artists and musical guests.

The Voice Co-op is a group of voice instructors in Savannah, Georgia who believe in the power of a nurturing community to help voice students blossom into vibrant artists. They gather our students together monthly and bi-annually to learn what it means to be a storyteller. Students perform before a loving group of peers and seasoned instructors to find comfort in performance situations, and build confidence to advance to the next level of artistry.


This program is sponsored by the City of Savannah’s Department of Cultural Affairs’ Weave – A – Dream and the Georgia Council for the Arts through appropriations from the National Endowment for the Arts.